FEATURE ARTICLE

Pastor Amos Dada Ph.D, P.EngThursday, February 1, 2018
[email protected]
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

FEBRUARY - MY MONTH OF VICTORY OVER SIN (PART 1)

t is with great delight that I welcome you to this great month, our month of Victory Over Sin.

"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. "Another translations says: "Sin need never again be your master, for now you are no longer tied to the law where sin enslaves you, but you are free under God's favor and mercy." Rom 6:14

Wow, that is the great news of your new life style, the new status you and I have, sin is no more our Master, sin no more have dominion over us, Satan and his cohort do no more rule our lives to control us to sin. Satan has lost the battle at Golgotha - the place of the skull, where Jesus trashed him through the process of death, burial and resurrection. We are free from his slavery, hismanipulation, cajole, deceit and control! Halleluiah! Glory! The question is why are many still living contrary to this unbelievable, high profiled life style that cost of our Lord Jesus his precious blood? Even when the scripture says "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" guess that is the big puzzle that God will want us to unravel in this month so that once and for all you can stay on top of the situation, stay free and focus and sin will no more be your master. Its time to say enough of you Satan and sin in my life curriculum from this month if not from today!

Background to sin

Sin had its beginning with Lucifer, The Morning Star, probably the most beautiful and powerful of the angels. Someone said, he got jealous of the high level of praise and encomium that was coming to God and not to him. He was no more, content with his position of second in command after trinity, he desired to be higher than God, and that was his downfall, the beginning of sin (Isaiah 14:12-15). Renamed Satan, he brought sin to the human race in the Garden of Eden, where he tempted Adam and Eve with the same enticement, "you shall be like God." Genesis 3 describes Adam and Eve's rebellion against God and against His command. Since that time, sin has been passed down through all the generations of mankind and we, Adam's descendants, have inherited sin from him. Romans 5:12 tells us that through Adam sin entered the world, and so death was passed on to all men because "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23)

What is sin?

Sin is described in the Bible as transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18). However there are three broad descriptions, types and classification of sin namely: sin-inherited, imputed and committed/personal.

Inherited Sin. Through Adam, the inherent inclination to sin entered the human race, and human beings became sinners by nature. We are sinners not because we sin; rather, we sin because we are sinners. It is not because you stole a car that makes you a sinner. Stealing a car is a symptom of what is inside of the person that made him to steal. Just like skin rashes is a function of blood work that is inside of the person manifesting outside.

Imputed Sin. The word imputed is frequently used in both financial and legal settings, the Greek word translated "imputed" means "to take something that belongs to someone and credit it to another's account. God used the principle of imputation to benefit mankind when He imputed the sin of believers to the account of Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for that sin-death-on the cross. Imputing our sin to Jesus, God treated Him as if He were a sinner, though He was not, and had Him die for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2). Adam's sin was imputed to humanity. We were not there in the Garden of Eden, but as our progenitor, his sin was imputed to his descendants.

Personal Sin. A third type of sin is personal sin, that which is committed every day by every human being. Because we have inherited a sinful nature from Adam, we commit individual, personal sins, everything from seemingly innocent untruths to murder. Those who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ must pay the penalty for these personal sins, as well as inherited and imputed sin. That is why no human being can claim not to be a sinner. And sin whether you like it or not has consequences!

We are all three times condemned due to inherited sin, imputed sin, and personal sin. The only just penalty for this sin is death (Romans 6:23), not just physical death but eternal death (Revelation 20:11-15). Thankfully, inherited sin, imputed sin, and personal sin have all been crucified on the cross of Jesus, and now by faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior "we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins"

Three terminologies for sin and different meanings

Three words are generally used in the Scriptures to describe sin, namely: Transgression, sin and iniquity. Since our focus in this teaching is not to condemn you but to ensure you have victory over sin, there is a necessity for you to know the difference between the three so that you can avoid them. What is the difference between iniquity, sin, and transgression? In Psalm 32:5, the psalmist says, "I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.'" In this one verse, "sin," "iniquity," and "transgression" are all mentioned. Basically, the three words communicate the same idea: evil and lawlessness, as defined by God (see 1 John 3:4). However, upon closer examination, each word also carries a slightly different meaning.

Sin means "to miss the mark, or not measuring to the benchmark, God has put in place" It can refer to doing something against God or against a person (Exodus 10:16), doing the opposite of what is right (Galatians 5:17), doing something that will have negative results (Proverbs 24:33-34), and failing to do something you know is right (James 4:17). In the Old Testament, God even instituted sacrifices for unintentional sins (Numbers 15:27). Sin is the general term for anything that "falls short of the glory of God". (Romans 3:23).

Transgression refers to presumptuous sin. It means "to choose to intentionally disobey; willful trespassing." Samson intentionally broke his Nazirite vow by touching a dead lion (Numbers 6:1-5; Judges 14:8-9) and allowing his hair to be cut (Judges 16:17). In doing so, he was committing a transgression. David was referring to this kind of sin when he wrote, "Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered" (Psalm 32:1). The writer of Hebrew warns seriously against this sin: "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.Heb 10:26-27.When we knowingly run a stop sign, tell a lie, or blatantly disregard an authority, we are transgressing.

Iniquity is more deeply rooted. Iniquity means "premeditated choice, continuing without repentance." David's sin with Bathsheba that led to the killing of her husband, Uriah, was iniquity (2 Samuel 11:3-4; 2 Samuel 12:9).Micah 2:1 says, "Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning's light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it." Kidnapping,murder, rape and similarly well thought out evil acts amount to iniquity. Herdsmen carrying AK47 to kill innocent people is iniquity, and all forms of terrorism. In David's psalm of repentance, he cries out to God, saying, "Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin" (Psalm 51:2).

Is it possible to live a sinless life?

What is the mechanism by which sin controls us? There are two ways by which sin is committed, by action (action includes touching and observing) and thought. This is established in Matthew 5:21-22 and 27-28. There are two schools of thought over this matter, for and against. I held both views based on my level of understanding and age. Way back in in 1976 at Federal School of Arts and Science, Victoria Island, Lagos, we had a bible study that I will never forget because this question was the bone of contention. And I remember speaking out authoritatively - Nobody can live a sinless life -When even the bible says "the righteousness of the righteous is like a filthy rag" Isaiah 64:4 Note that, that is not the exact words of that scripture but that is what we usually quote! But if we go with that mind-set we do not just limit ourselves we jeopardize the argument that "sin will no more have control over us".

Sinless perfection is not only possible, but demanded by God in both old and new testaments. Being perfect as God is perfect doesn't mean a Christian makes perfect grades on math tests, knows everything, or never does something to offend someone. The argument that I've heard so many times is, "If you were perfect, you wouldn't need God; you'd be God". After all, God alone is holy (Rev 15:4). But there is a problem with that way of thinking… It's because God commands us to be holy. Is God giving us an impossible commandment? No! This is how it works: God in and of Himself is holy and needs no one in order for Himself to be holy, but we not only can be made holy through Him; we must be made holy through Him (1Pet 1:15-16). No one can say, "I'm a holy sinner"! That's an oxymoron. However, one can say, "I was once a sinner, but now I am righteous, thanks to God" (Rom 6:17-18). If God has placed us in an environment where it is impossible to stop sinning, He cannot send us to hell and still claim to be just. Two scripture can help us. "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" Rev 21:8. Meaning if you argue in favour of sin and continue in sin, even just telling lies, you are in danger of hell fire.

On the other hand: "And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." 1John 3:5-10. Heb 12:14 says without holiness no man can see God. If we continue to argue against holy living we are indirectly saying we shall all go to hell. I strongly believe I will not go to hell not because I am perfect but because sin does not have control over me. I don't go about practicing sin! Your choice is yours. We are what we think (Proverbs 23:7) and believe.

"To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted." Titus 1:15.

Why we must distance ourselves from sin.

It would be wonderful if we could reach a place in the Christian life where sin was no longer so tempting! It would be nice if the longer you were a Christian, the more immunity to sin you built up, so that it just glanced off you. But the fact is, a man after God's heart such as David, after years of walking with God and writing many inspired Psalms, succumbed to the temptation of adultery, deception, and murder. The wisest man on the earth, Solomon, who had several personal encounters with God, fell into the sin of idolatry. If you think that you've arrived at a point where certain sins no longer tempt you, remember Paul's warning (1 Cor. 10:12), "let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall." So why must we distance ourselves from sin?Temptation is not sin,yielding to temptation is sin.James 1:13-15

1. Sin hurts you According to Charles Spurgeon, sin hurts you. God designed His commandments for our blessing and protection. There are built-in consequences when we violate His holy standards. It's like the traffic laws. You can drive fast, run red lights, and drive on the wrong side of the road in order to get where you're going faster. For a while, it may work. You may think, "This is great! I don't have to obey those restrictive laws!" But, sooner or later you're going to get hit by a semi-truck and it won't be fun anymore! In the same way, God warns us that whatever we sow, we will reap. If we sow to the flesh, we will from the flesh reap corruption (Gal. 6:7-8). So even if sin gives us pleasure for a while, the Bible clearly warns that eventually it leads to death (Rom. 6:23).

2. Sin hurts others. This is obvious with many sins, such as murder, rape, arson, stealing,kidnapping, armed robbery hatred, gossip, etc. But, it's also true of sins that we may commit in the privacy of our own thoughts. As Paul said (Romans 12:

5), we are members of one another. If my heart decides that it has a right to do as it pleases and it stops functioning, my entire body suffers. If, as a member of the body of Christ, I indulge in sin, even if they are secret sins that you cannot detect, I have damaged you because we are both members of the one body of Christ. My sin will hurt my wife and children, because it weakens me as their shepherd and example. Achan sinned by taking the accursed things and Israel lost souls and the battle. So you should not sin because sin hurts you and it hurts others.

3. God will judge sinners that do not repent. It often looks as if sinners get away with their evil ways. Hugh Hefner, the founder of the evil Playboy Empire, has lived in luxury and sensuality with the sexiest women that any man could desire. On his eightieth birthday he said something to the effect that he had enjoyed a good life and had no regrets. But all of that will change soon, when he dies and stands before God and faces eternal punishment in hell! The Bible gives abundant warning that no unrepentant sinner will escape God's judgment. So that is a good reason to repent and turn from sin!

Watch out for part 2 - The ways to overcome sin

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