“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication. That everyone of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour” – 1Thessalonians 4:3-4
In the first part of this sermon, I was able to scripturally establish the fact that since the beginning of the world, God demands and expects man to rule over sin. But that after the failure of man to overcome sin, God decided to come down himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, to help man gain mastery over sin.
After establishing the above two facts scripturally, I ended with a contradictory question to this truth. And the question is: Why are many believers still under the control of sin, instead of being masters over sin as the word of God says?
I promised to scripturally answer the question in this second part of the sermon.
Now here is the answer to the question…
“Why Are Many Believers Still Under the Control of Sin?”
The two major reasons why many believers are still under the control of sin, inspite of what the word of God says concerning them are:
Ignorance of who they are and what God has made available to them.
Lack of personal spiritual responsibility
The problem of ignorance can be solved by taking your time to listen to accurate scriptural teachings about righteousness and sanctification, such as you’re reading right now. So now that you are already reading this message, for the rest part of this message, we will be concentrating on…
“Taking Personal Responsibility for Mastery Over Sin”
Having learnt that God has made abundant grace available for every believers to be masters over sin, through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit; we need to learn how to take personal responsibility for our mastery over sin to become a practical reality. Concerning taking personal responsibility over sin, below are what the Apostle Paul by the Spirit says;
“But I keep under my body and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” – 1Corinthians 9:27 (KJV)
“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” – Romans 6:11-12
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” – Ephesians 4:22-24
In the above quoted scriptures, the word of God instructs us on the personal responsibilities we must take to live above sin. In 1Corinthians 9:27, the Apostle Paul says, he keeps his body under and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means when he had preached to others, he himself should be a castaway or disqualified.
The phrase “keep under” as translated in that scripture is from the Greek word “hypopiazo” and it means “to beat black and blue; to smite so as to cause bruises and livid spot; that is, like a boxer, one buffets his body and handle it roughly; it means to discipline by hardships”. And within the context of I Corinthians 9:27, it means to subdue one’s passions. So Paul says here, that he takes personal responsibility to subdue his fleshly passions and even bring his flesh or body into bondage.
Now there is something worth drawing special attention to in that text, the Apostle doesn’t say “God keeps my body under and bring it into subjection” Instead it says “I (Paul) keep under my body and bring it into subjection” so it is a personal responsibility.
Now to the second quoted scripture – Romans 6:11-12. It says we should reckon or consider ourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. And that we should not let sin reign or rule in our mortal body, that we should obey it in its lusts. So here again, God gives us, the believers, the responsibility of ruling or controlling sin.
Then in Ephesians 4:22-24 the Apostle Paul, by the Spirit, tells us to put off concerning our former conversation or behaviour, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. That we should be renewed in the spirit of our minds. And that we should put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
So we see God here again putting a demand on us to take personal responsibility for mastery over sin, by the grace he has already given us in abundance in the person of the Holy Spirit in us. He says we should put off our former, corrupt behaviours which we had before we became born again. And that we should be renewed in the spirit of our mind; and put on our new man, which is created in righteousness and true holiness.
As you read further through Ephesians 4:25-30 you get a better clarification of what it means to put off the old man, and put on the new man. For instance, in verse 25, it says “wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour for we are members one of another”. So here, the old man’s behaviour is lying, while the new man’s behavour is telling the truth at all times.
So to continually exercise mastery over sin, you must take personal responsibility through the help of the Holy Spirit. And that’s what the bible means by mortifying the deeds of the flesh through the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13). Yes, the Holy Spirit is given us to help us rule over sin. But it is our personal decision and responsibility to engage the help of the Holy Spirit in us, to continually exercise mastery over sin.
For better understanding on the personal responsibilities you need to be taking to gain mastery over sin, read my previous post titled: Master Keys to Holiness.
I pray for you right now, that in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, by the light you have just received through this message, you exercise eternal mastery over sin.
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