That dirty, three-letter word..

Written by Terry Dashner

That dirty, three-letter word…

Terry Dashner……………….Faith Fellowship Church PO Box 1586 Broken Arrow, OK 74013

Sin kills. But, grace brings life.

Which do you prefer? You who know God and live for Jesus, which nature do you prefer—the sin nature orrepparttar new nature?

As you knowrepparttar 145046 sin nature isrepparttar 145047 “old man,” orrepparttar 145048 “flesh.” It isrepparttar 145049 nature within every believer that must be put down daily byrepparttar 145050 power ofrepparttar 145051 Holy Spirit. Ifrepparttar 145052 sin nature is not dealt with byrepparttar 145053 aid of God, it will rule overrepparttar 145054 believer, causing him to appear “fleshly” or “carnal” or identical to what he was before he became a believer (The entire letter of I Corinthians).

Is it possible—for a Christian to act like a wicked sinner? Yes it is, according torepparttar 145055 bible. The only way to continuerepparttar 145056 Christian walk of holiness, faith, and power, is to walk inrepparttar 145057 power ofrepparttar 145058 Holy Spirit. It’s not something we “try” to do. It’s not something that we “work” at. It’s something we surrender to.

The Christian walk is a daily surrender torepparttar 145059 leadership ofrepparttar 145060 Holy Spirit. You see, a believer is reborn byrepparttar 145061 Holy Spirit when he calls onrepparttar 145062 name of Jesus for salvation. The Holy Spirit regeneratesrepparttar 145063 sinner’s human spirit, making it come alive to God. That’s miraculous; however,repparttar 145064 new believer must continue his walk in faith daily or he will succumb torepparttar 145065 overlord ofrepparttar 145066 old nature. Althoughrepparttar 145067 new birth in Christ brings a release fromrepparttar 145068 power of sin, it does not deliver him fromrepparttar 145069 very presence of sin. Not untilrepparttar 145070 believer receives his full reward in heaven will he be removed fromrepparttar 145071 very presence of sin.

Sin defined.

I want to share with you more onrepparttar 145072 topic of sin. To do this, I want to begin by defining sin. According to Walter A. Elwell’s, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Baker Book House, 1984), “Inrepparttar 145073 biblical perspective, sin is not only an act of wrongdoing but a state of alienation from God…It signifiesrepparttar 145074 rupture of a personal relationship with God, a betrayal ofrepparttar 145075 trust he places in us.”

Elwell continues, “The biblical witness also affirms that sin is universal. ‘All have sinned and fall short ofrepparttar 145076 glory of God,’ Paul declares (Rom. 3:23 RSV). ‘There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins’ (Eccles. 7:20 NIV)…In Reformed theology,repparttar 145077 core of sin is unbelief. This has firm biblical support: in Gen. 3 where Adam and Eve trustrepparttar 145078 word ofrepparttar 145079 serpent overrepparttar 145080 word of God; inrepparttar 145081 Gospels where Jesus Christ is rejected byrepparttar 145082 leaders ofrepparttar 145083 Jews; in Acts 7 where Stephen is martyred atrepparttar 145084 hands of an unruly crowd; in John 20:24-25 where Thomas arrogantly dismissrepparttar 145085 resurrection of Jesus.

“Hardness of heart, which is closely related to unbelief (Mark 16:14; Rom. 2:5), likewise belongs torepparttar 145086 essence of sin. It means refusing to repent and believe inrepparttar 145087 promises of God (Ps. 95:8; Heb. 3:8, 15; 4:7). It connotes both stubborn unwillingness to open ourselves torepparttar 145088 love of God (II Chr. 36:13; Eph. 4:18) and its corollary—insensitivity torepparttar 145089 needs of our neighbor (Deut. 15:7; Eph. 4:19).”

What arerepparttar 145090 chief manifestations of sin? You guessed it. Pride, sensuality, fear, self-pity, selfishness, jealousy, greed, and so on. The Bible declares that sin can be individual or collective or social. Sin affects me personally. It affects local churches corporately. And it can affect nations and societies as a whole. The effects of sin can be moral, spiritual bondage, guilt, death and hell.

Show merepparttar 145091 Word

Let’s look atrepparttar 145092 book of James. James 1:14-15 RSV states, “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.” Notice where sin originates and how it progresses along inrepparttar 145093 individual Christian. A wrong desire fuels a moral breakdown, which ensnares and enslavesrepparttar 145094 believer, bringing self-condemnation and guilt, which can lead to physical death.

Now let’s look at James 4:1 RSV “What causes wars, and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members?’ This is interesting. James is talking to believers, scattered all abroad. He tells them that battles and wars all start with human desires run-amok. Even godly men can dwell on greed, until greed controls them. The greed and an overwhelming desire to have more can spur men on to take from others. This taking of loot and property can turn into battles, which rage into full blown wars.

Show merepparttar 145095 History

Let me turn now torepparttar 145096 historical controversy over sin. Inrepparttar 145097 fifth century, Augustine challengedrepparttar 145098 views of a monk byrepparttar 145099 name of Pelagius. Augustine appealed torepparttar 145100 scriptures stating that sin incapacitates man from doingrepparttar 145101 good, and because we are born as sinners we lackrepparttar 145102 power to dorepparttar 145103 good. Yet because we willfully chooserepparttar 145104 bad overrepparttar 145105 good, we must be held accountable for our sin.

Augustine gaverepparttar 145106 illustration of a man who by abstaining from food necessary for health so weakened himself that he could no longer eat. Though still a human being, created to maintain his health by eating, he was no longer able to do so. Similarly, byrepparttar 145107 historical event ofrepparttar 145108 fall, all humanity has become incapable of that movement toward God—the very life for which it was created. Pelagius held that one could raise oneself by one’s own efforts toward God, and therefore grace isrepparttar 145109 reward of human virtue. Augustine countered that man is helpless to dorepparttar 145110 good until grace falls upon him, and when grace is thus given he is irresistibly moved toward God andrepparttar 145111 good.

Duringrepparttar 145112 Reformation, Luther powerfully reaffirmedrepparttar 145113 Pauline and Augustinian doctrine ofrepparttar 145114 bondage ofrepparttar 145115 will against Erasmus, who maintained that man still hasrepparttar 145116 capacity to dorepparttar 145117 right, though he needsrepparttar 145118 aid of grace if he is to come to salvation. Luther saw man as totally bound torepparttar 145119 powers of darkness—sin, death, andrepparttar 145120 devil. What he most needs is to be delivered from spiritual slavery rather than inspired to heroic action. (Ibid, p. 1013).

God's Armorbearer & The Ministry of Details

Written by Earma Brown

And God hath set some inrepparttar church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. –1 Corinthians 12:28 KJV.

The ministry gifts such as apostles, prophets, evangelist, teachers, and pastors receive much acclaim and recognition, as it should be. The Body of Christ needs every office set inrepparttar 145045 Church by God. However, there is a ministry not mentioned as much also set inrepparttar 145046 Body by our Lord. That isrepparttar 145047 ministry of helps. There is an important place forrepparttar 145048 minister of helps.

How wouldrepparttar 145049 church manage withoutrepparttar 145050 hands that help withrepparttar 145051 details? When something practical needs to be done, a person anointed to help steps in and sees to it thatrepparttar 145052 job is completed. God is practical and good and so are they that help.2 The behind-the-scene jobs inrepparttar 145053 church often go unrecognized. Yetrepparttar 145054 humble tasks arerepparttar 145055 ones we benefit fromrepparttar 145056 most.

There are faithful people who maintainrepparttar 145057 grounds, clean our church, make repairs, do plumbing, assist withrepparttar 145058 administration, type bulletins, usher, greet, watch babies, make surerepparttar 145059 sound and electronics work smoothly, make snacks and food forrepparttar 145060 church, do dishes or simply help withrepparttar 145061 details. Praise God for those serving inrepparttar 145062 ministry of helps.

Through Scripture, we know God placed ministries inrepparttar 145063 church, not man. 9 A person should not enterrepparttar 145064 ministry just because someone told them they were suited for it. Let God call you and place you where He wills.10 I encounter many who say, “I’m called to preach.” Yet they do not start withrepparttar 145065 small God puts before them to qualify them for their calling. When you are answering your call to serve, consider God may want you to spend a season inrepparttar 145066 ministry of helps before He matures you to your ministry office.

Remember Stephen and Phillip, who started inrepparttar 145067 ministry of helps but later operated as evangelists? They were faithful to help where God assigned them first.11 Also, I must mention that there were five others assigned to help. There are no other references of them inrepparttar 145068 Bible. I believe they continued faithfully serving inrepparttar 145069 ministry of helps.

If you are uncertain of your call torepparttar 145070 ministry of helps, ask God to confirm your calling. Apostle Peter admonishes us to be diligent with proving that we really are called and chosen byrepparttar 145071 Lord.12 Give all diligence to exercising and developing His virtuesrepparttar 145072 fruit ofrepparttar 145073 Spirit (listed below), so that you may be effective and productive in your gifts and calling:

•Faith. Exercise your faith at every opportunity. Faith pleases God. Everyone receives a measure of faith to function within whatever gift God has graced him. He whose gift is practical service, let him give himself to serving according torepparttar 145074 proportion of his faith.13

•Virtue. After exercising your faith, develop virtue, which is spiritual excellence. Daniel, in serving God and exercising his faith, developed an excellent spirit. So much so that he and his fellow Jewish slaves were found ten times better in all respects thanrepparttar 145075 others assigned torepparttar 145076 Kings’ service.14

•Knowledge. In developing an excellent spirit, add knowledge. Get to know your Heavenly Father. As we know Him better, we are sure to discover our destiny and what He wants us to do step by step. Paul wrote torepparttar 145077 saints in Ephesus, “I keep asking thatrepparttar 145078 God of our Lord Jesus Christ,repparttar 145079 glorious Father, may give yourepparttar 145080 Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.” 15

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