Grace: The Power to Overcome All Sin (Part 1)


Let me start by asking: Who is a Christian?

I know some will quickly give an answer by saying, “A Christian is one who is Christlike.”

This is definitely true. In fact Mrs. White wrote clearly that “to be a Christian is to be Christlike.”— Adventist Home, 427. But when we take time to study those who profess to be Christians in our environment and in the Church of God, this question lead us to ask another question: “Did Christ sin in thought and deed?”

The answer to this question is an emphatic No. He didn’t sin. It was written of Christ:

“For he [God] hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us [humanity], who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Cor. 5:21 (emphasis supplied).

“And ye know that he [Christ] was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5 (emphasis supplied).

Who then is a Christian?

A Christian is one who have experienced deliverance from the power of sin Satan and the world. Therefore, Christianity is a religion that teaches deliverance from the power of sin, Satan and the world. A life that has not experience deliverance form the power of sin is not a Christian life in truth. He may profess to be a Christian but in reality he is not; he is still in bondage to the power of sin, Satan and the world. “A Christian has victory over his besetments, over his passions.”— White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, p. 158. Christ is not a minister of sin and His followers should not be the minister of sin like wise (Gal. 2:17). It was written of Christ that He hate sin but loves righteousness. “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity” Heb 1:9.

It is also written of the true Christian that, “He hates sin . . . The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, which have heretofore been preferred before Christ, are now turned from, and Christ is the charm of his life, the crown of his rejoicing.”— White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 294.

The primary purpose Christ came into this world is to save His people from their sin. Angel Gabriel told Joseph the mission of Christ when he appeared to him in a dream. He said, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matt 1:21.

It is imperative to note that the Angel didn’t say, “He shall save his people in their sins.” Christ does not save in sin, but out of sin. John gave a similar record. He wrote that Christ “was manifested [revealed] to take away our sins” 1 John 3:5 (emphasis supplied). Satan seeks to present to professing Christians another gospel which is false. He wants them to believe that Christ will save them in their sin. Sin is powerful and until we understand this fact we cannot understand the power of grace. The failure to overcome sin daily lies in the failure to understand this fact that sin is powerful and controlling. Overcoming sin of any kind is not about trying, it is by grace. Overcoming sin lies in a power stronger than sin and outside of us. This is where grace comes in. The embodiment of grace is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.

Forgiving Grace

Grace is popularly defined as unmerited favor of Christ towards a repentant sinner. This is right and true. This definition steam from some Biblical accounts such as the flood account when “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” despite living amidst a corrupt world that is “filled with violence”. (Gen. 6:8, 11). Or when Lot found grace in the sight of God before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen. 19:19). Jacob, Joseph, Moses also found unmerited favor in the sight of God (Gen 33:10, 39:4, Ex. 33:12). These account and many more proves that when a soul finds grace in the sight of God finds unmerited favor. This unmerited favor is what Christ gave as a gift to humanity that they might be saved from sin, Satan and the world.

Paul wrote that, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph 2:8-9. It is by grace, the unmerited favor, of Christ extended to sinners like us that delivers us from the power sin. But this grace, being a gift, must be received by faith. The hand that receives this precious gift of grace is faith. Faith is not the power that saves. Grace is what saves. Faith is the invisible hand that receives from the omnipotent God that saves. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:8-9. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” 1 John 3:1. Such grace is called forgiving grace. This grace justifies the sinner who believes in the atoning death of Jesus Christ and receives it by the hand of faith. This grace cleanses the soul that is defiles with sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. This grace reclaims the sinner from the garb and stronghold of sin.

What is your habit? Is it anger? Is it addiction to fornication, adultery, pornography, masturbation, gambling, lying, stealing? Do you indulge in drinking alcohol, smoking and gluttony? Are you struggling with sinful passions? You need the forgiving grace that delivers from any manner of sin. This grace does not just forgive but removes sin of the heart. John rightfully said, it also “cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. To cleanse means to take away or remove sin out of the heart in such a way that the stains and filthiness of sin will not be seen by God the Father anymore because of the antoning blood of Jesus Christ his Son who has made it so. Some may say, how is this possible? All you need do is have faith and it is so.

Despite the aforementioned definition of grace being an unmerited favor of Christ toward the repentant sinner. This grace is called FORGIVING GRACE. But this grace has a second part. Grace is not just forgiveness of sin, reclaiming or deliverance from its power. Grace is also the power and strength given to those who have experienced the new birth; those who have experienced the forgiving grace that they may daily overcome through the strength and power of Christ that works in them. This is what I call, the OVERCOMING GRACE. Many receive the forgiving grace and went on to rely on their strength in overcoming sin. They end up falling and rising, falling and rising believing this to be a true Christian experience. This is false.

If we are Christians, bearing the mark and stamp of Christ’s name upon our forehead, did Jesus Christ, sin, repent, sin, repent while he was here on earth? A true Christian should daily overcome every known sin, that the spirit of Christ reveals to him or her through the Law, by the power of Christ that Christ is willing to give them daily.

In our next article, we shall study carefully this OVERCOMING GRACE and see from the scripture how it can be obtained NOW.

 

 

 

 

PART-TIME CHRISTIANS VS FULL-TIME SATAN


Someone once said, “part-time Christians can not defeat full-time Satan.” Who will deny this truth? Satan have a perfect understanding of our spiritual state and he will do all he can to prevent us from knowing our spiritual condition. We are in a Laodicean state of lukewarmness.

“Satan well knows that all whom he can lead to neglect PRAYER and the searching of the SCRIPTURES, will be OVERCOME by his attacks. Therefore he invents every possible device to engross the mind.”– The Great Controversy, p.519

YOU and I spend 3 hours a day, atleast, with our phone.

2 hours talking nonsense with people whom you should be leading to Christ.

2 hours watching soap operas, hollywood, nollywood, bollywood, gollyhood, robinhood, “porn-hood” and all the woods in the forest of worldliness.

We spend 6 hours atleast for sleeping and naps which it is a good thing to do.

10 hours working for our daily bread, some in banks, consulting firms, oil companies, schools, market place, shops etc

But less than 10 minutes with GOD and we expect to be overcomers!

Do you think Satan is a FOOL? He is perfectly studying your weak point? Like an hurricane or earthquake, he will come in like a flood to sweep us away.

“Satan is constantly at work; but few [Christians] have any idea of his activity and subtlety. The people of God must be prepared to withstand the wily foe. It is this resistance that Satan dreads. He knows better than we do the limit of his power and how easily he can be overcome if we resist and face him.”–Maranatha, p.60.

Leave all that you are doing NOW.

Spend just 10minutes with God NOW, asking him for grace and strength to be a full-time Christian. Confess to him your sins and acknowledge your sinfulness and weakness. Tell him about your struggles to overcome SIN, SATAN, and the WORLD.

Satan is watching you and he seeks to overcome you in your weakest point.

It is perfectly true that Satan is stronger than you. Infact who are we? If Satan could tempt Jesus, the Son of God, with the fiercest temptations man can never bear, he is able to tempt and harass us.

But read this, it is the promise from God to weak and fallen humanity:

“Through divine strength the weakest saint is more than a match for him (Satan) and all his angels, and if brought to the test he would be able to prove his superior power.”– Maranatha, p. 60.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

BE SERIOUS WITH YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE, JUST AS MUCH AS SATAN IS SERIOUS WITH YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE TO SIFT YOU AWAY.

SIN IS ENJOYABLE


Let us sincerely face the reality. Many of us, like me, go to God crying:

“LORD forgive me my sin. Help me to overcome this sin and habits that do easily beset me. I am tired of this sin. Please save me” and so on and so forth.

There is nothing wrong asking God for forgiveness, the grace to overcome and salvation from sin. In fact there is nothing more that he speedily gives to us than forgiveness of sin if it is from a genuine heart.

But the sad fact is, not too long after this prayer we often find ourselves committing the selfsame sin, even in a greater magnitude than before and we tend to wonder:

“Why me Lord? Why? Why have you allowed me to fall into this mess again? Didn’t you forgive me? Didn’t you cleanse me not quite long? Why me Lord?”

Well the answer is simple.

It is impossible for you and I to repent of that SIN or HABIT from the heart when we enjoy committing it.

Who will deny the fact that SIN is the most enjoyable act in the world. I mean, it is the most sweetest and enticing act to indulge in. Am talking from personal experience and facts.

We dont commit sin because we hate it, rather we commit sin because we enjoy it. If SIN, no matter the magnitude, either secret sin or open sin, is not enjoyable definitely none of us will ever commit it except we are not in our right senses.

QUESTION TO PONDER UPON:

I want you to pause for a moment and just imagine within your mind the greatest thing you hate the most with disgusting hatred in this world. If SIN was to be that thing would you commit it?

It is a fact that many of us wouldn’t commit it because we hate that very thing. So therefore, we need to accept the fact that sin is enjoyable. Whenever a sinner is drawn by the loving kindness of God to come before the throne of mercy, he or she must confess how much he enjoys committing this sin.

We need to be honest with God. This is what He needs from us- honesty. We need to quit playing games with God, deceiving ourselves. He knows all things. He knows us more than we know ourselves. He knows the recess of our hearts. He knows when we are honest or not.

SWEET TEMPTATION

The reason why a man, after confessing his sins and asking for cleansing and forgiveness, would after this go back to commit the same sin is because he enjoys the sin.

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:14-15

It is true we are in a world that is bent to sin. It is also true that some temptations are more from without than within. But it is equally true that temptation to sin in most cases would not arise if, in the first place, we don’t desire or long to have it. Temptation to commit a particular sin occur as a result of us enjoying the sin when we first committed it. The desire and longing to partake in the sin is still lurking in the recess of our hearts even when we go to God to confess them because we enjoied it. It is a fact that many of us make provision for most of the sin that we commit. No wonder Paul warned:

“. . . make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14

It is said of Moses:

“By faith Moses . . Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” Heb 11:24-25.

Moses refuse to enjoy the pleasures of sin. He chose to partake in the suffering of Christ than to enjoy sin for a season.

Let us carefully read this inspired commentary:

“It is true that Satan is the great originator of sin; yet this does not excuse any man for sinning; for he cannot force men to do evil. He tempts them to it, and makes sin look enticing and pleasant; but he has to leave it to their own wills whether they will do it or not. He does not force men to become intoxicated, neither does he force them to remain away from religious meetings; but he presents temptations in a manner to allure to evil, and man is a free moral agent to accept or refuse.”–Testimony for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 294, par. 1.

As we approach the throne of mercy in prayer, we need to confess the reality that we chose to commit a particular sin at our will because we enjoy the pleasures of sin. We need to include in our prayers that we acknowledge the fact that we love sin and enjoy it.

“Conversion is a work that most do not appreciate. It is not a small matter to transform an earthly, sin-loving mind and bring it to understand the unspeakable love of Christ, the charms of His grace, and the excellency of God, so that the soul shall be imbued with divine love and captivated with the heavenly mysteries. When he understands these things, his former life appears disgusting and hateful. He hates sin, and, breaking his heart before God, he embraces Christ as the life and joy of the soul. He renounces his former pleasures. He has a new mind, new affections, new interest, new will; his sorrows, and desires, and love are all new. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, which have heretofore been preferred before Christ, are now turned from, and Christ is the charm of his life, the crown of his rejoicing. Heaven, which once possessed no charms, is now viewed in its riches and glory; and he contemplates it as his future home, where he shall see, love, and praise the One who hath redeemed him by His precious blood.”–Testimony for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 294, par. 1.

We should pray thus:

“LORD I know sin is sweet, enjoyable and dwells in the recess of my heart, Help me learn how to hate sin with perfect hatred. Please uproot the desire to sin out of my heart. Eliminate the carnal mind that often lead me to partake in transgression. Implant in me the love for righteousness. Amen!”

Jesus “loved righteousness, and hated iniquity” let us therefore earnestly ask for the mind of Christ to hate sin with terrible hatred. Heb 1:9

 

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HOW TO KILL YOUR HUSBAND (Part two)


In Part one  we concluded with the thought that the only condition for this woman [you and I], who desire to gain deliverance form the bondage of her despotic husband, is to kill her husband [flesh, carnal mind, Old man, Old husband, body of sin]. But the question not answered in part one is this:

“Who does the killing; the woman or another?”

This is what we will seek to answer in this second part as we study from the Bible.

WAIT A MINUTE!

Do not read further unless you read part one on this topic. Your understanding of part two is based entirely on part one. Do well to read it before forging ahead.

THE FIRST MARRIAGE

We were able to identify, unequivocally, from the Scripture that the woman married to Satan (under the auspices of the old husband, old man, body of sin and carnal mind) is all humanity- all born of Adam. Therefore for us to successfully kill our husband, we need to know how we initially got ourselves into this unpleasant marriage. We need to ask:

“When was the first marriage with Satan/flesh/carnal mind consummated?”

It is written:

“Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men (including you and I), for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12. (Emphasis supplied)

The following statement will clarify this text better:

“As a result of Adam’s disobedience every human being is a transgressor of the law, sold under sin. Unless he repents and is converted, he is under bondage to the law, serving Satan, falling into the deceptions of the enemy, and bearing witness against the precepts of Jehovah.”- Heavenly Places, p. 146.

“When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity between sinful man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy.” – The Great Controversy (1911), p. 505.

Adam and Even dissolved their original marriage with Christ, which was consummated in the beginning of creation at Eden, and joined themselves to another husband when they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Gen 2:16, 17; 3:1-7). The result of that disobedience was a natural bent to evil that was transferred to their offspring. Adam and Eve lost their first marriage through spiritual adultery and married Satan. Ellen G. White, commenting on Genesis 3, wrote the following:

“The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist.”- Education, p. 29.

Our marriage was consummated on our behalf at Eden by our first parents. We were born into this world with a sinful, fallen, degraded nature. We came with a carnal mind bent to do evil and desperately wicked. We all are naturally in harmony with Satan and love to do his bidding.

Satan becomes the first husband the moment a child is born into this world. No one is born holy except the Son of God, although the Son of God, Jesus Christ, came into this world with a sinful flesh to do that which man could not do. He received all that Adam could pass to his posterity. But Jesus, though man, he was born of the The Holy Spirit at birth.

It is written of Christ:

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:3, 4.

Mrs. White also wrote:

No man inherits holiness as a birthright, nor can he, by any methods that he can devise, become loyal to God. “Without me,” Christ says, “ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Human righteousness is as “filthy rags.” But with God all things are possible. In the strength of the Redeemer, weak, erring man can become more than conqueror over the evil that besets him.”- Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 310.   

Our birthright is sinfulness and filthiness. All are born with a carnal mind which is enmity with God. (Romans 8:7). None of us were consulted in the first marriage with Satan. Our first parent contracted the marriage on our behalf and we all found ourselves in this pathetic situation. By nature, humanity became the lawful captive of Satan. We were plunged into the bondage and despotic power of Satan the sin master.

Again Mrs. White wrote beautifully:

By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: “Dead in trespasses and sins;” “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint;” “no soundness in it.” We are held fast in the snare of Satan, “taken captive by him at his will.” Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6; 2 Timothy 2:26.” – Steps to Christ, p. 43.

In fact Mrs. White said all born of Adam are lawful captive of Satan.

Fallen man is Satan’slawful captive. The missionof Jesus Christ was to rescue him from his power. Man is naturally inclined to follow Satan’s suggestions, and he cannot of himself successfully resist so terrible a foe, unless Christ, the mighty conqueror, dwells in him, guiding his desires, and giving him strength.”- Messages to Young People, p. 51

THE STRONGER MAN

To recap: The woman represent all humanity from the fall of Adam to the end of time. We were given to marriage against our will into the captive of Satan and we all long to be delivered from his cruelty. We are powerless to deliver ourselves because the flesh is weak. Since that which is born of the flesh is flesh we can not obey the Law of God. We may will it, but to perform that which is willed is not there. Satan, through his despotic power of the carnal mind or the evil seed planted in us, is far stronger than us to deliver ourselves from his bondage or unpleasant marriage.

As we struggle daily in our own futile strength and plead for deliverance from this body of death, a glimpse of light from another Man, Jesus Christ, shines in our heart. As this Man continue to woo us and convict us through His Holy spirit to accept Him as our new husband, we begin to see the sinfulness of our sin and greatly desire to contract a new marriage with Him. The most fascinating thing about this New Man is His supernatural power. His divine power is exceedingly and abundantly greater than the old husband. This New Man is far stronger than the old man making it possible for Him to totally eradicate and destroy the old man and give deliverance to the woman which in this case is you and I. Another interesting thing is that, it is this same Man who justifies us in the court of Law. He is our advocate and our high priest. When we are brought to the judgement bar, as a result of the Law condemning us, this Man will be our Advocate to justify us.

Jesus emphatically said:

“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” Luke 11:21-22.

The first strong man that keeps his goods is Satan. His rightful goods which he keeps is man or humanity. We are is rightful property because Adam sold us to him. Satan stole us from our original Husband and no one can rightfully take man out of his hand because he is strong and armed. All born of Adam are in bondage to his cruel power through the carnal mind or sinful mind that all were born with. This carnal mind is the power of Satan to led us to sin. Satan is powerless without the carnal mind. The carnal mind is his abode to rule over man. But the good news is this: There is another stronger than he and His name is JESUS CHRIST.

This stronger man “shall come upon him, and overcome him” if only we surrender our helpless will to Him. Jesus Christ will take from him all his goods and make them free. For it is written of Christ, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36.

The Son does not just set us free while the sin-master is living, far be it! rather the Son of God make us free. Jesus is in the businessnof making us free and not setting us free while the carnal mind is still alive. This is the exact reading of the text. The Son of God bids the old man/husband while he makes us free and to spoil his house. The Son of God, according to Luke 11:22, said, he “shall come upon him, and overcome” Satan. Mark, writing of the same account of the strong and stronger man said, “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Mark 3:27. Jesus will not only set us free but he will make us free while at the same time He binds the strong man.

Jesus, through Isaiah said:

“Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? Thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.” Isaiah 49:24, 25. Jesus promises to contend with Satan in out behalf. He said he will save us and our children [fruits] from his hand.

Please it should be clearly noted that at this point Satan is not yet literally bounded when we are delivered from sin or experience this new life, he will experience his literal bounding at the beginning of millennium reign when Christ shall come the second time.

The experience noted in this article is a spiritual work that Christ does in us and for us. It is only Christ that can deliver us from the despotic power of the carnal mind. What is bounded is the power of Satan which is the power of sin that reside in the flesh. This power is the carnal mind that is enmity towards God. This power must be taken away and destroyed by Christ.

Satan, after we experience this new life in Christ, will still be well and alive, even to tempt us and test us. He will persecute us, bring sickness, and throw blocks before us to make us stubble as we walk the new life in the Spirit. But we must not succumb to his tactics and allurement. So long we put on the lord Jesus Christ and we do not make provision for the flesh we shall not sin or fulfill the lust thereof (Romans 13:14).

But it is a sad news that many of us do not really desire to be made free from the attachment of the old husband. We enjoy to do his bidding because sin is sweet. Until we come to the point in our life when we say with Christ, “Lo, I come . . . to do thy will, O God” we shall continue to do the will of Satan which is nothing more than transgressing the Law of God (Hebrew 10:7).

The question we need to ask ourselves is this: “HOW IS THE OLD MAN DESTROYED?”

We have seen that Christ is the one who does the killing of the despotic husband but we have not yet answered how he does this. This would be answered in Part three.

HOW TO KILL YOUR HUSBAND (Part One)


As a married woman, have you ever wished your husband were dead in order to have peace of mind and freedom to do whatever you desire doing?

Someone might say right now:

“I do hate my HUSBAND. He is rude, controlling, unbearable, immoral, demanding, wicked, insulting, harsh, dictatorial, unloving, fornicator etc. I hate him. I know when he goes out with his friends, he is busy watching other women lustfully and cheating on me. He is such a creep! He is such a pervert! I am so full of rage right now and I feel like breaking something. I just wish I had never met him. Why can’t he just die or leave me alone that I might have peace? My God I can’t stand it anymore! HOW CAN I KILL THIS WICKED HUSBAND OF MINE?

Well i have a good news for you. THERE IS A WAY OUT! But in this case we are not talking about your literal husband whom you are married to but your spiritual husband, even Satan, whose power reside in the flesh or carnal mind. Therefore, this article is not a “how to kill your spouse” article and i am not advocating for anyone to do that. The husband is the Satan but Satan cannot be killed until christ’s coming after 1000 years in heaven, but Satan works through the medium of the Old man, body of death, flesh or the carnal mind. Therefore it is the flesh or carnal mind that must be killed or put to death.

You are not alone in this predicament. All born of Adam, born of flesh and blood, are experiencing this same issue and the Bible has given us the answer to this question. To know how to KILL YOUR HUSBAND, you must follow this series of article till the end in order to grasp the solution. Let us begin with the marriage problem.

THE MARRIAGE PROBLEM

Just as the earthly sanctuary was given to Moses as an illustration of the heavenly Sanctuary, God has designed the earthly marriage between male and female to be an illustration of the heavenly/spiritual marriage between Christ and His church. For it is written:

“But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual.” 1 Cor. 15:46 (RSV).

The physical or natural (KJV) comes first before the spiritual. This is an important Biblical principle which we need to take note of. The Lord likens the earthly or physical things of this world to the things of heaven because our feeble and weak mind cannot fully comprehend the kingdom of God. Christ during his earthly ministry used the things of nature; the things around us to explain the kingdom of God. Thus, Paul in Romans 7 chose the marriage relationship as a proper illustration of the Gospel truth.

Roman 7:1-6 is what I regard as the Gospel of Jesus Christ simplified. Although much of what Paul wrote is “hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest . . . unto their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:16. But as we shall see in this study that Romans 7 is one of the simplest illustration of the Gospel truth that one could ever find in the scripture.

Let us carefully and prayerfully read what the following verses:

Romans 7:1-6

“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

An Explanation

God said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Gen 2:24.

It is the law of God that binds both parties together to become one flesh and not two. This law is the law of marriage instituted by god himself. It is the moral law. The man and the woman are united together in mind and spirit and no man is allowed to separate them because the Lord has joined them together (Matthew 19:5, 6). The Law has dominion over a man (or woman) as long as he (or she) lives. (Rom 7:1; 1 Cor. 7:39). He (or she) cannot leave the marriage or break the marriage covenant to marry another person without any genuine reason. If he or she leaves the marriage or break the marriage covenant for another marriage relationship, while the first husband is still alive, the Law will condemn such person for committing adultery (Rom 7:3).

The nature of this marriage is explained as follows:

We see a woman who is tired and frustrated of her marriage. She finds herself bound to the law of marriage against her will. She didn’t bargain for such a marriage. Her husband is cruel, wicked, abusive, harsh, unloving and also controls her against her will to do evil. He is a dictator; forcing her to perform the evil which she wouldn’t want to perform. She finds herself under a severe bondage. She cries daily to be delivered from such unsympathetic and inconsiderate husband. As she lay on her bed daily, she often thinks of how to kill her husband. She reason daily, “How on earth can I free myself from my evil Husband?”

She only has two options before her. These two options were given by Jesus and Apostle Paul.

  1. Adultery: The woman can give her husband a letter of divorce to terminate the marriage if she catches her husband in the act of adultery. By doing this she is permitted to marry another person of her choice and she is free from the condemnation of the law. She can also decide to commit adultery with another man in order to receive a letter of divorce from her husband which will bring freedom from her cruel husband. “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Mat 5:31-32 (c.f Matt 19:7-9).
  2. Death: When the man dies then the woman is free to marry another person of her choice. “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” Rom 7:2-3 (c.f 1 Cor. 7:39).

The first option of adultery is broken into two. That is, the man committing adultery or the woman committing adultery. In the case of the desperate and frustrated woman illustrated above, the husband would not opt for the option of committing adultery. He is so attached to the woman that he wouldn’t have time to commit adultery with another woman. Even if he commits adultery with another, he is so clever in the act that he can never be caughtb for it is only when you are caught in the act of adultery can the woman write a letter of divorce. Therefore the cruel husband would not choose to leave the woman in any way.

The option of committing adultery by the woman is also very dangerous. You see, if the woman is caught committing adultery, the Law that binds her to her husband is the same law that will condemn her to death. In fact, like the woman taken in adultery in John 8:1-11, the law demands her life by stoning her to death (vs. 5). Therefore she cannot choose the option of committing adultery because she will either be jailed or put to death depending on the law of the land and this will even give the husband an upper hand of marrying another woman. She is not as clever as the husband for she would be caught if she commits adultery.

The woman is then left with the second option which is also broken into two.

The option of committing murder by killing her husband is in the same manner dangerous. The husband is far intelligent than her. He is smarter, wiser, and stronger than her. Therefore, she cannot even succeed a hairbreadth. If she is caught in the act of trying to kill her husband in her strength, power and cleverness, the law will condemn her and she shall be found guilty. The knowledge of this truth leads to a deeper frustration. She thought within herself:

“if only I can find a way to kill my husband and at the same time remain vindicated by the law for doing so, then I will be free. But how can I accomplish this plan?”

As she contemplates daily on how to accomplish her mission, Lo, she met another handsome looking Man who is in direct opposite, in every respect, to her present husband. This new Man is kind, loving, gentle, good, sympathetic, strong (even far stronger than her husband), smarter, far intelligent, caring, joyful and patient. “Living with him”, she reasoned, “will bring life, blessing, fruitfulness and peace to her bitter soul.”

But the problem is this:

The Law forbids any marriage outside her present marriage while her husband is still alive even though she desires to marry this new Man that is showing her all the love and kindness she ever desire. It is impossible to marry this new Man because the law will regard the act adulterous despite the much wooing from the new Man. In fact, contrary to his nature, this new Man cannot marry the woman until the old husband is dead. The solution to her despicable marriage is for her husband and her children to be done away with and eradicated before a new marriage can be consummated. She so much hates the husband that her fruits or children is loathed with passion. The only way she can achieve this solution is to look for someone who can kill her husband and her children and at the same time remain vindicated or justified. She needs a power outside of her present marriage that is far stronger than her that will do a clean job.

But the question yet to be answered is this: “Who can deliver her from this mess she has plunge into?”

THE APPLICATION

“Why all this” some one might ask.

In Romans 7:1-6 Paul was using the analogy of earthly marriage to explain our spiritual marriage or union with Satan (satan works through the flesh and all its passion) and Christ. The questions we now need to ask ourselves are these:

  1. Who is the woman in Romans 7?
  2. Who is the first husband?
  3. Who is the second man wooing her?
  4. What are the fruit unto God and fruit unto death?

The Woman

We are represented as the woman. It is clearly stated in Romans 7:4 which says:

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

The First husband

The first husband in the actual and primary sense is Satan but in the secondary sense is the flesh. Paul said, “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” Rom 7:5.

“When we were in the flesh” could be compared to a woman living in the house with a man whom you are not in love with. The phrase “the motions of sins” reads “our sinful passions” in RSV. These sinful passions reside in the flesh. That means sinful passions or propensities are in our very nature. It is woven directly into our very being.

Ellet Joseph Waggoner rightly puts it:

Sin is in the heart of man; “for from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; all these evil things come from within.” Mark 7:21-23. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jer.17:9. Sin is in every fiber of our being by nature. We are born in sin, and our life is sin, so that sin can not be taken from us without taking our life. What I need is freedom from my own personal sin, – that sin which not only has been committed by me personally, but which dwells in the heart, – the sin which constitutes the whole of my life . . . Sin is in all flesh.”- The Glad Tidings, p. 86-88.

The sin that any one of us will commit reside already in the flesh, nature and heart of man that has not been renewed. It is through the flesh that Satan arouses us to disobey the Law of God. He tempts us by what we see, feel, smell and eat. Through the senses of the soul he seeks to gain control of the mind of man. He seeks to awaken the sinfulness in the nature of man that he might transgress the Law of God.

The works of the flesh are nothing but the works of Satan. The works of righteousness, done through faith in Jesus, are nothing but the fruit of the Holy Spirit. In the writings of Paul the flesh is regarded as “body of sin,” “our old man,” “body of this death,” “carnal mind.” (Romans 6:6; 7:24; 8:7). The flesh is evil because it accommodates another power which is regarded as the sin-master or carnal mind that controls use against our will if we are not renewed.

The flesh is also weak and cannot obey the law of God. The law of sin is in our member (flesh) which is continually warring against the law of God in our mind. (Romans 7:23). The war between the flesh and the Spirit is seen pointed out in Gal 5:17:

“For the desires (passions) of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would” (RSV).

This warfare between the flesh and Spirit is preventing us to do the good we would have desired to do. Gal 5:17 validates what Christ said in Gethsemane about the ability of the flesh. He said:

“watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41.

The flesh is weak and incapable of doing any good things that we might be willing to do no matter how hard we try. Therefore, the first husband, the husband whom the woman got married to is none other than Satan who controls us against our will through our sinful flesh, carnal mind and sinful heart desires.

The second husband

The second man or husband is Jesus Christ. Paul said:

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Romans 7:4

Who was raised from the dead?

“Jesus Christ our Lord . . . the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:3, 4.

The fruits

The fruit unto God are the fruit of the Spirit listed in Gal 5:22, 23. While fruit unto death are the fruit of Satan or works of the flesh listed in Gal 5:19-21. It should be remembered that, the first marriage with Satan had led the woman to bear fruit unto death. Both her self-righteous and sinful deeds were done through the help of Satan. All are righteousness, before God, are filthy rags because they were done through the spirit of Satan.

Killing the Children

There was a time the woman once thought of killing the children. The children represent her actions, fruits, lifestyle and deeds that reveals to the world who she was actually married to, either to Satan or to Christ.

She was busy cutting the branches and plucking the fruits to solve the problem. But the more she cuts the branches and plucks the fruits, the more the branches and fruit reappears, even in a greater degree. Little did she know that Satan will continue to use her and implant in her his evil seed even against her own will. Provided the husband is still alive and she still stays with him, in the flesh, she will continue to bear fruit for him no matter how many of her children she kills daily.

The solution therefore is not how hard she needs to try in destroying the children; the solution to her problem of bearing sinful fruits is the death of her husband. The problem is not the fruits, the problem is the source of fruits. That is why in the plan of salvation, revival must precede reformation. Mrs. White beautifully differentiate the two work of grace that God need to do in man before he can be accepted into His heavenly bliss. She penned the following:

“Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.”- Review and Herald, February 25, 1902 par. 8

Reformation is the cutting of the branches and plucking of the fruits and the reorganization of ones lifestyle which can only be done through the help of the Holy Spirit when one has experience true and genuine revival—the spiritual death of the first husband.

Destroying the Law

Another option that has once occurred to her is the doing away or destruction of the Law that binds her to her husband. The problem is not with the Law. A change or alteration of the Law would not solve the problem. This has led many professed Christians to regard the Law of God (Ten Commandments) as irrelevant.

They say, “We are not under the Law but under grace” and by doing so they tend to abolish the law to their own damnation, while in reality the Law is absolutely still binding upon all. Paul, in the same Romans 7 verses 7, 12-14, 16, 22, 25, has the following to say about the perpetuity of the Law:

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet . . . Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. . . I consent unto the law that it is good . . . For I delight in the law of God after the inward man . . . I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Rom 7:7-25.

Thus the issue is not with the Law because it’s the same law which binds the first marriage that will bind the second marriage. The Law of marriage is an eternal principle as long as life shall last. The change that must come in to solve the problem is the death of her husband– the old man, the sin-master, the carnal mind, the flesh, the mind of Satan or the stoning heart.

The old husband must die before the new Husband can come in. It is the old husband that is to be eradicated and done away with not the Law that condemned’s adultery or fornication.

It should be clearly noted by all that:

The same law that condemns any marriage contract outside the present marriage is the same Law that commends or encourage remarriage when the husband dies. The condition for freedom from the present marriage is the death of the first husband. When the husband dies, then a new marriage relationship can be consummated and the peace the woman seeks can finally be secured. Without this experience we shall continue to serve Satan, through the flesh, and bear fruits unto his honor.

To be continued in part two

THE DELIVERER


The Pagan Proverb often quoted by many professed Christians ignorantly is this:

“God (or heaven) helps those who help themselves.”

The truth is this:

“God helps those who CANNOT help themselves”

This helpless souls are weak and feeble and have acknowledge their helplessness.

The Psalmist said “I was brought low, and he helped me.” Psalm 116:6.

When WE feel our wisdom is sufficient to save us, then the power of the Infinite One can not step in to deliver.

Paul, as a convicted sinner, cried out helplessly:

“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Lest I perish. (Romans 7:24)

There is only one option:

We must be delivered, or we perish. A power outside of us must do the work on our behalf. We must be saved by grace, and not by our works.

It is dangerous to believe in your own strength in the matter of sin, satan, and the world. This three forces are far superior than us. We are vitally attached to them and cannot detached ourselves except a Power stronger than these three forces comes in.

We must be like the canaanite woman, whose daughter was vex with the devil, she met with Jesus and pleaded for help by crying out “Lord, help me.” Matthew 15:25.

Peter also recognized his helplessness when he was sinking in the sea of sin and cried out: “Lord, save me” Lest I perish and Jesus stretched forth his hand and delivered him. Matthew 14:30, 31.

There is only one deliverer: Jesus Christ.

You cannot be saved or delivered by TRYING. You can only be saved by you DYING. Dying to self is the option that we have to be delivered from Sin, Satan and the World. “There shall come out of Zion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Rom 11:26.

“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom 7:25, 1 Cor 15:57.

All of Heaven will come to our rescue when we cry out to God in helpless desperation to be delivered from Sin. God is ready to evacuate all the infinite host of heavenly angels just to save you from the prowls of Satan and his emissaries.

For it is written for our admonished that Jesus will save His people from their sin. (Matt 1:21).

HOW?

By laying ourselves helpless on him and crying out to him in desperation: deliver me from the power of sin, satan and the world.

THE DEADLY SEED OF ENVY


In June 28, 2016, Punch online news reported that a 22-year-old woman, Bara’atu Rabiu, was remanded in the Minna Medium Security Prison for allegedly cutting off the penis of her rival’s one-month-old baby, Buhari. When the police public relation officer in the state was asked why she committed such a gruesome act, he said:

“The woman used a sharp knife to cut through the genitals of the one-month-old baby. She had been married to her husband for seven years without any child. So, out of pressure, the man decided to marry a second wife. When the second wife had a baby, she became angry and frustrated. She thought the best thing to do was to kill the child.”

In one word she was ENVIOUS. She was filled with the Satanic spirit of envy towards her husband’s second wife for being able to give the him a Child, and to make the matter worse, a male Child.

The wise man, Solomon, ask a question which he could not give an answer:

“Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?” Pro 27:4.

Who is able to Stand before Envy? definitely, no one.

WHAT IS ENVY?

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these . . . Envyings . .  and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal 5:19-21

The Bible defines Envy as:

“one of the fruit that a carnal, fleshly man bears or produces which shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

According to Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary:

Envy is defined as:

“Pain, uneasiness, mortification (deep shame or embarrassment) or discontent excited by the sight of another’s superiority or success, accompanied with some degree of hatred or malignity, and often or usually with a desire or an effort to depreciate the person, and with pleasure in seeing him depressed. Envy springs from pride, ambition or love, mortified that another has obtained what one has a strong desire to possess.”

From this definition the following can be noted:

Envying occurs 1.) when we sight another person’s superiority, 2.) or another person’s success, 3.) which brings pain and discontentment, 4.) and this leads to a strong hatred, strong malignity. That is, a strong desire to do evil, 5.) and a wicked desire to depreciate the person and make him feel depressed.

LATIN WORD

It is imperative to note that the word Envy is derived from the Latin word invidia meaning “to look against, to look at in a hostile manner or to look with enmity.”

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ENVY AND JEALOUSY

In the NKJV, the Bible separate Jealousy from Envy. This shows that the two are different in some degree.

Jealousy is defined as:

“That passion of peculiar uneasiness which arises from the fear that a rival may rob us of the affection of one whom we love, or the suspicion that he has already done it; or it is the uneasiness which arises from the fear that another does or will enjoy some advantage which we desire for ourselves. A man’s jealousy is excited by the attentions of a rival to his favorite lady. A woman’s jealousy is roused by her husband’s attentions to another woman. The candidate for office manifests a jealousy of others who seek the same office. The jealousy of a student is awakened by the apprehension that his fellow will bear away the palm of praise. In short, jealousy is awakened by whatever may exalt others, or give them pleasures and advantages which we desire for ourselves. Jealousy is nearly allied to envy, for jealousy, before a good is lost by ourselves, is converted into envy, after it is obtained by others.”

SECULAR PSYCHOLOGISTS AND PHILOSOPHERS AGREE TO THIS DIFFERENCE

Even secular Psychologists and Philosophers acknowledge the difference in feelings and thoughts of these two works of the flesh.  In 1993, Gerod Parrot draws attention to the distinct thoughts and feelings that occur in jealousy and envy.[1] He differentiated the two as follows:

The common experience of Jealousy

  • Fear of loss
  • Suspicion of or anger about a perceived betrayal
  • Low self-esteem and sadness over perceived loss
  • Uncertainty and loneliness
  • Fear of losing an important person to another
  • Distrust

The common experience of envy

  • Feelings of inferiority
  • longing
  • Resentment of circumstances
  • Ill will towards envied person often accompanied by guilt about these feelings
  • Motivation to improve
  • Desire to possess the attractive rival’s qualities
  • Disapproval of feelings

Parrot acknowledges that people can experience envy and jealousy at the same time. Feelings of envy about a rival can even intensify the experience of jealousy. This is in line with the Bible teaches. A corrupt tree can produce nothing other than evil fruits which are regarded as the works of the flesh. This works of the flesh are embedded in the life of the natural or carnal man. Therefore, whosoever is envious of another’s advantage has the fruit of jealousy dwelling in his heart at the same time because they are all children from the same husband—Satan – who works through the carnal or sinful nature of man.

The Greek Philosopher, Socrates, said “Envy is the Ulcer of the soul.”

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WHO WAS THE FIRST TO BECOME ENVIOUS?

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isa 14:12-14

Satan was envious of God’s throne and envious of Christ’s position.

Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, 385

Envy is one of the most satanic traits that can exist in the human heart, and it is one of the most baleful in its effects. Says the wise man, “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?” Proverbs 27:4. It was envy that first caused discord in heaven, and its indulgence has wrought untold evil among men.”

Ellen G. White,  The Great controversy, Review and Herald, September 14, 1897. Par. 7

Envy and jealousy are diseases which disorder all the faculties of the being. They originated with Satan in paradise. He started on the track of apostasy, and his jealous spirit caused him to see many things that were objectionable, even in heaven.”

WHERE IN THE BIBLE WAS JEALOUSY AND ENVY DISPLAYED?

“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” Gen 4:1-8

Cain was both Jealous and Envious of Abel. These two traits progressively occurred in him. How was he Jealous which was later converted to envy.

He was Jealous of Abel in the sense that:

  • God’s respect for Abel awakened Cain’s Jealousy towards Abel (v. 5);
  • This respect brought fear, suspicious and change of countenance that his brother will rob him of God’s affection and love (v5);
  • He later knew that Abel had rob him of God’s Love when God spoke to him in vs. 6, 7.

He was envious in the sense that:

  • He felt God regarded his sacrifice as inferior to that of Abel. (v.5);
  • He received disapproval from God because he did not do right (v. 7);
  • This disapproval brought pain, discontentment, anger, hatred, ill-will towards his brother who’s sacrifice God accepted (v.5, 6);
  • There was a strong desire to depreciate his brother or kill his brother which is regarded as sin that lies at the door of his heart (v. 7);
  • This uncontrolled strong desire led him to kill his brother (v. 8).

Envy arises after Jealousy had been awakened. Jealousy comes first before envy. Again, Noah Webster put it rightly:

“In short, jealousy is awakened by whatever may exalt others, or give them pleasures and advantages which we desire for ourselves. Jealousy is nearly allied to envy, for jealousy, before a good is lost by ourselves, is converted into envy, after it is obtained by others.”

CAN A PERSON PRODUCE THE FRUIT OF ENVY AND REMAIN A CHRISTIAN?

To answer this question, we must look at what the Scripture says about frui bearing.

“Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.” James 3:11-12

“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Mat 7:16-20

Envy is primarily a product of a carnal man; men who have not experience the converting power of the Holy Spirit. We might be in the church, working for the service of God, and still produce this evil fruit, the reason being that the carnal mind or the old man is still alive. We were told that the carnal mind or mind of sin cannot obey the Law of God (Rom 8:7).

Paul in 1 Cor. 3:1-4 wrote to the brethren in the Church of Corinth who claim to be Christians be are still full of envy because they had refuse the milk of God’s word.

 He wrote: “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?” 1Cor 3:1-4

These professed Christians are in the Church claiming to be part of Christ but at the same time envying one another. Paul rebuked such a life and regarded them as carnal men, walking in the flesh. Since these people are still carnal and live according to the flesh, they do not retain God in their mind and this consequently lead to all manner of evil works which envy is one of them (Rom 1:28, 29). Such a person is consequently not part of Christ for Christ can not bear the fruit or works of Satan.

Although the brethren in Corinth had at one time accepted Jesus Christ into their life, they were still living the old life because they had refused to die to the old life and they had refuse to be fed by the sincere milk of the word of God (1 Peter 2:2). Those who do not eat the flesh of Christ as meat and drink the blood of Christ as water will not have life in them to produce the fruit of the Spirit. (John 6:53-58, 63).

Therefore, when a Christian begin to manifest the fruit of envy then he is definitely not part of the vine. For Christ said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Joh 15:1-5.

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS AN ENVIOUS SPIRIT?

  1. Anger: Cain envied his brother and this led to anger (NKJV) or wroth (KJV). Gen 4:3-5. Also like the opening story. The woman was bitterly angry with her husband and the second wife.
  2. Quarrel (NKJV) or Strive (KJV): Isaac was evicted and he was quarreled with or was strove with by the philistines. Gen 26:12-22.
  3. Hatred: Joseph’s brothers hated him and envied him because his father loved him more than the other children and this almost led to them killing him. Acts 7:9; Gen 37:1-11.
  4. Matrimonial disorder: The opening story is not new. It happended in Bible times between Rachel and Leah. Rachel envied Leah because she could not bare Jacob a child. This angered Jacob and led to his marriage of many wives. Gen 30:1-21.
  5. Murder: An envious man/woman can kill his brother like in the case of Cain who murdered his brother due to envy. Gen 4:6-8, 1 John 3:12. It can also kill the one who has the evil spirit of envy emotionally and spiritually. Job 5:2. Jesus was delivered to be crucified because of envy. Mark 15:8-15.
  6. Sickness and decay to the bone: Envy have drastic effect on the soul and health of the carrier of such evil emotion. Prov 14:30.
  7. Confusion and Evil works: Satan is the author of confusion because God is the author of order. James 3:16-18; 1 Cor. 14:33.

WHEN CAN I BE JEALOUS OR ENVIOUS?

Only God has the right to be Jealous and Envious over us because he own all that is in this world. He also has right over us because He has purchased us from Satan and Sin by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.

“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” Exo 20:5

But we can be jealous just as the Lord is. Not to be jealous or envious of what we do not have or what we desire to have but for the service of God. This is also to have zeal for God’s service and see it progress.

Like Elijah who was zealous or Jealous for God’s service to progress.

“And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” 1 Kings 19:13-14

Even Jesus was jealous or zealous or envious for the house of His Father.

“And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” John 2:13-17.

This is the only exemption. Anything outside of this kind of jealousy or envy is a sin. We also need to be careful as we exhibit such spirit even when we think we are doing the right thing so as not to wound any soul whom Christ had died for.

HOW THEN SHALL WE BE DELIVERED FROM THIS BONDAGE

  1. To be delivered is from the spirit we must experience genuine conversion by dying to the Old nature and putting on the new nature. Romans 6:6, 7, 18, 22; Romans 13:12-14; Col 4:22-24; 2 Cor. 5:17; Titus 3:1-7.

Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, Review and Herald, September 14, 1897. Par 9.

Genuine conversion is needed, not once in years, but daily. This conversion brings man into a new relation with God. Old things, his natural passions and hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong, pass away, and he is renewed and sanctified. But this work must be continual; for as long as Satan exists, he will make an effort to carry on his work. He who strives to serve God will encounter a strong undercurrent of wrong. His heart needs to be barricaded by constant watchfulness and prayer, or else the embankment will give way; and like a mill-stream, the undercurrent of wrong will sweep away the safeguard. No renewed heart can be kept in a condition of sweetness without the daily application of the salt of the word. Divine grace must be received daily, or no man will stay converted.”

  1. Ask God for a new heart and new spirit daily: Psalm 51:1-3,10
  2. Ask God for what you don’t have because all good gifts are from Him. James 1:17; 4:1-3; 1 John 5:14, 15; Matt 21:22.
  3. Trust in the Lord: Psalm 37:1-5
  4. Feed on God’s word daily to purify your heart. 1 Cor. 3:1-3; 1 Peter 2:2; John 17:17; 15:3.
  5. Be content with what God gives you. 1 Timothy 6:6.

As we wait for Christ second coming we are to put the advice of the wise man before our face often:

“Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked. For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.” Pro 24:19, 20.

May our candle as Christians never be put off. May the Oil of the Holy Spirit continue to keep us burning until Christ appearing. Amen!

[1] Parrot, W.G. & Smith, R.H. (1993). Distinguishing the experiences of envy and jealousy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 906–920.

How to Cite this article: Odunuga, O. E, “The deadly seed of envy?” keepyoufromfalling ministry. Retrive 10.00am. July 5, 2016 from https://keepyoufromfalling.com/2016/07/05/the-deadly-seed-of-envy/