We need to constantly keep in mind
that the devils favorite weapon is discouragement.
There are several different types of bullets that he loads into that weapon.
One is a supercharged heavy grained load of guilt in a full metal jacket,
and it’s at least a 50 caliber round every time.
It’s enough to blow away any life with God,
if you aren’t wearing that impregnable body armor.
Everything up there right after “He that overcomes” sounds pretty good to me but I’m still wondering why this text was even written! Isn’t It God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit who are doing all the work? Is it talking about overcoming the desire to do it on my own, or overcoming the temptation to get too busy to spend time daily with God?
If I have to be an over comer then I’m never going to make it, because I’ve already tried that and I haven’t done to well with it!
I had tried to change certain things that I knew were wrong, and my failures made it all seem hopeless. “Then,” Morris says, “I thought that perhaps I’ll just automatically stop sinning the older I got”…
“Sinless by senility!”
Morris is a funny guy, NO? ;o)
If you have been reading these notes and have never watched the videos then you are missing out on some Godly Humor from these two guys.
So… Righteousness by senility is the answer?
This constant concern for my inability to succeed
caused me great anguish, and so I had just given up.
Then Morris would come back after a few weeks and give it another shot.
Me. I tabled the whole concept for many years.
Here’s another of the devil’s favorite texts.
Well, we all know that we have sinned knowingly, more than once in our lives, so knowing the extent of this verse, now there is of course no hope for us!
So Morris decided, after many failed attempts, to go and asked the good people how they managed to keep from sinning after three years, and they said,
“Well, you simply follow the James 4:7 instructions…
So he tried it, just like I did, with the same results.
He failed and became even more discouraged!
Then Morris considered Martin Luther’s Predestination theory, that maybe he was simply predestined to be lost. But then he would come to his senses & decide he needed to give it another shot, only to run into another one of the devil’s favorite texts.
He decided that maybe prayer would help,
and so he began to pray,
& that lead to another of the devils favorite texts…
Well, so I have to overcome my sins before He can hear me? Now, this is going to be a problem because I’ve figured out that I can’t overcome my sins unless He hears me! That’s a major catch 22.
The sign says, “Honk for service” and I need my horn repaired!
But then one day Morris received this break through, and it changed his life! He was reading about the book of Galatians from a very old writer, so old he doesn’t even remember his name, & the writer pointed out that, ‘sin is not what we usually think it is’.
Isn’t sin about being bad, performing poorly, not doing all the right things? NO?
Not according to this guy. He said that those things were the result of sin!
He says that sin is living life apart from GOD. Sin is separation from GOD.
So, where’s my proof?
Back to THIS verse again?
Yep! Think about it!
It always comes back to the relationship you are developing and nurturing, the one that is growing stronger daily, the one that you just can’t live without!
So when Jesus says that, the Holy spirit convicts the world of sin because
“they do not believe (or trust) in Me.”
What does that tell you?
Sin is, failing to have a trusting relationship with GOD!
The devil didn’t sin because he broke the 10 commandments…
The devil sinned when he thought that he could do just fine
living on his own without GOD in his life,
which doesn’t make any sense since it was God who created him.
So, from this, Morris came up with this premise.
There is a difference between sin, & sinzzzz!?
Sin is separation from God, or living your life apart from God, and Sins, are a result of that Sin.
So, once he’d come up with that concept,
he decided he’d better go back and look at the devils favorite texts again
with this thought in mind, and to his surprise,
all of these texts now turned into promises instead of threats!
Now take a look at Rev 3:5 again.
Wow, now were talking about a doable situation here.
Anyone can overcome living life apart from God,
even the very weakest person, with the least amount of will power,
because God has promised to meet each and every one of us
right where we are!
So, If I overcome living life apart from God then the rest of the text becomes a promise…
Re 3:5 (NKJV) “but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
This is good news now!
So, how about Hebrews 10?
26 (NKJV) For if we sin willfully [by living life apart from God] after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
What truth is being refereed to here?
Well, the sacrifice is still there, it just isn’t there for me, because the way that I continue receiving the sacrifice for sins, is by maintaining that life saving relationship with Him! But, this does not say that I can never again chose to live my life in relationship to Him! So this is also good news.
Now, how about James 4, and how about we read it in context with the rest of the verses.
Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners;
and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
When read in context it is easy to see that the phrase “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” is surrounded by relationship phrases. So Morris says, “I went back to the ‘good people’ and said “’why did you not mention the relationship phrases that are included in here?”’
They said, “well, everybody knows you need to have a relationship with God, but you also need to exercise your grit and determination and resistance factors in there so you help God by helping yourself.” I’ll let you in on a little secret…
God doesn’t NEED your help folks!
He can handle the devil just fine on His own!
So, Morris went to the experts in the Greek language (the ones who teach it) & asked them about this verse, and they came back with this explanation. They said that it is saying that “the way that you resist” the devil is to submit to God by coming to Jesus.
The way that you resist the devil is to draw nigh to God!
So what about those difficult texts on prayer?
Isa 59:1 (KJV) ¶ Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
Ps 66:17-19 (RSV) I cried aloud to him, and he was praise enthusiastically with my tongue.
18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
19 But truly God has listened; he has given heed to the voice of my prayer.
Remembering what we discovered about conditional & unconditional prayer makes the solution to these texts instantly evident. It is referring to special request prayers as the prayers not being heard. God ALWAYS hears the prayers of repentance, or praise!
Now, instead of reading just verse 4 of Hebrews 12, lets read 1 – 4 and get the context of what it’s saying.
Heb 12:1 (KJV) ¶ Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 ¶ Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
What is the sin that so easily besets all of us?
It is our self centered nature that separates us from God.
We naturally tend to spend all of our time on self interests
& they exclude any time for God.
The surveys done in Christian Colleges among students studying to be Ministers of the Gospel, resulted in just 20% of the students admitting that they had a daily ongoing relationship (time spent daily in getting to know God better) with God.
This same survey was done in the schools of many different denominations with the same 20% results!
“The Sin” IS living life apart from God!
The difficulty some have with verse 4 is that they are not reading it in context. It is simply saying “compare yourself to Jesus, how HE resisted unto blood! You haven’t done THAT!
And verse 3 is another great promise saying,
..consider (or focus on) Him… lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
So, it’s our relationship with Him that gives us strength to keep our minds focused upon that saving relationship with God!
Can it get any simpler than that?
So what was Jesus ‘striving unto blood’ against,
since He had no interest in sin whatsoever.
What was HE (4…resisted unto blood, striving against sin.) resisting, and what sin was He striving against?
Jesus was disgusted & repulsed by sin. He had no interest in sin whatsoever, but He loved the sinner. So, if you are disgusted by something you are not going to have a difficult time managing to NOT DO THAT! So Jesus wasn’t striving against sins! Jesus was striving against THE SIN!
The devil knew that he could beat Jesus if he could get Jesus to depend upon himself, instead of His total dependence on His Father! Jesus doing everything on his own, instead of depending on God, was a lot tougher temptation for Him then it is for us, because he actually had the power to do it on His own.
But, He came to show us how to live life with
total dependence upon God,
and so He had to strive to maintain that faith in God that
God would DO what God HAD PROMISED HE would DO!
As our perfect example He had to LET GOD DO IT!
Remember the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness to turn some stones into bread. Jesus hadn’t eaten for almost 6 weeks so what’s wrong with making a meal right? Wasn’t He being tempted to do something right? Jesus would have been using HIS own power instead of asking His Father to provide for Him.
The devil tempts us every day to go out and do what’s right!
He just wants us to do it WITHOUT GOD!
The devils entire focus every day is on getting us to do everything apart from a relationship with God. That’s it in it’s entirety. There’s nothing else to tell here folks! The devil finds what is of the most interest to each of us and tries to get us to focus solely upon those goals.
The debate over the nature of Christ has split Christians throughout the history of the church. How could he have been tempted as we are? He was ½ God ½ man, right?
The only way that this statement makes sense, is when it is taken in the true sense that THE SIN is the ONLY one that really matters! If everything that we do without God is worthless… & If everything that we do with God is ALL that matters… That makes the debate fairly easy to figure out.
But people want to make a point of the “in all points tempted like as we are” part of the verse, but when that is analyzed by the Greek experts they come back with the following variation that they deem to be a more accurate translation.
To every extent covers every age throughout time, where as in all Points it would seem that Jesus would have needed to live in this day and age in order to have the “tempted in all POINTS” covered. They didn’t have the temptations of the internet that we have today so, how could that even come close?
The point that really needs to be made is that it is when you have the power that you are actually tempted to use it! We don’t HAVE the power inherent in us that Jesus had, and yet we are still tempted to try to do it all ourselves. Think of how much greater the temptation would be for us to do it ourselves if in fact we had the power that Jesus had!
But Jesus refused to use that power, and instead He gave us the perfect example of how to live our lives in a close relationship with God, the source of ALL power. What a blessing that was. Once we have figured out the truth about what sin REALLY is, then what used to be a whole lot of tough texts, now become easy to explain.
1st John is full of texts that can be explained in no other way.
The real sin is living life apart from God. The transgression of the law is the result of Sin. All this seems to be nothing more than the splitting of hairs… until you realize that on the one hand, the focus is on sin, whereas on the other hand it is a focus on the life saving relationship with God & developing that relationship is the only way to enjoy eternal life with Him!
IF the complete definition of sin is
“Failing to abide in a relationship with God”,
then there is absolutely no problem with understanding this verse.
So, then the opposite must also be true. If I am in a relationship with God,
I am NOT sinning!
You mean no mater what else I do it is no longer sin?
Morris says that “I might still be sinzing, (a new word) but I will not be sinning. In other words, I may still be falling and failing due to the momentum of the past faults and failures (habits & addictions) of this sinful mortal body, but I will NOT be committing THE SIN of intentionally turning my back on, or separating myself from God.
The example that Morris uses is the disciples.
While they were with Jesus, living and abiding with Him they were not sinning, because they were in that relationship with Him.
They were however still sinzing, bickering about who would be the greatest in his kingdom, and letting their tempers get the best of them from time to time, but they weren’t sinning the sin unto death. That sin is choosing to live life apart from God.
Isn’t it good news when we discover the difference between the sin unto death, and the life saving relationship that we may enjoy each and every day with our Creator? What a blessing it is to understand that it is that life saving friendship with Jesus that excludes us from ever being judged, because not only is Jesus Our Counsel for the defense, but He is also The Judge. When you are friends with The Judge, He has you covered with His Perfect Life!