Five Instructions about Recovery
Would you agree that some aspects of your private behaviors are not what they should be; that you have a hidden life that
- holds you in it’s grip
- you would just as soon keep from the eyes of others?
It’s about that pesky thing you do; that something that you know before hand you shouldn’t indulge in, and that afterwards feels shameful and pointless. We all have something that makes us stumble from making progress in our walk of faith in Jesus Christ. The goal of this instruction is to encourage you to view sin (and your participation in it) differently than perhaps you do now. To look at it from a few different Bible-angles. All in an attempt to aid you in anticipating your disgust of it and of its dominance over you. Here are the five subjects. I recommend you hit the links for the first three before completing this four study – each builds upon the other:
- The Four Realms
- How Change Happens
- Self Assessment – This Message
- True Transparency
- Soul Maintenance
The action of turning the lens of Bible Truth back upon ourselves is not foreign in the Bible. In the first verse below we are to told to first examine (observe, discern and perceive) then to test (to measure against a standard, to evaluate what we have first examined) and then lastly, to get back on the Jesus Path. An important key to the second verse below is to look to see if you are in the faith. This is a critical finding for us – just what is being “in the faith”? The second verse draws the relationship between faith and a working knowledge that Christ is in you.
- Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord – Lamentations 3:40
- Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test? – 2 Corinthians 13:5
A working verse
The following verse offers Believers a working checklist to assess their progress along the Jesus Path. Notice once again the Holy Spirit writes of the connection of Christ living in the Believer and the ability (or capacity) to live by faith. It is taken from the Book of Galatians
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me
Taken one phrase at a time we can extract important criterion to live by. It is my prayer that by the end of our few moments together you will be able to ask yourself if the next five items on our checklist are true of you or not – and importantly – in their absence – that you recognize you are making room for the evil elohiym to fuss with you. Here are the five:
- I must act as if dead
- I must accept being replaced by His Spirit
- I must live daily by faith in Jesus
- I must hold to the love of Jesus
- I must remember Jesus died for me
Our verse says: I have been crucified…
“I must act as if dead” – Crucifixion is an act of Capital Punishment. There is only one result: death. Our first area of self-assessment is do I live like I am dead to the world?
- Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus – Romans 6:11
- For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh – 2 Corinthians 4:11
- Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death – Romans 6:3
Our verse says: it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…
“I must accept being replaced by His Spirit” – It is imperative to get this point. There is no such thing as a spiritual void. If you try to clean yourself up and do not change the conditions which lead you into your sin, you will never escape. You must begin with understanding that you are dead – but then you must quickly accept that you have been replaced – you are no longer in charge of you. We like the deeds of the body; we enjoy them; that why we do them – but the truth is that the Spirit of God within you is in opposition to the deeds of the body.
- If you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live – Romans 8:13
- For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please – Galatians 5:18
- For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so – Romans 8:6-7
Our verse says: I live by faith in the Son of God…
“I must live daily by faith in Jesus” Don’t get all wiggy here, this is not the sunday-school idea of faith you’ve been taught – that remote, mountain-moving, etherial I-can-never-do-this kind of thing. But the simple truth of discerning whether we are walking in light or walking in darkness. In this sense, faith is a simple matter of discernment. This is a prime component in all serious self-assessment: its either light or dark. If you walk in the dark you cannot see where you are going. Jesus Himself had something to say about this:
- So Jesus said to them, For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes – John 12:35
- Do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God – Romans 6:13
Our verse says: the Son of God who loved me…
“I must hold to the love of Jesus” I’m not sure we spend much time working this over; at least as evidenced by how much we struggle with repetitive, presumptuous sin. Think about these next verses and consider the greatness, the durability and the completeness of His love. Very cool, very liberating…
- See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are – 1 John 3:1
- For the Lord loves justice and does not forsake His godly ones; they are preserved forever – Psalm 37:28
- When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions – Colossians 2:13
- For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly – Romans 5:6
Our verse says: who gave Himself up for me…
“I must remember Jesus died for me” It seems a shame to suggest that we are negligent to meditate over this. And I am sure that most Believers do hold a sacred understanding of this great Truth. However, when applying this Truth in our self-assessment it become most effective when we look at the terrible ordeal He went through. It’s one thing to think about the terrible suffering Jesus endured for us in His passion and death on the cross. It’s quite another thing to remember it was you who put Him there. Don’t smoke through the following passage. Study and own it.
- Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him All of us like sheep have gone astray, each has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him – Isaiah 53:4-6
Here are some questions to consider.
- Am I making progress made in my spiritual walk?
- Do I make excuses for disobedience?
- Do I view myself the way Jesus does?
- Do I spend time in self-assessment?
This element of self-assessment is critical to our Recovery from repetitious and condemning sin. I trust you will tune into the video for more detail. We made progress on the audio, you will hear more clearly than on other messages. However the sermon was cut short for a low battery. Ah well. Don’t let that discourage you. May the Lord Bless You as You Go.