Waging the war in our hearts...

Fight Sin Blog

Sin is at the Door!

by David Kyle 10/30/2014

Sin is at the door! WHAT DO YOU DO?!?!The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” ~Genesis 4:6,7

Sin is not (merely) an action or a choice. Sin is a state of being, or a condition that defines what it means to be human. If that idea is a struggle for you or if you're not willing to accept we are all sinful by nature, think of it like this.

Why do people get angry or happy? Because human beings are emotional by nature. Anger and happiness are ways in which that emotional nature is expressed. Sin is as much a part of who we are and what it is to be human as emotions, thought, hunger, expression, and so on.

The idea of sin being a part of our makeup is what the reformers labeled total depravity.

The result of the fall is total depravity or corruption. By this is meant that every part of man is rendered corrupt. The Canons say that man "became involved in blindness of mind, horrible darkness, vanity, perverseness of judgment; became wicked, rebellious, obdurate in heart and will and impure in his affection." There was no part of his nature that was not affected by sin.
The word "total" must not be taken in the absolute sense as though man is completely depraved. Man is not as bad as he can be. Article 4, which we hope to consider more fully later in this series, speaks of "glimmerings of natural light which remain in man since the fall." God does restrain the working of sin in the life of man on earth.
And sinful man still has a sense of right and wrong. His corruption is total in the sense that there is no part of his being that is pure and holy; and the good he does is done for God and for His glory. ~Canons of Dordt, especially Canons III & IV, Article 4

This quote clearly points out the difference between total depravity and absolute depravity. The doctrine of total depravity teaches man is depraved in every part of his being, but there still remains, in every part, a trace of good as a bearer of God's image.

- Sin is Near -

The truth that sin is a part of our makeup and nature has been rejected by the majority over the centuries, but Scripture speaks very clearly about it.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. ~Genesis 6:5

for there is no one who does not sin ~2 Chronicles 6:36b

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. ~Psalm 14:1-3

Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. ~Ecclesiastes 7:20

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned ~Romans 5:12

These are only a few of the passages that speak to all of humanity's sin corrupted nature. Remember the picture of sin God painted for Cain?

And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” ~Genesis 4:7

From God's perspective sin  was crouching at the door indicating the nearness of it to Cain. Sin has taken up residence at the very entrance of our dwelling place (bodies). If we are to wage war victoriously against sin we must not fool ourselves into thinking it is not as close to us as it really is. Paul said it like this in the book of Romans:

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. ~Romans 7:18-20

And then this...

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. ~Romans 7:21-23

My next post will be aimed at exposing the power of sin as we continue to consider our most dangerous enemy

Please take some time and leave a comment or question, I would really appreciate your input.

 

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Sin Q&A #1

by David Kyle 9/19/2014

Our Sin Is Our Greatest EnemyA friend of mine recently asked this question:

“Does Satan put sinful thoughts into our heads?”

My friend had experienced a stray thought popping into his mind at an odd time and totally unrelated to what he was doing. This particular thought was one that could lead to anger and sinful thinking.

Maybe you have experienced the same thing and know exactly what I am talking about.

My friend’s concern was whether Satan could do the same thing to him that he did to Judas.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. ~John 13:1-4

The answer to my friends question is yes, Satan can tempt us with sinful thinking and ideas; he tempted Jesus with them (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-14). Satan is an enemy who, along with his minions, attacks us like an invading army storming the castles walls, but Satan is not our greatest enemy.

The greatest and most dangerous enemy is not storming the castle walls from the outside, but already resides within and is working to defeat us from the inside. This conniving and traitorous foe is our own sinful nature. The puritan preacher John Owen called it “Indwelling Sin.”

It is not so much that Satan makes us sin as it is him calling over the wall to a willing accomplice on the inside and finding an ally in our own sinful nature. Our mission then is to fight this enemy on the inside and weaken its ability to wage war on us.

Scripture calls us to put it to death.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. ~Colossians 3:5-8

I know what your thinking... "How do I do that?"

It comes back to my friend's original concern about what is going on in his mind. Fighting sin is accomplished on two fronts:

  1. In our minds
  2. In our actions

The battle for our actions follows and is dependent on the battle for our minds; right actions follow right thinking.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ~Romans 12:1-3

Living a life in submission to God that is holy and pleasing to Him (battle for our actions) is accomplished by the renewal of our minds (battle for our minds). The surprising thing about this familiar passage from Romans is that the Apostle Paul calls us to renew our minds in a passive sense. In other words, we are to allow our minds to be changed by the inner working of the Holy Spirit.

For now, I want to leave you with one last thought. The indwelling sin of our human nature is to strong for us to defeat and the only way to win the fight is to deny it battle with our own will but, entrusting that fight to God.

 

 

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A Blog About Sin

by David Kyle 9/16/2014

Indwelling sin is definitely a problem!I have been thinking of starting this blog about sin for over a year now. My purpose for it is to share the insights and truths I have learned from my study about sin and in particular, indwelling sin in the life of a Christian.

If you are a disciple of Jesus, you have been forgiven and forever saved from the punishment of sin.

That is a truth.

Another equally valid truth is you will spend the rest of your life fighting in a war raging in your heart. It is God's plan and purpose for you Christian to be transformed and made like His Son.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. ~Romans 8:28-29

Being conformed to the image of Christ is a process accomplished over time. That process of transformation will be focused primarily on killing that indwelling sin each and everyone of us are afflicted with.

Sin is an enemy, your former slave master, from which you have been freed forever. The battle waging within you and me is this sin attempting to exert its former power and influence to control our lives and keep us chained in the bonds of slavery from which Christ set us free.

Your sin nature desires to destroy you and silence your witness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I want to talk to you about that.

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About David Kyle

David & Kim Kyle

I was saved by Jesus Christ on May 27th, 1994 at the age of 33.

I am husband to my loving wife Kim, father to 9 children and grandfather to 7.

I worship at Lakeside Fellowship in Polk City, Iowa where I serve as a deacon.

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