Waging the war in our hearts...

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.

 

 

Comments (1)

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Comments (1) -

September 26. 2014 12:17

adam

Incredible....nice.  Help me LORD.

adam

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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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