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UCG IA Bible Insights Thursday, June 23 2022

Overcoming what?

Most people do not have an “ear to hear” and have discarded God’s commandments. They say Jesus Christ destroyed the law when He, in fact, said the exact opposite (Matthew 5:17). It should not surprise us then that almost no one knows what “sin” is.

by Carmelo Anastasi

The Apostle Paul tells us we are to overcome “the sin which so easily ensnares us,” (Hebrews 12:1), but people have been taught to obey their own human rules rather than to recognize the difference between good and evil defined within the pages of the Bible.

The bonds of evil are many: envy, lying, deceit, hatred, murder, greed, ingratitude, indifference, pride, vanity, corruption, love of money or power, and moral licentiousness, to mention but a few.

There is no human being who is not a slave to at least one of these sins, whether consciously or unconsciously. We are told: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:7, 9-10).

Our losing situation begins to turn around when we sincerely repent and ask God for forgiveness. “Seek the Lord while He may be found…Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him…for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).

Although our salvation depends on the faith we have in Christ, we are called to do our part and strive to overcome evil (Philippians 2:12-13). Yet many people are pleased with themselves, just like the Pharisees in the time of Jesus, who did not think themselves slaves to sin. We are all slaves of sin and the evil one, who “deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). In reality, moral decay in our world will go from bad to worse until Jesus Christ returns (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Overcoming our carnality and sins cannot happen without a spiritual fight (1 Timothy 6:12-14). We must resist the temptations of Satan (Ephesians 6:12) and fight against our own carnality as the Apostle Paul confessed: “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin... For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do…But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (Romans 7:14-15, 23).

We are to fight wearing the spiritual armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17) and, as Paul instructed we are also to pray for others: “…be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:18-19). This is one of our most important daily responsibilities. We are “enlisted” in the spiritual army of Christ and have the obligation to encourage and defend our fellow Christians from the attacks of the enemy.

Realizing we are too weak to defeat the evil one alone is an essential for our ultimate victory. Without the help of the Spirit of God, we will never overcome sin (Romans 8:26). We must humbly ask God, who made us this promise, for help: “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God…To him… I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 2:7; 3:21).