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Sin Is A Thief Of Glory – Overcoming Besetting Sin

sin

Sin Is A Thief Of Glory - Overcoming Besetting Sin

A fault to which a person or institution is especially prone.
"there was a danger of the country reverting to its besetting sin of complacency"
synonyms: Persistent, Constant, recurrent, recurring
 
                                                   Sin Is A Thief Of Glory
samsons-besetting-sin-2-728 Sin Is A Thief Of Glory - Overcoming Besetting Sin
Sin, Enemy of Soul
Sin causes Christians to become craven cowards who live in humiliating defeat. They can't stand up with courage against sin because of the secret sin in their own lives. They excuse the sins of others because of the disobedience in their own hearts and they can't preach victory because they live in defeat. Some of them once knew what it was like to live victoriously, taking vengeance against sin, having fulfilled Christ's righteousness in their own lives. They experienced the power, the courage, the blessings that come to those who are obedient to the Lord. Today they are but a shadow of their old selves. Now they hang their heads in shame, unable to look the world in the eye, victimized by a sin that rules their lives. A besetting sin has robbed them of their spiritual vitality and one enemy after another is raised up against them.

Hebrews 12:1 King James Version (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"
Four ministers got away for a retreat. As they sat around the fire talking, one pastor said, “Let’s all share our besetting sins. I’ll go first. My besetting sin is that every so often I slip away from the office to the race track and bet on the horses.” The second pastor volunteered, “My besetting sin is that I keep a bottle of wine down in my basement. When I get really frustrated with my deacons, I sneak down there and have a nip of wine.” The third pastor gulped and said, “My besetting sin is that I keep a punching bag at home. When I get mad at somebody in the church, I go home and think about that person as I hit the punching bag.” They all turned to the fourth pastor and asked, “Well, what is your besetting sin?” He hesitated, but they coaxed him. Finally, he said, “My besetting sin is gossip, and with all that I've heard here tonight, I can’t wait to get home!”

Yes, we all struggle with besetting sins. They’re like a piece of furniture that you keep hitting your shin against. At some point, you would think you would learn to avoid it. But when it’s been a while and you aren’t thinking about it--Whack! You do it again.

The first thing to consider in how to overcome habitual sin is to note the change, or transformation, that takes place when a person is saved. The Bible describes the natural man as “dead in sin and trespasses” (Ephesians 2:1). As a result of Adam’s fall into sin, man is born spiritually dead. In this state of spiritual death, man is unable and unwilling to follow and obey God and habitual sin naturally follows. Natural man sees the things of God as foolishness (1 Corinthians 2:14) and is hostile toward God (Romans 8:7). When a person is saved, a transformation takes place. The apostle Paul refers to this as the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). From the moment we place our faith in Christ, we are in the process of sanctification.
besetting-sins Sin Is A Thief Of Glory - Overcoming Besetting Sin
The process of sanctification is that by which those who are in Christ are conformed by the Holy Spirit into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). Sanctification in this life will never be fully complete, which means that believers will always struggle with remaining sin. Paul describes this battle with sin in Romans 7:15–25. In that passage he notes that, even though he desires to do what is good in the eyes of God, he often does what is evil instead. He does the evil he doesn’t want to do and fails to do the good that he wants to do. In this, he is describing every Christian’s struggle with sin.

James says we all sin in many ways (James 3:2). Experience tells us that we struggle differently with sin, perhaps one sin being more of a tripping point for one believer than another. For some it might be anger whereas for others it is gossip or lying. We might refer to a sin that is particularly difficult for us to overcome as a “besetting” sin or a "habitual" sin. These besetting sins are often, but not exclusively, habits that we developed during our lives as unbelievers and require more grace and discipline to overcome.

Part of the process of overcoming these habitual, or besetting, sins is in recognizing the transformation that has indeed taken place within the believer. Paul writes, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). When Paul says, “Consider yourselves dead to sin,” he is telling us to remember that, in coming to Christ, the power of sin has been broken in our lives. He uses the metaphor of slavery to make this point. We were at one time slaves to sin, but now we are slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:17–18). At the cross the power of sin was broken, and, in becoming Christians, we are set free from sin’s mastery over us. Therefore, when a Christian sins, it is no longer out of the necessity of his nature, but because he has willfully submitted himself to sin’s dominion (Galatians 5:1).

The next part of the process is recognizing our inability to overcome habitual sin and our need to rely on the power of God’s Holy Spirit, who dwells within us. Back to Romans 7. Paul says, “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” (Romans 7:18). The Christian’s struggle against sin is one in which our ability does not match our desire. That is why we need the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul later says, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). The Holy Spirit, through God’s Word (John 17:17), works sanctification in the people of God. Habitual sin is overcome as we submit ourselves to God and refuse the temptations of the flesh (James 4:7–8).

Another part of the process of overcoming habitual sin is to change the habits that facilitate it. We have to adopt the attitude of Joseph who, when tempted by Potiphar’s wife to come to bed with her, left the room so quickly that he left his cloak in her hands (Genesis 39:15). We simply must make every effort to run from the things that tempt us to sin, including access to food if we are given to overeating, and access to pornography if we are tempted to sexual sin. Jesus tells us to cut off our hand or pluck out our eye if they “offend” us (Matthew 5:29–30). This means removing from our lives the things that tempt us to sin even when those are things we enjoy. In short, we have to change the habits that lead to habitual sin.

Finally, we need to immerse ourselves in the truth of the gospel. The gospel is not only the means by which we are saved, but it is also the means by which we are sanctified (Romans 16:25). If we think we are saved by grace, but sanctified by our own efforts, we fall into error (Galatians 3:1–3). Sanctification is as much a work of God as justification. The promise we have from Scripture is that He who began a good work in us will complete it on the last day (Philippians 1:6).

Jesus Christ consistently encourages us to be an overcomer like Himself Rev. 2&3 and He profoundly counselled us in Rev. 3:18 "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." This simply means if we are in Him, and He in us, the wicked on cannot tempt us to continue to live sin.

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What Relevance Does Gospel Crusade Has With Biblical Method Of Evangelism?

crusade

 What Relevance Does Gospel Crusade Has With Biblical Method Of Evangelism?

th What Relevance Does Gospel Crusade Has With Biblical Method Of Evangelism?

“The Acts of the Apostles of Jesus Christ are not mere history, but it is a pattern which Jesus Christ wants His Church to be at all time.”

A gospel crusade is a concentrated effort to evangelize a city or region. Prior to the preaching the groundwork is laid: a large venue is rented, whole communities are invited, musicians and counselors are lined up, and churches are asked to pray. When the big day arrives, a high-profile evangelist preaches a public message or a series of messages on salvation and gives an invitation to respond. Evangelists who have used the gospel crusade method of evangelism to speak to millions include George WhitefieldCharles FinneyD. L. MoodyBilly Sunday, and Billy Graham.

Gospel crusades have been in existence since the second chapter of Acts and since then have exploded in number and popularity. Some crusades claim to present the gospel; some of them don’t. Some crusades may be labeled “gospel,” but are in fact focused on physical healing, inspirational messages, or prosperity. For the purposes of this article, we will define a gospel crusade as a scheduled event designed to attract a large number of people for the purposes of presenting God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. We will also assume for the purposes of this article that the true biblical gospel is indeed preached at the crusades we will consider.

The first “crusade” of sorts is found in Acts 2:14–41, after the Holy Spirit had come upon the disciples. Peter immediately began speaking to the thousands gathered at Pentecost, explaining the phenomenon they were seeing and hearing. These formerly terrified followers of Jesus were suddenly speaking boldly in other languages so that travelers from many nations could hear the gospel in their own tongues. Three thousand new converts were added to the kingdom that day. Clearly, this gospel crusade was a biblical method of evangelism.

The next verse (Acts 2:42) shows us why this gospel crusade was so effective. There was follow-up, and the new believers “devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, and to prayer.” Those new converts were immediately welcomed into the church at Jerusalem where they were instructed about how to be disciples of Christ (see Matthew 28:19–20). One weakness of the crusade method of evangelism is the lack of follow-up. Of the thousands who flock to the front to “give their lives to Jesus,” how many continue in the faith? Although many reputable evangelists such as Billy and Franklin Graham strive to connect new believers with local churches, the numbers don’t support the claim that most of those responding to an altar call were truly born again. Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples” (John 8:31). The implication is that those who do not continue in His word never were His disciples to begin with.

There are many acceptable methods of presenting the gospel, and none should be discounted if the truth is proclaimed. A gospel crusade is only one way, but often we think of it as the best way. We may subconsciously excuse our lack of personal evangelism by assuming that unbelievers will be exposed to a gospel crusade through TV or in person and hear the truth that way. There may be instances when an unbeliever is so hardened against the gospel that he or she has been resistant to personal evangelism but is drawn to a gospel crusade through the celebrity status of the speaker or musicians. However, as followers of Christ carrying His mandate of winning the lost, we should never assume that the message is somehow reaching those who need it without our participation.

God uses many avenues to reach those He came to save, including gospel crusades. As His followers, we should be actively involved in helping Him through every means possible. When we support gospel crusades through our time, finances, and participation and, at the same time, seek to draw people to Jesus through our personal witness, we can be confident that we are obeying Jesus’ last words to us and helping Him make disciples of all nations.

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