Experiencing the Power of the Gospel
Part 3―Biblical Doctrines in the Light of the Gospel
Part 4―Last Day Events (Eschatology)
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“He gives place, literally claim or practical ground, to satan’s activity in his life. Giving way willfully to practice sins of the flesh gives occasion for satan to have his way in a believer’s life. Although all legal claim of satan against us was canceled at the cross, a believer’s willful indulgence in fleshly sins gives the enemy a place or a claim against us which he will be quick to exploit.”
What will the carnal man always try to do?
Gal 5 (v. 13) ....do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh....
(NIV) says: do not use your freedom to indulge in the sinful nature....
Why do we indulge in the sinful nature?
The apostle sought to teach the believers how important it is to keep the mind from wandering to forbidden themes or from spending its energies on trifling subjects. Those who would not fall a prey to satan’s devices, must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The mind must not be left to dwell at random upon every subject that the enemy of souls may suggest.
Phil 4 (v. 8) Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (v. 9) The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
We need a constant sense of the ennobling power of pure thoughts and the damaging influence of evil thoughts. Let us place our thoughts upon holy things. Let them be pure and true, for the only security for any soul is right thinking. We are to use every means that God has placed within our reach for the government and cultivation of our thoughts. We are to bring our minds into harmony with His mind. His truth will sanctify us, body and soul and spirit, and we shall be enabled to rise above temptations.
If our thoughts effect our behavior, then what must we focus on?
Gal 6 (v. 7) Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (v. 8) Whoever sows to please their flesh....will reap destruction.
It is a law of the mind that it gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is trained to dwell....As an educating power the Bible is without a rival. In the word of God the mind finds subject for the deepest thought, the loftiest aspiration. The Bible is the most instructive history that men possess. It came fresh from the fountain of eternal truth, and a divine hand has preserved its purity though all the ages.
It says in this bible commentary: that the mind “gradually” adapts itself to change, when focusing on a new subject.
II Cor 3 (v. 18) And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
It takes a certain period of time, from cause to effect, before we notice changes in our behavior.
It is faith that identifies the believer with Christ and Him crucified.
So, when we realize that we have actually died with Christ into His death, because all mankind was “in Him” at the cross, then: Our thinking can focus on: to “consider yourself dead to sin”
When our thinking is set on a purpose, then our actions will follow!
By the laws of God in nature, effect follows cause with unvarying certainty. The reaping testifies to the sowing. Here no pretense is tolerated. Men may deceive their fellowmen and may receive praise and compensation for service which they have not rendered. But in nature there can be no deception. On the unfaithful husbandman the harvest passes sentence of condemnation. And in the highest sense this is true also in the spiritual realm.
It is in appearance, not in reality, that evil succeeds. The child who plays truant from school, the youth who is slothful in his studies, the clerk or apprentice who fails of serving the interests of his employer, the man in any business or profession who is untrue to his highest responsibilities, may flatter himself that, so long as the wrong is concealed, he is gaining an advantage. But not so; he is cheating himself. The harvest of life is character, and it is this that determines destiny, both for this life and for the life to come.
1. Mark Bubeck, (1975). The Adversary, p.34
2. Acts of the Apostles, p.518, par.2
3. Mind, Character and Personality (vol. 1), p.235
4. Patriarchs and Prophets, p.596, par.2
5. Mind, Character and Personality (vol. 2), p. 416-417
Image #1: The Way, (2014). The carnal man. Retrieved from http://www.jesuschrististhelord.com/teachings/theway/theway.htm
Image #2: Biblical Foundations for Freedom, (2017). Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Retrieved from http://www.foundationsforfreedom.net/References/NT/Pauline/Galatians/Galatians6.7_.8Account.html
Image #3: Tony Funderburk, (2015). The power of the word. Retrieved from http://www.tonyfunderburk.com/power-of-the-word/
Image #4: Small changes for life, (2015). Actions speak louder than words. Retrieved from https://smallchangesforlife.com/tag/thanksgiving/