Who's Your Master? (If you think it's you, think again)

Last Sunday, July 19, 2015, I taught on Genesis 4:1-8, the story of Cain and Abel. I was amazed at the powerful truths contained in this brief story. We are presented with a beautiful picture of the gospel, of human freedom to choose salvation, and the power given to us to overcome sin! We can choose to submit to the rule of God in our lives, or the rule of evil. Satan has deceived us to believe that we can rule ourselves. Here are the basic ideas:

1. When we submit to God's rule, we come to him with humility, accepting his terms for forgiveness.

2. When we submit to God's rule, we choose to obey him by faith.

3. When we do not submit to God's rule, we will be ruled by evil.

Do You Panic When Tempted?

If he felt any ungracious thought or any temptation generating, he would not panic or feel helpless to resist it. This was because his past experience of God’s faithful assistance allowed him to wait until just the right moment to call out. When the time came, he would address himself to God, an the evil thoughts would vanish right away.
— Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
Brother Lawrence working in the monestary kitchen

Brother Lawrence working in the monestary kitchen

There have been times in life when I have panicked or felt helpless in the face of temptation. I see now that this is simply a lack of faith in the victory and power over sin that we have in Christ. What freedom to be able to calmly face a desire and opportunity for sin and know that I do not have to be defeated! To know that I have all I need in Christ to walk in holiness.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
— 1 Corinthians 10:13
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
— 2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV

Biblical Truth on Comedy Central

Well, sort of.

In this skit, Katherine feels helpless. She is afraid and believes that she can't do anything about it. Bob gives her a very simple answer, "Stop it!" But this is too simple for Katherine. For her, it is more complicated than that. She believes she is a victim of her thoughts, her childhood, her parents, her dreams. Bob says, "We don't go there."

In a way, Bob is right. Often Christians believe that they are helpless in the face of their emotions and desires, or even their sin. We over complicate the situation because we don't understand or believe who we are in Christ. Listen to what Paul tells the Roman believers:

"We know that our old self was crucified with Christ . . .
So that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
So you must consider yourselves dead to sin.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body.
Do not present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness."
- Parts of Rom 6:6, 11-13

In a sense, Paul says, "Stop it!" We must understand that Christ has set us free from sin and act on it. Our desires cannot rule over us. Our past cannot determine our future. What others say and think cannot keep us down.

Are you still living in bondage to the sin from which Christ has already set you free! Believe that Christ has set you free and stop it!