It is Time to Wake Up!
I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means,
when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Many Christians miss the importance of this passage. The infiltrated churches falsely teach those who become awakened and alarmed by Paul’s words here that he is not talking about his salvation, but only of being a castaway ‘from the ministry’. They lull the sheep back into their slumber by creating false promises of salvation being eternally secure. But before you think this is yet another article on the eternal security lie let me move on.
And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith
unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye
and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the
flesh is weak.
Indeed, most of the church is now sleeping, spiritually speaking. Consumed with the things of the flesh, and our own selfish needs. Yes, it is good that we no longer fornicate, steal and other obvious things, but once we have put those things behind us we haven’t arrived, but are only just getting started on our journey. No matter how well we get our flesh under control we never get to a point where we can look down upon another soul. Let me bring to your remembrance the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:10-14 KJV).
The light of the body is the eye: therefore when
thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine
eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the
light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full
of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the
bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.
Even as I write this the Holy Spirit is giving me an illustration for you. As we grow in the Lord that light within us grows ever brighter by the day. Now imagine you lived in darkness for a long time and suddenly a dim light starts to shine. You begin to see you are surrounded in filth and become dismayed by it. This by the way is normal, the sign of a true salvation experience. That light within us is the Holy Spirit and as we grow in Christ He illuminates the things in us that displease God, namely our sins. We are required to deal with them, but how? By first confessing them then putting them out of our lives.
As we grow in the Lord we become cleaner, yet never a finished product. Because just when we have cleaned out one area the Holy Spirit shines His light on another that needs attention. Now here’s where things get a little complicated, because we know that in God’s eyes we are clean by faith because of the blood of Jesus, yet it is very dangerous to lose that sense of unworthiness. Why? Because that makes us exactly like the Pharisee!
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God,
I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust,
adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give
tithes of all that I possess.
You see, the Pharisee was blinded to the fact that he was, and still remained a sinner. Yes, many of the harlot churches teach that we are no longer sinners, which is a lie from Hell! Yes, in our hearts we are indeed still just as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers and even worse. Paul expressed this sense of wretchedness and unworthiness perfectly.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from
the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then
with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of
So what is the difference between us and the unbeliever? Like night and day! That light that Jesus spoke of was not in the Pharisee, illuminating his sins. The Pharisee lived in darkness and loved it more than the light (John 3:19 KJV). That is one of the ministries of the Holy Spirit after all, to convict believers of sin. We who have the Holy Spirit are grieved by our ‘old man’. Denying that he exists doesn’t make him go away. Our job is to keep that old man under subjection as Paul exhorted us to do in the opening scripture, not to pretend he doesn’t exist anymore!
But the Publican had a keen sense of his unworthiness. This should be the perpetual state of every Christian, to grieve over our sins and inherent sin natures just as Paul did. Why? Because for the believer knowledge of our sins leads us to repentance again and again. No, we don't get 'unsaved' and 're-saved' every time we sin and confess, but this is the perfectly normal behavior pattern for the Christian. Our relationship with Christ is as His bride, so what married person apologises to their spouse just once on their wedding day for every mistake they will ever make in the future? We sin and make errors all the time in life and say that we're sorry. Why would we think we don't have to say we're sorry when we offend God?
God wants us to keep growing in Him, but we tend to get to a place where we reason to ourselves that we are ‘clean enough’ for Him. We may have overcome in many miraculous ways, once being serial adulterers and fornicators, thieves, liars even murderers. But God is not finished with us by any stretched of the imagination, and never will be.
He wants to deal with the media we consume, the filthy TV shows and ungodly music we allow ourselves to listen to. He wants to deal with our problems with gluttony which is just another sin of the flesh. He wants to get us focused on being the Christian leader of our families, not our jobs. He wants us to spend that time alone in the car with Him. He wants to deal with how we view ourselves, and others. He wants to take us to places of holiness we never imagined, even as we still struggle with the sin nature within all of us.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us. 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.
We must never allow ourselves to become self-righteous, but remember to keep that old man caged and under constant subjection and scrutiny. We must starve our flesh, both spiritually and literally by fasting often. We must remember that sin is sin to God; we cannot hold on to pet sins, but must lay them all at the foot of the cross. Don’t have any? Oh yes, you do! Scripture tells us whoever says they have no sins is a liar. The Holy Spirit just hasn’t shined His light on them yet, and that's because you still haven’t dealt with the sins He has shown you!
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