The Sin Cycle

1 John 5:1-3 ESV

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”

Jesus is The Christ

What does it mean to believe that Jesus is the Christ? For one, to believe means to be persuaded, and since this is belief in Christ, it means to be persuaded (convinced) of God. So, this is God-given faith.

Also, the verb tense should be rendered as “believing,” meaning it is present and active belief, not a one-time belief, and not past belief.

It also means that you are believing that Jesus is the Anointed One of God, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ, the promised seed of Abraham. You are believing that he is the Messiah, the Savior of the world, who came to save the world from their bondage to sin.

So, if you are convinced of God that Jesus came to save you from your slavery to sin, then you are going to let him save you from your slavery.

You are not going to resist him or make excuses for why you continue to live in sin, but you are going to submit to his Lordship, and you are going to forsake your life of sin to follow him in obedience to his commands (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Jn 2:3-6).

Love for God and for Others

To love God is to obey his commandments. But this is not speaking of all the Old Covenant laws and regulations. This is speaking of his commandments under the New Covenant which are his moral laws, which have a lot to do with how we treat God the Father, how we treat Jesus, and how we treat other believers in Christ, too.

For, if we love God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – we are going to do what he says, and we are going to want to do what he says. We will honor him for the holy God that he is, we will take his word seriously, and we will walk in reverence and in respect to him.

If we love God the Father, we will love Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, who is also God the Son, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit.

For, anyone who does not love Jesus, and does not walk in obedience to his commands, does not believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ, either by his lips or by his lifestyle, he is not of Christ but is antichrist (1 Jn 2:22).

And, if we love God, then we are going to love the children of God who are those who believe in Jesus and who have been delivered from their slavery to sin, and who are now walking in holiness and righteousness in the power of God and in the strength of his Spirit.

And, we love one another by loving God and by obeying his commandments. How so? Because if we lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, commit murder, and bear false witness against other people, that isn’t love. That is treating them with disdain. For, love is kind, honest, and pure, and it does no intentional harm to another.

1 John 5:4-5 ESV

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Overcomers

So, if we are those who are genuinely born of God, then we are those who are conquering (overcoming) the world. We are being victorious in battle over the flesh and over the world of sin – over the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.

They are no longer conquering us, but we are conquering (defeating) them by the power of God living within us.

Now, this is not to say we are perfect or that we never fail or that we never sin. But it is saying that sin no longer has dominion over us. It no longer controls us. Sin is no longer our master.

We are defeating sin in our lives by the power of God’s Spirit, as he gives us strength, courage, and wisdom. For, we are daily putting to death the deeds of the flesh, by the Spirit.

Still living in Bondage?

But not everyone who professes Christ as Lord, and Jesus as his Messiah, has been freed from his slavery to sin, nor is he overcoming the world. For, sin is still his master, and he is still enslaved by it.

For, many who profess Christ as Savior are still living self-indulgent lives, living foolishly, irresponsibly, and selfishly, seeking out self-pleasure rather than seeking to please God with their lives. They are lovers of intoxication rather than lovers of God, living to please self and not God.

But since they are making a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, they are double-minded, for they profess one thing while they do another. They give the appearance that they are living for the Lord, doing what he says, while they are companions of sin, welcoming, accepting and incorporating into their lives what God calls immoral, wicked, and decadent.

So, spiritually speaking, they are sedentary and inactive, lounging around, doing whatever comes naturally to them. They are partnering with evil, trying to combine good and evil together, trying to be Christian while still giving way to the flesh as a matter of life course.

They make a show that they are laying it all down on the altar of God, that they are forsaking their sinful lifestyles to follow Jesus in obedience, only to pick back up what they have supposedly laid on the altar. They say they have given up their sinful practices, but it doesn’t take long before they pick them back up again and they play with them.

So, the containment (control, restraint) of sin that they profess is empty, void, vacant. For, this is just a game with them, a routine they regularly go through. It is a cycle, like the cycle of sin, confess, sin, confess that goes on and on without end. They lay down the sin only to take it right back up again. And, this gets repeated over again, too.

And, that is because they have a faulty root (foundation). Their foundation is empty, because it is of the flesh, not of the Spirit of God. They are still operating in the flesh, trying to go it alone, so they have a damaged foundation which cannot help them.

And, this is because they don’t really take God seriously. There is no fear of God in their lives, which is why they can keep playing this game. For nothing ever really changes. They repeat the same old patterns, the same old cycle over again, and so it has the same results every time.

There is Hope

But there is hope if they will be willing to stop the cycle, and if they will, in truth, yield their lives to Jesus Christ. For Jesus, our Messiah, the Christ, came to this earth to proclaim freedom for those in slavery to sin, and to free them from their bondage (addiction) to sin.

But if they will not yield to him, and they continue to play the game, and if they continue in their double-mindedness, then eternal life with God is not what awaits them.

God will judge them by what they have sown in this life. If they sow to please the flesh, from the flesh they will reap destruction. But if they sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit they will reap eternal life (Gal 6:7-8).

If we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the misdeeds of the flesh, then we will live (Gal 5:16-24; Rom 8:1-17; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10).

The Lord’s Anointed

An Original Work / December 16, 2011
Based off Isaiah 61

The Spirit of the Sov’reign Lord on me;
Anointed to preach the Good News;
Sent me to bind up the brokenhearted;
Proclaim freedom for the captives.
He sent me to preach release for pris’ners
Who are walking in sin’s darkness;
Proclaim God’s grace to all men who’ll listen;
And tell them about God’s judgments;
Comfort all who mourn;
Give crowns of beauty;
Oil of gladness and thanksgiving.

They will be called oaks of God’s righteousness,
A planting of our Savior, God,
For the display of our Lord’s splendor, and
They will rebuild God’s holy church.
God will renew them, and will restore them,
And you’ll be called priests of the Lord.
You will be ministers of our God, and
You will rejoice in salvation.
The Lord loves justice;
He is faithful to
Reward those who are seeking Him.

I delight greatly in the Lord;
My soul rejoices in my Savior, God.
He has clothed me with His salvation,
And in a robe of His righteousness.
He has given me priestly garments to wear,
As the bride of Jesus Christ.
As the garden of our Lord and Savior,
He causes us to grow in Him.
He makes righteousness,
Praise, and thanksgiving
Spring up before all the nations.

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