“Decision Making” Part 3

Posted: May 9, 2014 in Bible Study, Christian Life, Decision Making, God's Will, Pride

In a rut? “Years ago when the western U. S. was being settled, roads were often just wagon tracks. These rough trails posed serious problems for those who journeyed on them. On one of these winding paths was posted a sign which read: ‘Avoid this rut or you’ll be in it for the next 25 miles!’” – Source unknown

Ivy. Paul Van Gorder wrote, “On a road not far from my home are some trees that are slowly being destroyed by huge coils of ivy. The vines wind themselves like snakes around the trunk. At this point it is impossible to untwist these runners because they are so firmly embedded into the trees. They are literally strangling the life out of those helpless giants. But there was a day when the ivy was a small plant just seeking a little support in climbing. Had the trees resisted these tiny tendrils, they would not be in the state they are today.” To help us make the right decisions, let us consider –

The “Slave” Test. Believe it or not, we are the slave of the one to whom we yield (Romans 6:14-18). Most people, including many Christians, love and serve themselves (their sinful nature) or the devil (2 Timothy 3:2; Ephesians 2:2, 3; John 8:44). Others love the world system and abuse it (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31). During the early years of his Christian life, the Apostle Paul admitted that he had a real struggle with his sin nature just as we do (Romans 7:15-25; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Victory. Victory over the sin nature came to him when he learned how to walk by means of the Holy Spirit and let Him kill the strong desires (lusts) that came from his (Paul’s)  sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25). Those who deny that they have one are only deceiving themselves and are proud (1 John 1:8; 1 Timothy 5:3-5).* God wants every Christian to live victoriously over all three of our spiritual enemies. He doesn’t want us to keep on sinning even though He knows we will sin sometimes. That is why we need an Advocate – Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1, 2; 3:7-10).

Methodology. Here, briefly, is what God tells us to do with reference to each of our three spiritual enemies: Our sin nature – Galatians 5:16-26; Romans 6:11-14; Satan – 1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17; Satan’s world system – 1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31. Would you like to live a victorious Christian life? If you’re teachable and willing to change, there is hope for you (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17; Romans 12:1, 2).****

Ensnared. If not, you may become a “Satanically ensnared Christian” (2 Timothy 2:26), or a “carnal Christian”* who is about to die prematurely (Romans 8:6; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 11:30). Those who defy God and act lawlessly may have their days on earth shortened by committing the “sin unto death” (1 John 5:16; James 5:19, 20). Your “actual years” may not equal your “potential years.” “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:6). Are you a true son or daughter of God? Make sure of it (2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 5:13).  Don’t be one who “believes in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2; Matthew 7:21-23).

Confess. It you’re a Christian who is out of fellowship with God, repent (change your mind about what you are doing – 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10), and then confess your sin(s) specifically to God, and He will forgive you (1 John 1:9). Then make sure that you accept His forgiveness, and learn from the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15), and perhaps through a more mature Christian**** (1 Corinthians 11:1; Hebrews 13:7, 17), how not to keep on doing the things that break your fellowship with Him and make you miserable (1 John 1:7).

Victory. “Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin – Each victory will help you some other to win; Fight manfully onward, Dark passions subdue; Look ever to Jesus, He will carry you through.” – Horatio R. Palmer. Read and believe 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Help.  If you have honest questions/comments, contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at http://www.kelseypeach.com.  If this article helped you, let us know how it did.  Share it with someone else who is teachable and willing to change.  Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out.

*Sin Nature: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/1natjm01.htm

****”Maturing In Christ” by Dr. H. L. Schafer http://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/index.php?keyword=maturing+in+christ+&searchtype=title&qfunction=search&x=0&y=0

Some material and ideas in this article have been adapted from George Zeller, http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/christia/67tests.htm

 

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