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leading to lasting victory over sexual addiction through a growing, vibrant, powerful relationship with Christ.
Today, the world around us has almost completely rejected the concept of sin. Because mankind has refused to acknowledge it for what it is, they have no true understanding as to why they are the way they are. Everything they do is considered to be a “lifestyle choice.” Hardly anything is acknowledged to be sin anymore.
It’s no wonder, then, that (as Christians) we struggle with living godly lives when we are surrounded and immersed in the world’s wicked philosophy, an ungodly worldview that permeates almost everything we see and hear—thus influencing how we think and behave.
Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. Each episode is filled to the brim with all the tools you will ever need to build a lasting life of purity, integrity, and godliness. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. Welcome to episode #41 as we continue our mini-series on How to live FOR Christ. So, grab your Bible and come on in as we talk about “The ‘Ugh!’ in Str-ugg-le.”
Back in the mid-1970s there was a famous actor who coined the phrase, “The Devil made me do it!” It was meant to be funny and cute, and it elicited many laughs from the audience, but I believe that phrase truly expresses the mindset of the world today. Man refuses to take responsibility for his sin. It is far easier to blame someone else for our wrong actions. So all too often we blame Satan for our sin.
So, I have a question for you. Does the Devil make us sin? The answer? No. Ok, well, if Satan doesn’t make us sin, the does God make us sin? Definitely not! God is “a faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4) Job cried out, “Far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.” (Job 34:10) James declares, “God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” (James 1:13)
So, our question now looms even larger in front of us than it did before. If sin doesn’t come from the Devil, and it doesn’t come from God, where does it come from?
Jeremiah 17:9 gives us the answer. In that verse, Jeremiah tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick.” In Jeremiah 16:12 God says, “Each of you is following the stubbornness of his evil heart instead of obeying me.”
At the very core, at the heart of our being is sin. Without Christ, it’s part and parcel of who we are. Sin comes from within. We are born sinners. It is part of our makeup to sin. Even a sweet, innocent, cute, cuddly, adorable baby is still a sinner. Think about it. Do you have to teach a child to lie? No. But you do have to teach them to tell the truth. Do you have to teach a child to be selfish? No. But you do have to teach them to be considerate of others. Do you have to teach a child to do things out of anger so they can get their own way? Again, no. But you do have to teach them how to control their temper. We are naturally born sinners.
The Psalmist writes, “I was guilty of sin from birth, a sinner the moment my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5) God said that “the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth.” (Genesis 8:21) And Jesus said, “For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder.” (Mark 7:21) You see, without Christ, our nature is an old nature, ready and willing to sin at the drop of a hat.
Ok, I want you to listen closely as I quote to you three verses from Scripture. Listen for a common theme and be ready to answer the question I will ask afterward.
Galatians 3:22 says, “The Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.”
Romans 3:23 declares, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
And in Ecclesiastes 7:20 we read, “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.”
OK, now here’s my question for you: based upon the verses I just quoted to you – who sins?
I know, I know – silly question, right? But seriously now – who sins? Maybe the better question might be “who doesn’t sin”? We understand that everyone sins. God’s Word asks the question, “Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin’?” (Proverbs 20:9) The answer, of course, is no one. No one, that is, except Jesus Christ who “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Even the greatest, most “holy” thing you or I may do in this life is nothing more than a filthy rag before a perfectly holy God (Isaiah 64:6). 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
As a child of God, when King Me is sitting high and mighty on the throne of your heart, you are sinning. You are worshiping that which is not God – that which is not worthy of worship. You are guilty of idolatry.
That sin of idolatry drastically hinders your communion with God. Isaiah 59:2 says, “your iniquities (sins) have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” Jeremiah 5:25 declares, “your sins have kept good from you.” God warns in Isaiah 1:15 that “when you spread out your hands (in other words, when you come to me in prayer), I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen.”
The day is coming when Jesus will deliver us once and for all not only from the power of sin, but from the presence of sin in our lives. Until that time, we must daily face our sin head-on and deal with it.
As we live and breathe here on Earth, sin will continue to be a problem for us. We will daily experience what I call the “Ugh” in StrUGGle. Our new, holy, sin-free nature is living in the old, nasty, sin-ridden flesh. And oh, what a battle those two are fighting—daily! Your flesh is dead set against the new nature, and the new nature is diametrically opposed to the sinful flesh.
Paul writes in Galatians 5:17 that “the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
Can you relate? Can you feel the battle raging between your new nature and the old flesh? Did you know that is a proof that you are saved? I submit: People without Christ don’t have this battle because they don’t have the new nature living within them. (Romans 8:9)
This is why it’s so important that you grow in Christ. The more you grow in your walk with God, the more the Holy Spirit will dominate your flesh—and the less your flesh will defeat you and hinder the work of the Spirit in your life.
Hey, it’s downright tough being godly in an ungodly world—agreed? Daily we are slammed with temptation. Around every corner lurks an opportunity to sin. Let’s face it: glorifying God in every aspect of our lives can sometimes feel like nothing more than a pipe dream.
The Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 5:16 that when you walk by the Spirit, you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. In other words, let the Holy Spirit teach you, lead you, guide you – walk in obedience to God’s Word and you will not sin! Yes, you heard me correctly. You can go through a day without sinning when you discipline yourself to walk by the Spirit.
Let me reiterate here that as Christians, we are to live by (or walk by) the Spirit. But what does that really mean? How do we faithfully execute that command? How do we unswervingly live holy lives of integrity and godliness?
To consistently surrender your life to the leading of the Holy Spirit means you are moment-by-moment choosing to say “no” to the constant cravings of your sinful flesh. It also means you are continuously choosing to say “yes” to the Spirit’s rule in your heart and mind. It’s a choice.
In Genesis 4:7 God says, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
You see, every day—in fact, every moment of every day—you are faced with choices. Although the choices may be many, your options are only two.
Let’s take a few minutes here to understand why Genesis 4:7 is so crucial to living for Christ every moment of every day.
First, notice God’s use of the word “if.” He says, “IF you do what is right,” or “IF you do what is not right.” That little word “if” is called a conditional clause. It requires a choice on your part—with a consequence attached to the choice. Choose this, and this is what will happen. Choose that, and that is what will happen.
God is telling Cain (and us) that you can choose to do what is right or you can choose to do what is wrong. The choice is yours. It’s always yours. You not only have the option, you have the divine power (the God-given ability) to make a choice.
When facing temptation to sin, never forget that the choice is yours. You see, one of the powerful lies of the enemy is, “I have no choice. I can’t help myself. I have to do this!” Although those thoughts and feelings are very real, so is the truth that you don’t “have to” sin. We sin because we choose to sin.
Key Thought: We do what we do because we want what we want. We want what we want because in our hearts we believe what we believe.
There’s an old adage that says, “You can choose your actions, but you cannot choose the consequences.” For example, I can choose to jump out of an airplane without a parachute; however I cannot choose whether hitting the ground will kill me or not.
Now consider this: you can choose your consequences simply by choosing your actions. Think about that for a moment. I can choose not to die, by choosing not to jump out of a plane without a parachute. That only makes sense. Choose the consequences by choosing the actions.
That’s the point of Genesis 4:7. If you choose to do what is right, something will happen. Choice—consequence. If you choose to do what is wrong, something will happen. Choice—consequence.
Every action has a consequence. This is true in the spiritual realm as well as the physical.
“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” (Galatians 6:7-8)
Too often we are duped into believing that we can think however we want to think, say whatever we want to say, and do whatever we want to do without any serious consequences.
Consider this: Every choice has a consequence. If you want good consequences, make good choices!
Before we conclude this week’s episode, I’d like to take just a moment and give you a glimpse into our ministry. You see, we do a whole lot more here at The Pure Man Ministry than just producing a weekly podcast. We have a free APP entitled “My Purity Coach. ” This app is chocked full of powerful tools to help you in your walk of purity. You’ll find tons of Scripture. Audio and video lessons from the Bible. You can even listen to this podcast from the app. Again that App is entitled “My Purity Coach. ”
We also have designed an online training resource called ChristianGrowthAcademy.com. There you will find a growing library of affordable video courses geared to help you learn how to grow in your Christian walk.
If you’re a subscriber to this podcast, then you’ve heard me talk about our Point of Purity Program” – a 12 week, 1-on-1, Bible-Centered coaching program taking you into Scripture to teach you how to develop a lifelong strategic plan for sexual purity. And I often talk on this podcast about the various books I have written.
As a faith-based, donor-supported ministry, all of this (and so much more) is only made possible by our team of ministry partners who give financially to this ministry. Without compromise The Purity Coach shows men and women how to have a continuous relationship with Jesus that is real and personal. To that end we need financial assistance from partners like you who are committed to providing hope and helping men and women across the globe win their personal battle against the beast of sexual impurity.
If this Point of Purity podcast has been a blessing to you, if it’s ministered to you, encouraged you, challenged your walk with Christ, would you please join our team as we impact our world by equipping and training men and women how-to live-in purity, godliness, and integrity. Your financial support to this ministry will go a long way toward helping men and women find the victory and freedom that only Christ can – and will – give!
To give your tax deductible gift to this ministry today, simply go to ThePurityCoach.com and click on the Donate button in the upper right corner. And thank you for partnering with us!
And if you have not yet subscribed to this podcast, let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes!
So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.