The Big Sur
The problem the struggling Christian has is not that he/she doesn’t want to obey God. The problem is that he/she doesn’t know how to live a consistently obedient life. That is what this book is all about; to help born again men and women find the simple yet elusive truth of how to let Christ live out His life in them. When this truth is discovered there will no longer be a struggle with temptation. The only struggle will be to decide if you want Christ to give you His victory over that particular sin. You still have a free will. Once that decision is made the victory will be gained through Christ living out His righteousness in the life.
Right now you might be thinking; “What, that can’t be true!” Or you might be receiving hope that there really is an answer to the struggle you are having. I pray that you are receiving hope. After all, the Bible says that “as many as received him, to them gave him power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12). The word translated power comes from the Greek word from which we get the English word “dynamite.” There is no shortage of power with God. The problem is that many or even most Christians don’t know how to let God manifest His “dynamite” power in their lives for victory over every temptation and sin.
You Can Live in Victory
I want to reassure you from God’s Word that the Christian can truly live a victorious life through Jesus Christ our Lord. This book is dedicated to helping you under the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment discover that truth for yourself.
The first step in experiencing the complete deliverance Jesus wants you to have over sin is to recognize that you have no power within yourself to obtain the victory. You must realize that you are absolutely helpless when it comes to overcoming the temptations in your life. The natural born sinful nature is so strong in you that its power will make you a slave of it unless the power of God delivers you from this slavery. This is the very point Paul was making in Romans chapter seven.
The natural response of every Christian to God’s commands it to put forth every effort with God’s help to try to obey. What I want you to realize in this chapter is that your striving to obey will cause to you to fail every time. You do not have it in you to obey no matter how hard you try. You don’t have it in you to obey even if you think you can with God’s added power united with your effort to obey. You must realize that you can do absolutely nothing to live an obedient life as far as putting forth effort is concerned. This is because of the extremely powerful sinful nature that resides in you. In stead of you struggling with the temptation you must depend 100 percent on Christ for victory.
In this book I will be emphasizing very strongly the fact that our victory over temptation and sin comes only as we allow Christ to live out His life in us; not by struggling with the temptation. Our struggle is to maintain our hold on God and keep faith in His promises of victory. Peter pointed this out when he wrote:
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2Peter 1:4
Peter goes on to tell us that as we partake of the divine nature, which is Christ living in us, we will be growing more and more like Christ. As we overcome our sinful natures effort to manifest sinful desires we will develop faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. As Paul puts it:
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2Corinthians 3:18
It is through Christ living in us by the Holy Spirit that we are moment-by-moment and day-by-day changed into Christ’s image. Every temptation we overcome by allowing Christ to manifest Himself in that particular area of our life will lead us to be changed into the image of Christ in that area of our life. That is why Paul writes that we are “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Since the power of our sinful nature is overcome by Christ living in us, in the next chapter we will consider what Christ has done to break the power of this sinful nature, which wants to make us its slave.