1Pe 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
Walking with the same mind of Jesus Christ is how we overcome and are getting beyond the fleshly pursuits listed here by Peter. Once we are chosen to suffer by the Lord and brought into the Truth and abide in the fire of the Body of Christ; we are no longer supposed to be living our lives the way the Gentiles (our former self included) live.
1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
1Pe 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God
Those precious few given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God can easily forget these warnings. We have many reminders to stir up the truth and admonish and exhort us to beware of becoming slothful and lazy with regards to our battle with worldly lusts. This sinful way of living needs to be put behind us.
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Becoming a doer of the word and not just a hearer requires work as we will see. Jesus Christ did not come and is not still coming so we can continue to live in sin. He comes to set the captives (all men) free from our bondage to sin. That is the very essence of what salvation is all about.
All of the Lord’s people will struggle with sin to some degree all the days we live in these marred vessels of clay. However the promise of salvation is we are being saved from our sins. This comes little by little as the Scriptures declare and for good reasons that is to keep us from thinking we d0 it by our own strength and initiative.
Deu 7:22 And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
As we mature we must be able to look behind us and see progress being made as we are giving more and more dominion over sin. The Lord is surely long-suffering and this process takes far longer than we want in order to teach us patience. Yet it is not a excuse to take a let’s eat, drink and be merry attitude.
Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
All things becoming new include our old behaviors passing away in the Aorist Greek tense as the word is, was and will be working in our lives.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passing away; behold, all things are becoming new.
Not seeing that progress should be a warning sign something is amiss. We must examine ourselves to see if we are really in the faith. The grace of the Lord that scourges us and teaches us and ultimately causes us to obey the Lord (Eze 36:27) can be received in vain.
2Co 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
We receive such grace in vain, when we do not learn from our mistakes and the chastening the Lord brings for our sins. If we fail to learn the lessons, we are doomed to repeat them and this will impede moving on to be a mature man in Christ. There is a fine line between claiming ourselves to be the chief of sinners (which we are apart from Christ working in us) and to receive the grace of the Lord in vain. To sit back and say the Lord is making you sin is being lascivious if we are not careful.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
The Lord sends us trials and delegates the tempting of our sinful flesh to the enemy in order to test our faith. Those that fail get more trials and more grace until they get it.
Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
Knowing what real grace is is of utmost importance for our progress of being saved. Grace is what scourges us and the resulting chastening is what teaches us to obey with time and repeated “lessons”. We must learn that our every disobedience will result in our just reward from the Lord.
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Tit 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
Tit 2:12 chastening (training) us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
Where sin increases, the suffering and chastening in the heat of His furnace increases.
Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, (scourging and fiery) grace did much more abound:
Still we are naturally brute beasts (Ecc 3:18, Rom 7:24) and it takes our entire lives to be fully delivered and we only ever receive it in down payment form until we are given our new spiritual bodies. We all fall victim to lascivious spirits that keep us in bondage to sin. We need to be reminded of this and our need to get up and to get back on the narrow road and learn what went wrong and make changes in our walk. To win the war we must (be given to) start and continue in winning the battles against our fleshly desires.
1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Sin no longer should be ruling in our mortal fleshly bodies. As our faith grows and actions are added to our faith and we (Christ rising up in us) begin to gain victories little by little.
Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
This is a serious calling and a serious walk of faith that requires tremendous effort and endurance that the Lord will give us as we grow in faith.
Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
We tend to focus only on the positive and not the negative aspects of the Word of God. It is a two edged sword and we need not forget either side. Who wants to talk about sin and the chastening we are given in return? Who wants to talk about us falling away and becoming a reprobate? No, our flesh wants to rest and take it easy thinking knowledge is what it is all about. We speak often to one another of the Lord’s Sovereignty in ALL THINGS but much less frequently of the battles and lessons REQUIRED to overcome sin and walk out our faith. We can’t misuse the sovereignty of God and use it implicitly as an excuse for our continued sinful ways. We need to beware of lascivious spirits and remember we do not inherit the promises until we have done the will of God.
Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
And what is that will? We do not need to guess what it is.
1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from (spiritual ) fornication:
Our turning grace into lasciviousness is not something we are done with after we leave the physical Babylonian churches. We need to beware of carrying this spirit even while we are in the truth today. Jude was writing to us, the Body of Christ, when he penned these words. We best beware of “those men”, especially our carnal deceitful hearts that creep in unawares with a lascivious spirit. It’s what flesh loves to do. Like Jude, we need to exhort one another to be diligent which means careful to contend for our faith. It is this lazy spirit of sloth and lasciviousness that wants to use God’s sovereignty and the salvation promised to all men to avoid the need to strive and labor in our walk of faith.
Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Jud 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
We can have all the truth we want but if we turn it into lasciviousness, we are denying the Lord and His Power within us. Jude reminds us what happens if we do not move on to maturity and stop our progress of overcoming sin.
Jud 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
It is a mistake to not be exhorting each other over this battle with sin. We are far too quick to just say it’s the Lord and go about our daily lives. Battling and contending with this spirit is never ceasing until the day we physically die.
Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Our learning comes by suffering and being chastised by our Lord. But we cannot continue to pursue the same course.
Heb 12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
We know we must endure to the end and we do that by fighting, striving and working. It is the last days and we are warned what happens in those days in each of us and this is what happens, we have a form of godliness but denying the power of Christ in us (thru our unbelief) to change us.
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Being cautious of pinning all of our sins on the Lord and using that to justify our continued bad behavior is how a lascivious spirit deceives us. Sure He is causing it but He is doing it to His people so we will learn to stop doing it. We are fighting to lay hold of the life promised and flee from those things that defile us.
1Ti 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses
If we have issues with besetting sins, we need to be changing our behavior Lord willing to remove those things from our pathways.
Pro 22:3 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
At times we have humility but lack the fear that is so needed to bring us to obedience.
Pro 22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
Guarding our hearts and the entry points into our life is required. This is a serious matter requiring us to take ACTION. Faith without these works are dead.
Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life…
Pro 4:26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
Pro 4:27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
Contrary to the myths some apply to the Apostle Paul, he was not soft on sin, he warned every man and labored himself to the very end.
Col 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Col 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
We are to be putting off the old man and putting on the new man. This takes diligent action on our part.
Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
This is working out our own salvation WITH FEAR and TREMBLING.
Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
We will never attain perfection in this life but we must beware the ditch on the other side of this narrow road. Our entire life is the works of the Lord’ hands and no matter what we do, it’s the Lord doing it. Yet we must beware a lascivious spirit leading us away from fear and trembling at the Word. If we stop striving diligently we are falling short.
Luk 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
We will reap what we sow. If we continue to sow inequity to that disobedience (no matter what it is) we are also reaping. We have heard these things before but we are not taking heed of these serious matters.
Heb 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things (i.e. strive and work) which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Heb 2:2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
There are no free passes. Grace is not a wink wink and no punishment. Sin will be recompensed.
Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
So don’t get me wrong here and this is not intended to discourage anyone, but rather encourage you. We don’t save ourselves but I hope to instill in all of us a renewed respect and fear of the Lord. When we do sin and it is brought to our attention we need to respond in faith. We have seen people taken right out of the truth who failed to heed this and came to believe we are not to fear the Lord or tremble at every word. We need to take seriously our sins and disobedience. When we fall down, we must take action and get right back up, Lord willing of course. Unless we are given of the Lord to progress, and this takes WORK, we are falling short of the goal.
Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
So we must work and strive together to make our calling and election sure. We need to add to our faith and our knowledge the things Peter mentions. This is the only way we are made partakers of His Divine nature (i.e. saved from our sins) and escape the lusts of this world. We can’t sit back and continue doing the same old worldly things and expect a different result. That is called insanity. We are moving on to maturity if the Lord wills. The end of the matter is our obedience and this comes by ADDING to our knowledge and to our faith. This is how the DOING part comes about.
2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE)
We are made whole with the Lord when we obey the commandments. That is the end of the matter as it relates to what the Lord is doing with us, His pieces of clay.
Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole (duty) of man.
2Jn 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
Once the salvation of all men becomes the new reality and we realize we were lied to all our lives, lasciviousness is a common trap our sinful flesh and deceitful carnal hearts will stimulate in our lives. Why strive to obey the Lord since all men will be saved anyway? But there are many reasons for such a thing, beyond this post to cover. But one thing is for sure such an attitude is immature and there is no fear of the Lord in one’s eyes who thinks such a thought. We all will learn and our continuing to learn that Jesus Christ is not a minister for sin.
Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
So we must be very careful for thoughts that make it okay to justify our continued living in sin. We are indeed slaves to sins when we start out. But we need to stop being slaves to sin and become slaves of righteousness if we are going to make the cut for the first resurrection.
Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Freedom is not free as the world likes to say and that is true in the spiritual sense as well. There is a price to be paid (count the costs) and we work for our freedom from sin and that is by becoming slaves to righteousness. We won’t eat and progress if we do not work for it ourselves. Without us being given the zeal to work, we won’t eat and thereby won’t grow in our faith and maturity. A lazy spirit leads to lasciviousness and abusing the grace of the Lord.
2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
We learn this by being judged, yet if the behavior does not change, we are not learning and more grace is needed to work righteousness within us. The sooner we get this done the sooner we can enter into rest.
Wisdom is the combination of KNOWLEDGE with understanding that comes with experience. Fear of the Lord is necessary to move us on to be Holy as our Lord is Holy. Until we get over our lasciviousness we are not progressing and need to be retaught basic oracles of the Lord including fear.
Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Wisdom results from this fear and that is how we learn the lessons and become wiser and wiser with the trials and temptations we are continually given.
Isa 33:5 The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.
Isa 33:6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
A lazy attitude will keep us from maturing and we will continue to learn over and over again the function of grace until we get it. Under the law of true faith, Jesus is not a minister for sin, He will judge His people and this is how that works.
Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
We will learn obedience by the things we suffer and the sooner we learn it the better off we will be.
Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Heb 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
We learn to fear our physical fathers when our disobedience is punished and it is no different with our heavenly father. In our day of abiding in the scourging grace we will learn to fear and we will be caused to stop our disobedience.
Heb 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
The Lord’s people are fellow laborers who are striving daily to ensure and progress onward to maturity. We like the Apostle Paul, continue to learn and appreciate more and more the warnings of keeping our sinful ways under subjection lest we be castaway despite knowing all the truths we know.
1Co 9:27 But 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.
The doing part is the hard part. We have to walk out our faith and becoming a true example to others. Otherwise we cannot be used for the Lord’s purposes now or for the Higher Calling in the ages to come. If we don’t overcome we too, are becoming reprobates. We are proving our faith by passing the test and trials that are given to us.
2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
We are warned about being deceived about this ongoing battle against sin. Here are both John, Paul and Peter’s words written for our admonition.
1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1Pe 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
It is those who overcome who will be given the Eight Promises of the Lord in the Book of Revelation. Talk about a carrot, an incentive to strive and labor on this journey. These promises are reserved only to those few that are being found faithful to the end. Here are just the last three promises linked to overcoming (sin) that are cited.
Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Sincere questions or comments welcome. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Brother in Christ, PETE