Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Inspiration from a Blind: Warring Within Your Body?

Happy August from Inspiration from a Blind brought to you monthly by www.ShirleyCheng.com!

Do you struggle with sin? Does sin sometimes get the upper hand? If so, you are not alone. In fact, if we say that we have no sin, "we deceive ourselves." (1 John 1:8, WEB)

Every person struggles with sin, including Christians. This is due to our sin nature, our tendency to sin. When we know what we ought to do, we often do the thing we ought not to. The apostle Paul wrote about this very dilemma:

"I do not understand the things I do. I do not do what I want to do, and I do the things I hate. And if I do not want to do the hated things I do, that means I agree that the law [of God] is good. But I am not really the one who is doing these hated things; it is sin living in me that does them. Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful. I want to do the things that are good, but I do not do them. I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the bad things I do not want to do. So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing them. It is sin living in me that does those things. 

"So I have learned this rule: When I want to do good, evil is there with me. In my mind, I am happy with God's law. But I see another law working in my body, which makes war against the law that my mind accepts. That other law working in my body is the law of sin, and it makes me its prisoner." (Romans 7:15-23, NCV)

Does this describe your struggle with sin? I know it sure describes mine! I echo Paul's question: "Who will deliver me out of the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24, WEB)

The answer is: Yahweh God through Jesus Christ!

Even though we will still face challenges with sin, we will definitely get the upper hand and eventually win the battle when we actively trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation. Once we put genuine faith in him, Yahweh will send His Holy Spirit to indwell us so its powers will help us fight off sin. With the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we no longer have to struggle with sin alone. Rather, it becomes teamwork: God giving us the power and we cooperating with that power to overcome sin and not commit the same sin again.

But exactly, how do we cooperate with God to fight off sin? In order to work together with Yahweh, we must:

1) study the Holy Scriptures to learn what are actually sins. We cannot avoid something, like sin, if we do not know what it is in the first place, agree? As an example, we should avoid the poisonous black widow spider, but how can we avoid it if we don't know what it looks like? We can't simply avoid every spider we come across! Likewise, to avoid things that are truly sins, we need to know how to identify them, and the only way to know how is by studying the Bible, as Yahweh specifically laid out actual sins in it for us to shun, and provided us with principles that help us determine something as sinful (such as gambling) even if it's not listed as a sin.

2) Apply the guidance of the Holy Scriptures to our lives. If after we learn what a black widow spider looks like but we fail to avoid it and consequently get bitten, then what good did our knowledge do us? Knowledge is rendered useless without application of it. For this reason, once we learn what sins are from the Bible, we will have to follow the Bible's principles and guidance to live a lifestyle that's pleasing to God, and such a lifestyle is as free of sin as possible. Otherwise, "if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror; for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does." (James 1:23-25)

3) Yield to the Holy Spirit. By our own efforts, we cannot fight off sin. It's only when we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in the right direction and help us remain on that right path will we be able to overcome sin and remain victorious. But how do we know whether we are being led by the Holy Spirit? We know if the lead is from the Spirit if what we are led to do is accordance with the Bible. Nothing that the Spirit leads us to do will ever contradict God's Word. Yahweh does not contradict Himself. So if you are ever being led astray from His principles, then know that you are definitely not being led by the Spirit. This is why we must read the Bible in the first place to know what Yahweh's principles are.

4) Confess our sins and repent whenever we've sinned. Prior to the return of Jesus Christ, we will always struggle with sin, and will sometimes fail in our battle when we do not perfectly follow God's guidance. However, as soon as we have sinned, we must confess them to Yahweh through prayers, ask Him for His forgiveness, and repent of our sins. Sincere repentance involves a) acknowledging that what you did is sinful, b) hating your sin, c) and avoiding committing the same sin again. When we confess our sins, God "is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) But if we refuse to confess and continue to sin without repentance, then there's "a certain fearful expectation of judgment." (Hebrews 10:27)

I know following these four steps is something that's easier said than done. I know it takes time and effort. I know that we will succumb to sin from time to time. But I also know that if we remain faithful to Jesus, we will win the battle over sin in the end, for victory is ensured, as victory will be Yahweh's and Jesus'. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus has already defeated sin and Satan the instigator of sin on Earth. The current situation is akin to a victorious battle where there is a few pockets of resistance from the foes. But after Jesus returns, sets up God's Kingdom over Earth, and reigns for 1,000 years, any final resistance will be squashed, forever. That's when sin will never poke out its ugly head ever again. And as winners, we will shout, "Hallelujah! Salvation, power, and glory belong to our God" because it's Yahweh who has won the final battle for us! (Revelation 19:1)

~*~Q&A with Dr. Shirley~*~

Question: Can you name some sins from the Bible?

Answer: Of course! Below, I've listed some sins under their categories. For a complete list, read the entire Bible. Remember, the Bible doesn't list every single sin in the world. Instead, it gives us principles of godly living that help us pinpoint unlisted sins. For instance, greed and the love of money are sinful, so anything that stems from a love of money, such as gambling, is a sin.

Sins Against Yahweh: While all sins are against Yahweh one way or another, these are offenses directly against Him.

• Not acknowledging of His existence
• Idolatry, which is worshipping false gods. Yahweh is the one and only true God; all other gods are manmade. To credit false gods for God's own creations is not only shamefully wrong but is also quite foolish. Could manmade gods of wood and stone talk or hear, let alone create us? Idolatry is also an act of crowding out God in our lives, replacing Him with other things, such as wealth and fame. Wrong priorities is idolatry. Yahweh should be our main priority in life.
• Believing Him, yet worshipping false gods at the same time. Since Yahweh is the only true God, He alone should receive our fullest devotion and praise.
• Using images or objects to worship Yahweh. Yahweh is an invisible Spirit whom no one has seen, so we should not use any objects or images to represent Him during worship.
• Using His name or "God" in vain. We take Yahweh's name in vain when we use His name or "God" in meaningless ways, such as saying, "God bless you" when people sneeze, exclaiming "Oh, my God!" as an interjection, and cursing, "God d*** it." We also take His name in vain when 1) we do something bad and say God told us to do it, 2) blame Him for our problems, 3) do anything sinful in His name, 4) joke about Him, His name, His nature, and His plans and purposes; and 5) when we do not honor Him for who He is.
• Believing in Him, yet not loving or caring much about Him. It is similar to kicking a starving beggar out when he asks for food at your restaurant. It would be hard not to believe in his existence when he's standing right in front of your eyes, but your belief does no one good when you don't have love for him.
• Denying His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Messiah. How could you truly honor the Father when you don't honor His Son? Remember, whoever "loves the Father also loves the child who is born of him." (1 John 5:1)
• Cursing Him which is called blasphemy
• Ignoring His commandments
• Adding or subtracting words from the Bible

Family Sins: Sinning against your family

• Not honoring your father and mother, and that includes hitting and cursing them
• Mistreating your husband or wife
• Not caring for your children
• Not providing for the needs of your household
• Divorce, except in cases of marital unfaithfulness

Social Sins: Sinning against people in general

• Mistreating and taking advantage of the fatherless, widows, the poor
• Oppression
• Cheating employees of their wages
• Giving false testimonies or being a false witness
• Stealing
• Murder
• Bribery
• Hatred
• Rebelling against authority
• Slander
• Being jealous of others
• Not forgiving others
• Kidnapping
• Selling people
• Abuse of any kind
• Not warning people of sins
• Not rebuking or correcting people when they have sinned
• Not praying for others
• Ignoring the needs of others
• Partiality or judging people based on their social status, background, looks, etc.
• Profanity
• Gossip and spreading rumors

Sexual Sins: Breaking God's commandments on sexual issues. Sexual relations are blessings God bestows upon a man and a woman married to each other; marriage should be kept strictly holy, especially because it symbolizes our relationship with God and His Son. All believers are called the "bride of Christ," and we must be clean as virgins before uniting with him on his second coming to Earth. Those who abandon God and His ways are called spiritual adulterers.

• Adultery (cheating on your spouse; having sex with a married person)
• Rape
• Homosexuality
• Incest (sex with close relatives, such as between parent and child)
• Bestiality (sex with animals)
• Sexual abuse
• Fornication (sex before marriage, sex between people not married to each other, and all other sexual sins not listed here)
• Prostitution

Miscellaneous Sins

• Love of money, greed
• Laziness
• Witchcraft, spiritism and divination through mediums, including astrology, horoscope, numerology, tarot cards, fortunetelling, and palm-reading. All of these activities are acts of demon-worship. Read Deuteronomy 18, 1 Samuel 28, and Acts 16 in your Bible.
• Pride
• Hypocrisy
• Dressing immodestly
• Flattering people for personal gain
• Not valuing the gift of life
• Excessive drinking and getting drunk

~*~Dr. Shirley's Corner~*~

Are you interested in obtaining in-depth knowledge of God's Word to help you deepen your understanding of God and His plans and develop a sacred relationship with your Heavenly Father? If so, you are more than welcome to sign up for the In-Depth Ultra-Ability Bible Virtual Class via e-mail.
· You will study the Bible in depth from Genesis to Revelation in order.
· The study will progress in your own pace.
· You will work one-on-one with me via e-mail only.
· Your personal Bible-related questions will be answered.
· Although the virtual class has no financial cost, it will require your dedication and diligence. There will be lessons to complete and tests to take for all Bible chapters. All assignments are in short question and answer format.
· The only textbook for this program is the Bible. If you do not have a copy of the Bible, you can read it online for free at www.BibleGateway.com.
· The class is non-denominational and is not affiliated with any church or ministry.
· You have no obligations; you may pause or stop anytime, though you are strongly encouraged to complete the study.

Interested? Then fill out the form at www.ultra-ability.com, and we'll get started. I look forward to our study time together!

May the grace and peace from Yahweh God and Jesus Christ be with you.!

Content Copyright by Dr. Shirley Cheng; All rights reserved

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Best regards,

Dr. Shirley Cheng

Award-Winning Author with 27 Book Awards
Founder of Ultra-Ability Ministry
Proclaimer of Yahweh God's Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ
Author/Contributor/Editor of 35 books by age 27, Bible Teacher, Poet, Motivational Speaker, Self-Empowerment Expert, Advocate
Board member of World Positive Thinkers Club

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