Posts Tagged ‘innocent’

Sin’s Progress

“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” (Psalm 19:12-13)

Remind yourself that sin has a progress! It takes you further than you want to go, costs you more than you can pay… and it keeps you longer than you intended to stay. So give it no ground! (Jms. 1:13-16)
· It goes from passing temptation to chosen thought (errors).
· It goes from chosen thought to object of meditation.
· It goes from object of meditation to wished-for fulfillment.
· It goes from wished-for fulfillment to planned action (secret faults).
· It goes from planned action to opportunity sought.
· It goes from opportunity sought to performed act.
· It goes from action to repeated action.
· It goes from repeated action to delight (presumptuous sins).
· It goes from delight to new and various ways.
· It goes from new and various ways to habit. (idolatry)
· It goes from habit to idolatry, demanding to be served.
· It goes from idolatry to sacrifice.
· It goes from sacrifice to slavery. (bondage & dominion over me)

We can fight the good fight of faith: (2 Cor. 10:3-6)(Eph. 6:10-18)
1st) Pull down strongholds of the mind
2nd) Cast down everything that argues with the knowledge of God
3rd) Bring every thought into obedience to Christ
4th) Punish all disobedience, when obedience is achieved

Recognize that you do not have to open the door, when thoughts come knocking at your heart… don’t think about, meditate upon or even entertain evil thoughts, because they aim to rob you of your peace and joy in Christ! Hide the Word of God in your heart! (Psa. 119:11)(Heb. 4:12)

A Pure Mind

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 2:5)

The greatest area of sin in the believer’s life is not usually in the area of actions, but in the arena of the thoughts. Pride, for example, is a sin of the mind… and so is lust and suspicion and discouragement. These are all sins of the mind. But the good news is that we do not have to think on or dwell on every thought that comes to our minds. We can ignore them, refuse them access to our heart and even crush their influence by speaking the Truth of God’s Word over ourselves.

The Battle Within:

Because we all contend with the devil, we have trouble with undesirable thoughts popping into our heads. These thoughts can be suttle, confusing and sometimes even oppressive and difficult to battle. Most of us would not want our thoughts made public, because it would be embarrassing. But we must be aware that they are not really an accurate barometer of our spiritual condition.

Jesus dealt with the devil’s temptations with the words, “It is written” (Mt. 4:4) and that is exactly what we must do. It is not so much what a person thinks; but what he delights in, that tells more accurately what he is and where he stands spiritually. While we cannot completely get rid of this battle here on earth, we can keep it from controlling us.

Tending the Garden:

The mind is like a garden which can grow beauty or it can grow ugliness. It can produce flowers or it can bring forth weeds. It must be tended with care and diligence. It must be disciplined after the patterns of the Bible (2 Cor. 10:3-6). We must cultivate spiritual thinking and the Scriptures give a list of worthy objects that we ought to be thinking about.

Philippians 4:8

“Whatever things are true” – whatever is based on truth, earned or received by methods that are honest and not by cheating and falsehood. For most of us, it is not the big things that test our honesty. We will likely never embezzle ten thousand dollars from an employer, but we might need to be careful about dimes and quarters at the check-out isle. Every Christian needs to think in terms of the “golden rule”, treating others how they would like to be treated (Mt. 7:12).

“Whatever things are just” - things that are right and impartial. It is right to give a customer full measure when selling merchandise in business. It is right to play fair in all that we do. Parents must diligently to show no partiality with their children. We should never plan in our thoughts to manipulate or deceive.

“Whatever things are pure” – free from anything that is tainted. Purity speaks especially about chastity in the realm sexual relationships. Our society is full of sexual images and tries to overwhelm our minds with all kinds of distorted realities. Unclean thinking is stimulated by these images, obscene jokes and stories. For this reason, the follower of Christ must consider carefully the movies they attend, censors reading material and needs to avoid participating in activities that are not noble and pure.

“Whatever things are lovely” – things that are beautiful, innocent and pleasing. “Lovely things” are the opposite of the ugly and bizarre. The Christian should cultivate the traits of courtesy and pleasantness. We should avoid the sharp answer, harsh reply and sarcastic remarks. It is sad to see a husband who cannot answer his wife in gentle tones. Honor is a powerful character trait that is cultivated by a mind that dwells on things that are “lovely.”

“Whatever things are of good report” – things spoken in a gracious spirit; things spoken with good will toward others; things which are the opposite of gossip and the spreading of rumors. Courtesy to others, respect for parents, loyalty between husband and wife… these are always things “of good report.”

“Any virtue and anything praiseworthy” – meditate on these things!

The word “think” or “meditate” means “to dwell upon” or “to focus attention upon” - So think on things that are virtuous and worthy of praise!

Qualities such as kindness, loyalty and honor; are qualities we should think about and dwell upon daily. Spirit-controlled thinking can lift our thoughts and bless the lives of everyone we come into contact with. Scripture consistently suggests the way to conquer evil thinking is to submit to God, resist the devil and think upon good things (Jms. 4:7-10), because in so doing we will give no place to wickedness. The greatest way to keep evil thoughts at bay is to embrace the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). 

Spiritual thinking is a call to think upon good things and eat the fruit of a bountiful garden… a pure mind.

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