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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Terror of the Lord, continued
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (II Thessalonians 2:11,12)
If one wishes to prove it is permissible for him to sin he can support his desire with Scripture verses.
The three passages below are sometimes used to prove we must sin while we are living in the world. The fact is, none of the passages proves we cannot overcome sin through Christ while we are alive in the world.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10)
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (Romans 7:15)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (I John 1:8)
Let us take the first passage. "There is none righteous, no, not one." This is a quotation from Psalms.
They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Psalms 14:3)
This passage does not indicate there are no righteous people in the world. Notice a following verse:
There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous. (Psalms 14:5)
There is in the world a "generation of the righteous."
The concept of Psalm 14 is that there were wicked people in Israel who were not calling upon the Lord; but God was among the righteous who indeed were trusting in the Lord. There were righteous people in Israel at that time!
Did Paul maintain that all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God? Yes, he did. No individual can save himself. All of us were born in sin and have a sin nature. But Paul's motive in saying this was not to prove that it is useless to attempt to live righteously or that there never has been a righteous person in the world but to show that we must come to the Lord Jesus for salvation. We cannot save ourselves by the works of the Law of Moses or by practicing any other moral code.
What about the second verse? "For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I." Doesn't this prove that no matter how hard I try I cannot overcome sin? No, it assuredly does not prove anything of the kind.
Paul is addressing Jewish teachers ("I speak to those who know the Law") who believed they could attain righteousness by obeying the Torah, the Law of Moses.
Paul states in Romans, Chapters Six and Eight that if the believer continues to serve sin he shall die spiritually. Therefore he is not stating in Chapter Seven that it is impossible to overcome sinful behavior through Christ.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
For if ye live in the appetites of the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)
Paul's meaning is that he himself, as a follower of the Law of Moses, found that there was a law of sin in his flesh that drove him to disobey the Law, a compulsion to sin that caused great distress to him because of his desire for righteousness. Paul was stating that the Adamic nature is unable to obey the Law of Moses, not that we cannot overcome sin through Christ.
If we would press forward to resurrection life we must gain victory over sin by walking in the Spirit of God.
To be continued.