Aug 2 – The Entrapment of Sin

Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death, but we have a part to play as well. “Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions” (Rom. 6:12). God is the sanctifier and we cannot grow victoriously unless we abide in Him, but neither will we grow and have victory over sin if we don’t assume our responsibility, and it is our responsibility to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies. How are we going to do that? “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (vs. 13). Notice that there is only one negative, but two positives imperatives. Let’s apply this verse to sexual sins. There is no way that you can commit a sexual sin without using your body as an instrument of unrighteousness, and your body includes your central nervous system. That is why just looking at pornography leads to the entrapment of sin, as well as the physical acting out. Therefore, if you commit a sexual sin, you have used your body as an instrument of unrighteousness and have allowed sin to reign (rule) in your mortal body. Sin is now waging war in your members (see also James 4:1f).

How do we resolve that? Most people have only been told to confess their sin, and that is why they are caught in the cycle of sin, confess, sin, confess, and sin again. Confession is the first and necessary step, but confession by itself is not repentance. In “The Steps to Freedom in Christ,” encouragers are invited to pray, “Lord Jesus, I have allowed sin to reign in my mortal body. I ask You to bring to my mind every sexual use of my body as an instrument of unrighteousness so that I can renounce these sexual sins and break those sinful bondages.” And God does! He almost always starts with the first sexual sin and works forward. That also includes incest and rape. For each instance that God brings to their mind, they renounce having sex with that person and ask God to break that bond, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually (more explanation next week).

On the positive side, we commit ourselves to God and our bodies. We have been bought and purchased by the blood of the lamb, so dedicate yourself to God, and your bodies. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom. 12:1).

Dr. Neil

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