When the Bible tells us that Christians are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, what exactly does that mean? Let us first of all examine what the word conquer means. According to the dictionary, to conquer means to defeat or subdue by force. Especially by force of arms. To overcome or surmount by physical, mental, or moral force.
Romans chapter 8 tell us that we are more than conquerors. To be more than something means to exceed. To go beyond a gain.
We are more than conquerors because Jesus Christ has conquered. He won the battle and we are now situated in his victory.
According to Romans chapter 8, we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, over all these things: over the flesh, the sufferings of this present time, having patience, perseverance and hope until the redemption of our bodies, condemnation, persecution, and tribulation of all kinds.
Romans 8 tells us that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ because the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.
How does the Holy Spirit help us conquer ?
Through Holy Spirit inspired prayer!
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26,27
In this present time of tribulation which we have in this world, not only will that tribulation never separate us from God’s love but it will in fact work together for our good. According to Romans 8, we are predestined to be conformed to or fashioned into the Lord’s likeness.
All the tribulations of this life keep us dependent on the Lord, they increase patience, help us see our weakness, brings us to repentance in areas of sin, give us spiritual insight, increase wisdom, develop experience, and bring hope.
Tribulation works the things we experience in such a way that it increases our trust in the Lord. We learn to rejoice through every trial we are brought through because we know that the victory is the Lord’s! He always turns things around for our good!
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalms 34:19
Prayer is the key to deliverance from every trial! Holy Spirit inspired prayer will work every situation out in our favor. For our good and for our spiritual growth. For we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us!
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-38
Psalm 1 reveals how we can walk in God’s blessings.
Contrary to what some teach, being blessed by God is not an automatic response to salvation.
While Christians are saved by grace through faith we still have to grow up in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10)
Growing in the knowledge of God means learning about how the kingdom of God works.
Lack of knowledge pertaining to kingdom principles causes God’s people to be destroyed. (Hosea 4:6)
Destroyed in the Hebrew is dâmâh. It means to fail, perish, be cut off, silenced, utterly undone.
Some Christians who have experienced failure refuse to get over their offense. They may have been taught improperly or hurt by grievous wolves twisting scripture. Instead of admitting failure due to ignorance some because of offense will omit scriptures or cherry pick scriptures rather than admit they were wrong.
Failing at something in life should cause us to seek the Lord for answers. What happened? Where did I go wrong? What did I miss?
According to Psalm 1 there are certain prerequisites for being blessed by the Lord which are are not always monetary.
Psalm 1 tells us how we can prosper in God’s kingdom.
Psalm 1 says blessed is the person that does not walk in the counsel (takes advice from) the ungodly.
This is the first principle of being blessed by the Lord.
God’s word is above every one else’s word. If God said it in the scriptures then it’s true. Regardless of evidences to the contrary because those “evidences” could be the expression of a faulty response to truth.
For example. Many churches do not teach or preach healing from their pulpits. Consequently no healing takes place in those churches.
Some churches don’t preach about salvation. Then they wonder why no souls are getting saved.
Scriptures clearly tell us that God’s works FOLLOW the preaching of the word.
Whatever you preach about or talk about is what the Holy Spirit will perform in your midst. Whatever you ask for you will get.
Remember that Jesus literally asked a blind man what he wanted from him. (Mark 10:51) It’s an important spiritual principle, to ask specifically.
Adhering to secular wisdom rather than Biblical wisdom will prevent God’s blessings from coming into your life. Many times secular wisdom is contrary to the word of God.
Some Christians put secular reasoning above the Bible. Science is not static. It changes all the time and some times it is wrong. Neither does humanistic ideology benefit the hearers. It has no power to perform miracles.
Putting trust in men’s wisdom can lead to ship wreck of our faith.
God’s word is above every word. It is “yes and amen” regardless of whether it is believed or not.
An important point to mention is that knowing God’s truth through revelation and experience does not give us the right to condemn others who don’t know what we know.
The law of love leaves someone in their ignorance if they are not open to the authority of scriptures.
However, due to incorrect interpretation or outright denial of a scriptural precedent its best to not walk too close with those mindsets.
People who have to explain away everything Jesus said are not beneficial to our spiritual life. Christian or not.
Truth hurts sometimes but I’m going to say it anyway. Rejecting scriptures that blatantly tell us something is calling God a liar.
The next principle for prospering in God’s blessings is to not stand in the way of sinners. That means not walking the way ungodly people walk. Not following their behavior patterns.
If God condemns something in the scriptures then it’s best to agree with his word and avoid the behavior.
Some non Christians and even Christians blatantly adhere to non biblical ways of thinking and doing. They believe that God will overlook or even support their disobedience to his word. That is so not true.
When we are disobedient to the word of God written plain as day then we will reap the whirl wind sooner or later.
All of us have fallen short and all of us have faced consequences for our disobedience. But thank God he is a redeemer. When we confess our sin and turn from it then God will forgive and restore us.
Another principle for receiving blessing from the Lord is to avoid taking a seat among the scornful. That means not hanging around with scoffers who don’t believe God’s word or respect it. Unbelief is like a cancer. It’s spreads.
Jesus said, “be careful what you hear”. (listen to) Mark 4:24
To recap. Psalms 1 tells us that Blessed are those who:
Put God’s word above every other word.
2. Avoid living ungodly.
3. Don’t hang with scoffers who deny God’s word.
Psalm 1 then goes on to tell us that if we do these things then we will have the following blessings.
We will be like a tree planted by streams of water.
Interestingly enough but when trees are planted by river banks they keep the soil from eroding into sediment which causes pollution. In other words a life continually washed by the water of the word keeps us from corruption.
Trees planted by streams of water also provide shade to help animals from being exposed to heat. This helps both vegetation and animals flourish.
Being watered by the word of Jesus Christ is beneficial for the growth of others. They will benefit from being in our presence as we reflect God’s goodness.
Watered continually with God’s word we will make us bear fruit at the right season. Our fruit will be a blessing not only to us but also to others. They will through our witness taste the goodness of the Lord.
Lastly whatever we do will prosper.
When our plans are committed to the Lord he will bring them to pass. The Lord will bless our lives when we go in and when we go out. Everything we do will prosper.
Matthew 10:1 tells us that Jesus called his disciples. Then he gave them power (excousia in the Greek) against unclean spirits. To cast them out.
Jesus gave them power (excousia in the Greek) to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Excousia in the Greek means authority.
This authority according to Mark 16: 17,18 is given to THOSE WHO BELIEVE.
It does not say, “to those whom I call to be apostles or church leaders.”
It also does not say, go into all the world (where demons are everywhere) and preach the gospel but baptize only.
Jesus gave commission not only to preach the gospel and baptize but also to cast out demons and heal the sick. Cherry picking the scriptures is simply wrong. Its not only bad theology but also spiritually dangerous because it is omitting scripture. Omitting scripture means having unbelief. Unbelief limits God which means he cannot do any mighty works.
Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. Psalm 78:41
And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:58
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
If you don’t believe God heals today, then you will not get healed.
If you believe God heals others but not you then you believe he is a respecter of persons. You will not get healed.
If you glorify sickness, use it to get attention, (many do) talk about the sickness 24/7 and reject scripture. You will not get healed.
Having faith means never ever giving up. EVER! It means standing, praying and seeking the Lord.
It means being obedient to change your life style if need be. Renouncing any sin that the Holy Spirit shows you (including pride). Being holy in conversation and deeds.
The saints of old believed in the coming Messiah even though they did not see any evidence of it. They stood on the promises of God. (Hebrews 11: 39)
In the same way we should stand on God’s word no matter what. Even if we are taken to heaven before any healing manifestation in this life. Genuine faith believes in God’s word regardless of what naysayers say or what is seen, heard or felt.
Bold faith pleases God! Just look at the woman who grabbed a hold of Jesus’ garment to be healed. Look at the blind man who cried out loud in a large crowd, and the guy whose friends opened up a roof top to get healing! All bold faith and all prayers were answered!
When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Luke 7:9
Just like it is God’s will to save everybody, it is God’s will to heal everybody. Not everyone gets saved because they will not believe the gospel. Not everyone gets healed because of unbelief and or unrepentant sin.
As believers in Jesus Christ we have been given authority to cast out devils. Sickness is caused by devils. Directly or indirectly. The consequence of the fall is sin, sickness, disease. All from Satan.
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world is under the power of the evil one. 1 John 5: 9
God does not use sickness to teach us something! That’s like saying, God uses the devil to teach us something. God can bring good out of evil just like a flower can bloom in a manure pile but he is not the author of sickness or disease.
Sickness and disease is a result of sin. Sin is disobedience to God. Sin has consequence. Sin can be generational. If you don’t believe that then you don’t believe in science. Our DNA carry certain sickness that is passed on. That’s a fact with evidences to back it up.
Many times saints prayed for forgiveness of generational sins. Judges 3:9, 15, 1 Samuel 12:10-12
To have authority means to be delegated influence and strength in a jurisdiction.
We have been given authority over ALL the works of darkness. This includes sickness.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
Believers have been given authority (jurisdiction) over the evil one’s work. Notice I said believers.
These signs follow them that BELIEVE.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
Now there are different ways in which this authority is manifest through believers.
Scriptures tell us that regarding faith, we must contend for it, fight for it, and stand on it.
Faith or trusting in God is always challenged by the devil. Faith is the key that opens heaven’s resources.
Jude tells us to contend for the faith because people will sneak into your church, your life, your family and try to corrupt the word.
Someone may come along and try to sway you from God’s grace by altering the word of God in order to try and trip you up. Jude says contend for the faith. (Jude3,4)
To content, gârâh in the Hebrew means to strive. To earnestly struggle. To Contest to victory.
In Deuteronomy 2:24 the Lord tells his people to contend in battle for the land that he gave to them. When God gives us a promise many times there is a battle with the enemy in order to obtain it.
“Rise up, take your journey, and pass over the valley of the Arnon: behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land; begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle. Deuteronomy 2:24
In the Greek contend is epagōnizomai which implies wrestling or battling in warfare.
Everything in the kingdom of God for your life will be contested by the devil. He is a thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus said in his word that he came to give us an abundant life. Even in hard times and horrible circumstances the Lord is faithful to his word. He will always come through if you contend, fight, and stand.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
The parable of the Sower tells us that the wicked one comes to steal the word sown in our heart. (Mark 4:1-20)
The enemy brings doubts. Did God really say that? (Genesis 3:1-3, Luke 4:3)
Without faith we cannot please God because faith is the key to all operations in the kingdom of God. (Hebrews 11:6)
Whoever comes to the Lord in prayer must believe that he is. Is what? Is Savior. Is able. Is truthful. Is Lord of all.
And that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.
That is God will reward your seeking if you are diligent. Persistent.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
The devil does not want you to be blessed. He wants to steal, kill and destroy. He is the devourer of anything good.
That’s why scriptures tell us to contend for the faith. Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold of eternal life. (Kingdom blessings)
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. 1 Timothy 6:12
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; Romans 15:30
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Luke 13:24
And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 2 Timothy 2:5
When you plant a garden all kinds of critters will want to get in and eat up your crop. So, you build a fence. You put up resistance of all kinds. Scarecrows, pesticides (natural so your crop is healthy), and you keep watch.
This way no critter can get in and steal your crop. When God’s word is planted in your heart the devil and his goons will try to steal it. We must contend earnestly with him. Resist the devil. Put up a fight.
Take that shield of faith and bash him a good one.
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Ephesians 6:16
No way Mr. devil! My God has spoken. His word is true. You are a liar. Get out of here!
We keep contending for the faith until harvest time. Then when we eat the good food from the seed of God, planted in our hearts we will do so in the presence of our enemies.
Satan and his goons will just have to sit and watch God’s word that has come to fruition bless our lives. He will have to suck it up!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Psalm 23:5
So, contend for the faith. Content with the enemy by wrestling in prayer, declaring the word of God and standing in faith.
Remember that Satan uses people to do his dirty work.
Don’t listen to all the Nay Sayers out there. Listen to God’s word, for it is above every word! You will win the battle if you don’t give up!
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
Whoever helps the poor will be helped in their time of need according to the scriptures.
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. Psalm 41:1
This is a spiritual principle we see throughout scripture. Helping the poor is giving to to the Lord.
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” Psalm 19:17
The person who considers the poor is blessed according to scriptures.
“Considers” Zaman in the Hebrew includes the following: To look at attentively; to observe; to examine. To have regard to; to take into view or account; to pay due attention to; to respect. To estimate; to view. To think seriously about; to make examination; to reflect; to deliberate. Giving serious thoughts to. To practice, purpose, devise. To contemplate, think seriously about.
The Lord says that he blesses those who give not just monetary means but also discipleship and service to those who are in need.
The promise attached to this outreach to the poor is deliverance when they themselves are in need. The Lord promises to save and rescue from trouble, evil, distress, calamity, sorrow, harm, adversity. “As you have helped others so will I help you.”
The Lord goes even further. He promises that those who give to the poor or those in need, (physically, emotionally and spiritually) will be preserved and kept alive.
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. Psalm 41:1-4
The Hebrew translation of the word preserve (Shamar) means to keep or save from injury or destruction; to guard or defend from evil, harm, danger, protect, put a hedge about, watch over.
The Lord will bless those who give to the poor. He will not allow them to be delivered over to their enemies. He has promised to give power and strength to them. He has promised to recover or heal them in sickness.
This means that God will overthrow all attacks, turn back the evil ones plans and agendas. Thwart off all distress, diseases, grief, anxiety, depression.
For those who help others in their need the Lord will always be there to help them in their need.
Those who give to the poor are blessed by the Lord.
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. Proverbs 22:9
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:10
Refusing to help the poor or ignoring their pleas brings a negative result according to the Bible.
He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. Proverbs 28: 27
If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. Deuteronomy 15:7-10
Giving to the poor not only brings God’s blessings in this life but also in eternity.
Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsemen, nor thy rich neighbours, lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And thou shalt be blessed, for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. Luke 7:12-14
Blessed by God are those who give to others who are in need!
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38
Psalm 18 gives us insight into how we can achieve victory over all our troubles. The first part of the Psalm David declares that the Lord is the one who gives him help. The Lord is able to deliver him from trouble.
This proclamation assures us how mighty the Lord’s power is towards us. When we declare God’s sovereign power over all things then our faith level rises. We are reminded where our help comes from. Not in man or any other source but in the Lord our God.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalm 18:1
David then declares, “I will call upon the Lord who is my strength, my deliverer, my power, my shield and my high tower.”
From declaring who the source of our help is, David then proclaims that when we call on the Lord in our trouble he is able to save us. It is important to note that calling on the Lord to enter our situation is when he is able to intervene. The Lord will never intervene without our request or the request of an intercessor.
This spiritual principle is seen throughout scripture.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:6
David gives the Lord praise. “I will praise the Lord who is worthy.”
Praise is an important part of spiritual warfare. Praise is different than worship. Praise declares the Lord’s sovereign power over all things including the devil’s plans and schemes.
O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. Isaiah 25:1
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. Acts 16:25
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him,who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalm 42:11
Next David declares what the Lord is able to do for him. How he is able to deliver! By faith David declares what God is going to do!
I shall be saved from my enemies. I shall be saved from the floods of adversity and sorrow. (depression) I shall be saved from snares and obstructions. The Lord shall silence my accusers. The Lord shall hear me when I cry for justice. He will take vengeance on my enemies and make them bow the knee under the authority of the Lord our God.
David then sees with the eye of faith what is happening in the spiritual realm as he prays. David sees the angelic realm ushered in by the wind of the Spirit. He sees the darkness and waters of affliction flee before the Lord’s majesty. David hears the voice of the Lord speaking in the heavenlies with the fire of authority.
David watches in the Spirit as the Lord sends forth his arrows against the enemy. He hears the Lord rebuke the enemy and expose the evil one’s strongholds.
David declares the victory. “The Lord took me out of my trouble. He drew me out of affliction unto himself. The Lord is my rock. My security. He brought me from bondage to freedom. He delivered me because I belong to him and he loves me. The Lord sees me clothed in his righteousness and knows that I have put my trust in him. Therefore the Lord honours me and shows his mercy by becoming my light in the darkness. ”
David’s faith is now raised to a new level. “With my God I can run right through an army of the evil one. I can by my God leap over all obstacles. The Lord gives me strength and victory. He sets me above all my enemies. ”
David has learned the art of warfare. He is taught that the strongholds of the enemy have to come down when he trusts in the Lord to battle for him. David learns that God’s protection is given when he wears the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. David is kept from falling and delivered from all the enemies attacks when he declares God’s greatness and majesty. The devil is put under the feet of the Lord’s righteous, David learns this because the Lord who is a mighty warrior has maintained his cause.
Then David boasts in the Lord. He declares to everyone that the Lord girded him with strength in the battle. The Lord dealt with those who rose up against him. The Lord has destroyed the avenger and silenced the tongues of his accusers. David is now the head. He is the victor while the enemy is the tail.
David tells others that they too can have this victory. He says to all, “Blessed is the Lord who does marvelous things ! The Lord will bring the lost out of darkness. He will deliver the captives. He will bring them from darkness to light. He will set the sinner free! The Lord will show mercy to all who call upon him.”
We learn from Psalm 18 that when we call on the Lord in trouble he girds himself like a mighty warrior ready to fight on our behalf. When we declare the Lord’s greatness and declare what he will do for us then our faith is released and the Lord begins to battle on our behalf.
As we see by faith what God is doing in the spiritual realm we will see those results in the natural realm. Our victory is sure. We are then able to declare to others what great things the Lord has done for us. When we give our testimony others can also be set free! They can be victorious over all the works of the evil one too.
“He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.” PSALM 18: 17-19
For who is God save the Lord? Who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. “He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.
Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. PSALM 18: 31-39
Steps to victory
Declare that the Lord is the one who can give you help. The Lord is able to deliver you from trouble.
Call upon the Lord to intervene in your circumstance.
Declare that he is able to deliver you!
Praise the Lord. Declare his power, his ability, his greatness!
Declare by faith what the Lord is going to do for you!
Declare by faith what the Lord is doing for you!
Declares your victory!
Boast in the Lord! Tell others what great things the Lord has done for you!
Tell others how they too can have victory in Jesus!
Scriptures tell us that the Christian’s war is against demonic principalities, evil demonic rulers, and demonic powers in high places, but did you know that the biggest war we wage against is the war against the carnal nature? Demons are like vultures; they can only prey on uncrucified flesh. (Ephesians 6:12, 1 Peter 2:11)
Our battle according to the Bible, is against the bodily appetites of our 5 senses in this earthly realm which are in constant opposition to God’s word. The bodily appetites of our 5 senses or the carnal nature, are always trying to usurp authority over or exalt themselves above our spiritual born again nature, the Holy Spirit, and the word of God. (2 Corinthians 10:5-7, Galatians 5: 17-26)
The Bible tells us that out mind is where this battle resides. All the spiritual warfare against the satanic realm we do will be useless unless we put to death or crucify the carnal nature. (1 Peter 1:13,Galatians 5: 17-26)
If our ways of thinking are contrary to Biblical principles, then the flesh will have the advantage. That is why it is important to renew the mind with God’s word. When we put Biblical principles above what our 5 carnal senses think or desire then we are operating in faith. (Ephesians 4: 23-27)
Faith in Jesus Christ is the key to all victory. Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) Why?
Because whoever comes to God in faith with their struggle or need, to seek his face for answers, will find that God is both willing and able to move on their behalf. (Hebrews 11:6-8)
Scriptures tell us not to be conformed to the thinking of this world system but to be renewed in the spirit of our mind so that we will know God’s perfect will for our lives. (Romans 12:2)
Ps 119: 9-11 says that in order for our ways to line up with God’s ways we must seek the Lord with our whole heart. We do this through prayer, meditation and confession of the scriptures. (Psalms 119:15,Matthew 8:8, Romans 10:9,10, 1John 4:2, Jeremiah 1:17, Deuteronomy 18:18)
When the word of God dwells in our heart or spirit, then the word of God, by the Holy Spirit will keep us from yielding to the carnal desires and carnal ways of thinking. (Romans 6:13)
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the word of God is like a double-edged sword that rightly divides our spirit from our flesh.
Our spirit will not be dictated to by the flesh or carnal nature when it becomes separated unto God. The spirit man must dominate the old man in order to crucify it to the world and to the ungodly desires of the carnal nature.
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14
Proverbs 23:7 tells us that a man is what he thinks he is. If we think God’s ways, then we will walk in God’s ways.
The Bible also tells us that the Holy Spirit agrees with the word of God to produce Holy Spirit life in us. We cannot become godly or live a life that pleases God in our own ability. ( 1 John 5:7, Romans 8:8, John 6:63,)
Paul tells us that he kept his body under the control of the Holy Spirit constantly. He died daily to his carnal nature. (1 Cor. 9:27)
Without the Holy Spirit making us born of God we cannot crucify the carnal nature. Religion, which is Christianity without the Holy Spirit, is a mechanical carnal exercise that does not please God. (Romans 8:8)
Jesus said you MUST be born again to enter into God’s kingdom. Only Holy Spirit can make one born of God. (John 3:3)
I will give an example of the difference between the religious Christian and the Spiritual Christian.
I watched this documentary about a Savant who was musically “gifted.” His parents spent a lot of money on music teachers so that this kid could become a musical “genius”. When I listened to this savant play his music, I could sense in my spirit that he had a mechanical form of musical genius. This savant had the ability to copy and understand musical concepts, but the music he played sounded like it had no “soul.” Although he played well without any error, the sound he produced was a mechanical sound.
I wondered why this would be so. Then when a musician began to play along with this savant in a duet performance, immediately I sensed a big difference between them.
The musician’s playing had life or “soul.” My Spirit felt uplifted when I listened to his playing. Then when the Savant began to play, I understood what I was discerning. The Savant had a form of musical talent, but he did not have a real gift for music. He had a learned structural performance that was very mechanical. His music lacked “life.”
The savant knew all the cords and the structure of music, but he did not have a real feel for music. He had no inspirational influence.
If our ears are opened by the Holy Spirit it is impossible to be fooled by the mechanical performance of the religious Christian. It may look like a good performance but when the real Holy Spirit filled Christian comes along and operates in the dunamis power of the Holy Spirit, you will immediately sense the difference.
You will sense the life of the Spirit, the supernatural gift of God residing in the Holy Spirit filled Christian. (dunamis power)
The mechanical performance of the religious “Christian” is pale in comparison to the Holy Spirit inspired life of a born again Christian.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:5-7
The word of God and the Holy Spirit work together to crucify the carnal nature. We must have both in order to perform the Lord’s good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)
When the word of God dwells in our hearts by faith, and is ignited by the dunamis power of the Holy Spirit then we will produce a life that pleases God. A Holy Spirit inspired life!
The Bible tells us that we are justified by grace (Charis) through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (Titus 3:7)
To be justified means to be made innocent. To be made righteous.
However to continue living in sin according to scriptures will produce death. Now some say that this includes spiritual death while others say only physical death due to consequence for sin. Regardless of that age old question let us consider the point of the whole argument.
Death according to this verse in Romans is thanatos in the Greek.
Thanatos is a Grecian deity. According to ancient Greek beliefs this god puts people to sleep and carries them off to the underworld.
That doesn’t exactly sound like a position any Christian wants to find themselves in.
Paul tells us in Romans 6 that Christians are not to continue in sin counting on grace to abound or continue for them.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Romans 6:1
Romans goes on to tell us that those of us who have been baptized into Christ’s death have put off the old man and are raised like Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father.
When Jesus rose from the dead he took the power away from Thanatos (to take men to the underworld). So now that old devil Thanatos has no more ability to keep the Christian under his dominion.
Christians who are born of God have a new Lord who rules over their life. Jesus Christ the righteous.
Since this is true, scriptures tell us the old man is dead to sin. Thanatoshas no more authority to rule over the blood bought redeemed.
Jesus took the keys or dominion away from Thanatos and his partner Hades.
These two demons have no power to rule over the Christian.
Giving sin or hamartia place in our life gives Thanatos opportunity to rule over us.
Hamartia is the Greek word for sin. It means to come to a tragic end in ancient Greek literature.
When a character in an ancient Greek story came to a tragic end it was because they committed a grievous mistake or error in judgment.
Hamartia by the ancient Greek definition is the inner quality or character of a person which causes the action to occur. In other words the sin or hamartia nature. This bad action determines the character of a person.
How a person reacts to life circumstance determines the character which in turn creates the outcome. The consequence for hamartia always results in a tragic end.
This word is used by Paul to show that bad behavior results in a negative consequence. Whether you are a Christian or not. Sin will always lead to a tragic end.
In Jesus Christ this nature or hamartia is done away with. Instead of coming to a tragic end the Christian whose sins are forgiven now result in a good end.
Christians (born of God) have the Holy Spirit living inside of them. To be alive unto God is to have the new man yielded to the Holy Spirit which exercises dominion over hamartia. Thus preventing Thanatos from having his way.
The key to this equation being realized is the phrase “know ye not.”
Don’t you know that you have been baptized into Christ’s death? He has tasted death for every man. Don’t you know that the whole of hamartia has been destroyed? Don’t you know that you are made free from the dominion of Thanatos so you don’t have to come to a tragic end?
The key is knowing. When you know you have been delivered from the power of darkness then you can yield to the Holy Spirit. You are bought with a price. Redeemed from Hades and Thanatos. Set free from their dominion to serve God in newness of life!
So don’t let hamartia reign in your mortal body. Rather yield or give over your members or body to God so he can control your life by his Holy Spirit.
The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11-14
This is the admonition Jesus gave to his disciples concerning his coming again.
Let’s recollect about Lot’s wife.
Before Lot and his family left Sodom the angels gave the Lord’s command.
“Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.”
Lot’s wife however disobeyed the word of the Lord and turned into a pillar of salt.
Now why do you suppose she would do that? Obviously it was more than just curiosity.
To “look back” in this scripture is the Hebrew word nâbaţ which means to look intently at, to regard with pleasure and care, to consider, to have respect for.
This means that Lot’s wife had an affinity to the place she was leaving. A sentiment for her home. An emotional attachment to the people she was leaving behind.
Jesus goes on after giving this admonition to say in Luke chapter 17,
Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall preserve it.
“Losing our life” is the key point that the Lord is telling us here.
According to scriptures our lives are not our own. We were bought with a price.
“To lose” in this scripture means to die. Apollumi in the Greek. Which means to put to death or consider non operative.
Paul says that he dies daily. Death to self and the world is an every day thing.
Did you know that if we love the world or the things of the world then God’s love does not reside in us?
A sure way to tell a true Christian from a false one is if they are accepted by the world and if they love the things of the world.
What are the things of the world? Anything that the world esteems highly!
What does the world esteem highly?
John (1John 2) tells us that the things of the world are whatever your flesh or carnal nature lust after. Whatever your eyes lust after and whatever outside of God makes you feel prideful or you boast about.
So let me put this in modern terms. Whatever the world is running after, craving, pursuing, seeking for, desiring, addicted to, loving, and is their heart’s desire.
If you love those things too then you are not one of the Lord’s disciples. Sure you may believe in Jesus Christ but even the devil believes in God.
Remember that Jesus gave this warning.
Another way to tell a true Christian from a false one is how much they brag about themselves. How worthy they are. How blessed they are. How many special qualities they have. How wonderful their position in life is. How awesome their works are. How great life is treating them. Basically whatever is all about them.
Paul said that he boasted only in the Lord. He put no confidence in his own abilities. He boasted in being weak so that God could demonstrate HIS power through him.
Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Jesus told us as recorded by Luke(14) that if we desire to follow Jesus Christ and become one of his disciples then we must take up our cross. That is we must be willing to suffer like he did.
How did Jesus Christ suffer?
He was misunderstood, persecuted, judged, bullied, hated, ridiculed, beaten, and even put to death.
Yea, and all that will live godly inChrist Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12
Remember Lot’s wife? She turned into a pillar of salt for looking back to what God judged as evil. In the Hebrew pillar is netsîyb which means a post or garrison.
God made Lot’s wife into a sign post. For all with eyes to see. A reminder to “don’t look back.”
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep your’s also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
While today we think of the word “offend” as insulting one’s standard or principles, the Bible has a different definition.
Depending on the context of the verse, ultimately the word offense in the Bible has the same connotations. To offend someone does not mean to insult someone’s principles but rather to cause someone to fall.
Offend in the Hebrew language has several definitions but all pertaining to the same concept. It can be translated as châbal which means to pervert, corrupt or spoil.
It can be translated as bâgad which means to deal deceitfully, be treacherous or unfaithful.
It can be mikshôl which is to be a stumbling block or cause to fall.
It can be âsham which means to perish, become desolate, be found guilty, to trespass.
In the Greek language the word offend can be translated as skandalizō , skandalon or ptaiō which all mean to entrap, to trip up, to entice to sin, to cause to stumble.
In effect, “to offend” according to scripture means: to cause someone to fall, be a stumbling block, to corrupt, cause to err, to pervert, to spoil,
Jesus tells us what he thinks about offending others.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6
The epistles of the apostles reiterate this admonition.
But take care that this rightof yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 1 Corinthians 8:9
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. Roman’s 14:13
What the Bible is telling us is to try and live our life in such a way that our conscience is clean. Even if it means giving up something that would cause others to reject Jesus Christ.
In this way we can be a witness in the world.
Now we are not going to be able to please everyone and some people will find fault with us no matter how holy we live but we must not deliberately offend or be nonchalant in our witness.
Paul said he became all things to all people that he might win them to Christ. In other words wherever he went he respected (within reason) the culture he was in. He maintained his Christian witness while not offending anyone on purpose.
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22
The cross in and of itself is an offense to some people. They may behave very inappropriately towards Christians if they have an offense towards the gospel. If they do that they may cause themselves to stumble away from the truth. (1 Corinthians 1:22)
However, as Christians we must in all good conscience live in the light, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and not be a stumbling block deliberately to another person.
That means not causing anyone to do anything that goes against their conscience or doing anything in front of someone that may cause them to fall even if we have liberty to do it.
Jesus gave us an example in scriptures. He paid his taxes so as not to offend, he took a lowly position in order to not be offensive to others, he fulfilled all righteousness even though he was Lord of all and he remained humble throughout his walk in this earth.
Jesus tells us that just as he laid down his life to be a benefit for others so should we lay down our lives for the benefit of others. It does not matter if it causes us discomfort, rejection, or ridicule.
What matters is that we do not offend in all conscience by putting a stumbling block before others.
A perfect example of this is Paul’s attitude in dealing with the Corinthians.
Wherefore, if meat causeth my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh for evermore, that I cause not my brother to stumble.
1 Corinthians 8:13
Dear Father in Jesus name help us to not be a stumbling block to others in this world. Give us your wisdom in every situation. Let your light shine through us always. Amen