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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Coming Out of Darkness Part 8 by Gary Sigler

Facebook note on Monday, 28 March 2011 at 16:37 Transformation Not Condemnation Part 2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:1-2). How many times have we heard that passage preached as a call to consecration and dedication preached in the messages across America on holiness and right living? And if we have the religious mindset, we'll hear this or read this and we'll say, "Oh my, yes! Lord, I present my body to You," but then we will have brought up into our consciousness all those things in our life that we know should not be there. And after all, this word does say, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice , holy . . ." I used to say, "Oh God! I would love to do that." Oh how I would have loved to be able to go before God and say, "Father, I present my body to you, holy, unblemished and undefiled." I wanted so desperately to know the reality of the Scriptures. I wanted to be able to experience the heart-throb of God! Yet every time I would go into the Lord's presence, the light of God would begin to expose me, I would see all of those things in my life that should not be there and I would fall under guilt and condemnation. You see, most of us have not been taught about these things. We haven't been warned that there is no way that you can enter into the presence of God and not have the light of God expose you! If you move into the presence of God and you don't feel your weakness, if you don't sense your inabilities, if you're not aware of the sin and the habits in your life, then you haven't entered into His presence. But just because the light of God exposes all those things it doesn't mean that we should fall into condemnation. The light of God does what it is supposed to do; it exposes all the hidden areas of your heart. You'll begin to see things in your life that even you did not know were there. But it is not for condemnation; it is for transformation. God will never condemn you. He has paid the penalty for every transgression and disobedience in our lives. We need to spend time in God's presence to have Him reveal His heart to us. He said from the cross, "Father, forgive them; they don't know what they are doing." They had just nailed Him to the cross! He was bleeding, He was dying, and He said, "Father, forgive them!" Could He possibly have asked anything in that moment which would not have been granted to Him? The very men who pierced His side and hung Him on a cross will one day bow the knee before the throne of God, and they will give glory to God. They put Him on a cross, but because they did that, the price for their redemption and ours was paid. Even though they did the most criminal act in the universe, they acted under the plan of an awesome, almighty, all-knowing God, who works all things after the counsel of His own will. And that is why He could say, "Father, forgive them; they don't know." If you have sin in your life, if you have habits that you haven't overcome, and you fall under condemnation, you don't know the depths of God’s love! Because of the condition of the system calling itself Christianity, there is not much forgiveness in the Church either, unless you have a strong will and a strong character which is able to put down those things in your life that shouldn’t be there. Christianity as we know it today is only "the survival of the fittest". Those who have habits and things in their lives which they cannot overcome are not even welcome in many churches. We have an organization today in the United States called "Alcoholics Anonymous", but the Church frowns upon it because they talk about "a Higher Power". For the benefit of those of you who know nothing about Alcoholics Anonymous, I am going to give you a little information. First of all, it is absolutely impossible to be expelled from Alcoholics Anonymous if you have a heart that wants to quit drinking. They request that you have one desire in your heart, only one -- that you want to quit drinking. Now they don't require that you do that, they only require that you have the desire. And if you have the desire to quit drinking, you are welcome at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings anywhere in the world, and when you walk in they won't ask you what Chapter or group you are from; you will just be welcomed. And if you are a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and you come to a meeting after drinking, they will not throw you out. It is absolutely impossible to be expelled from Alcoholics Anonymous, if you have a desire to overcome. They have meetings several times a day, and their success rate is tremendous. You put their success rate up against the success rate in the church world, and they outshine it considerably. We Christians do not understand that we inherited a sinful nature. We are taught it, but then we are condemned for acting like it. Those of us who have been regenerated do have a new nature. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 7:22-23, "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." We are regenerated in our inner man, but that life in us must grow until it overcomes the law of sin and death. We have never been exposed to the truth that to stop sinning is a matter of growth and transformation. You can will to do what is right all you want and you should, but until the Spirit of God grows up in you, you will continue to fall into sin. Paul also says in Romans 7:18-20, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." The flesh is the carnal man. As long as we are living out from our carnal man we will always be brought into captivity to sin and death. Overcoming sin is not a matter of exercising our natural will. We must hunger and thirst after God. We must spend time in His presence every day so that His life may flow into our soul life and transform every area. Paul says here very plainly that if you are sinning, and you have a desire to please God, then it is not you that sins (not your new nature) but the sin principle that is still operating in your carnal man. The natural man will never improve: he must be put to death by your learning how to live in the Spirit. There are no "How to" books when it comes to living in the Spirit. You must spend time in the presence of God to be enabled to live according to His life. I know I am treading on some dangerous ground here, but we think that homosexuals are homosexual because they chose that lifestyle. Or we think that a prostitute is a prostitute because of choosing that lifestyle. But when we were born, when we were brought into the world, every one of us picked up the concept of being alienated from God. I used to go before God, and I would say almost continually, "God, I didn't ask to be born this way! God, I am just so eaten up with this stuff! I didn't ask to have the lusts of the flesh. Why am I this way?" I prayed every day. I would get up early every morning, and I would go out and seek God, and sometimes I would cry and say, "God, it's not fair!" I'd see Christians in church all around me, and they seemed to be so happy, and they seemed to be so free. (What little did I know!) But a lot of you can identify with this: If you are born on that side of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that has a nature tending to do evil, and you want to be a Christian, the so-called "Christian" community will not accept you. You don't have a chance as things stand today. There is absolutely no hope for you outside of finding the reality of Christ within you. You can love God and still be a failure at living the Christian life. Let me tell you something: One of the most miserable conditions you can ever be in (and many of you, again, can identify with this) is to have the love of God in your heart, yet basically you experience Romans 7:22-23, "I delight in the Law of God, but there is another law in my members bringing me into captivity to sin and death." I tell you, that when I met God in 1969, oh, I delighted in Him! And I had no knowledge of what I should and shouldn't do, I just delighted in God. And for a time after I was saved, in the evenings I used to open my Bible, and I would just read and cry -- and I would have a cigarette in my hand! I did that until someone told me, "You can't do that and be in God's presence. You are being deceived. You are getting a false spirit, a false sense of peace; you cannot enter into the presence of God with a cigarette. You can't do it." What a terrible thing, to tell someone they can’t get to God unless they clean up their life! We were born with a nature that is both good and evil. That is why Jesus went to the cross.We don't understand. We don't know why we act as we do. I didn'tknow why I acted the way I did. I wanted God, but I wanted what I wanted. I
couldn't help it.

We don't understand. We don't know why we act as we do. I didn't

know why I acted the way I did. I wanted God, but I wanted what I wanted.

I couldn't help it.

Have you ever been addicted to something, but, no matter how hard you tried, you experienced Romans 7: "I find another law in my members that brings me into captivity to the law of sin and death"? If someone has that natural characteristic in them which loves the things they shouldn’t, they cannot be a member in good standing in many churches that I know today. But if they are on the "good" side of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, then they are accepted. We really don't understand that what has been raised up out there calling itself "the Church" is absolutely antichrist. I'm not talking about people; I'm talking about the system, and the way that system has been set up is antichrist. A homosexual cannot be a member of such a church, a prostitute cannot be a member of such a church -- unless they change and clean their lives up. Someone might say, "Brother, don't you know that Paul said that you shouldn't even eat with someone who is in adultery?" Well, there is one thing I know in these days: I know the heart of God. I know what people need is not condemnation, I know what they need is not adjustment, I know what they need is not laws and regulations. What they need is to understand the love and the heart of God, because at Calvary the debt for sin was paid. God's people have been in bondage too long, thinking that there is something wrong with them, thinking that they don't really want God or they would be able to quit this habit or that habit. "Present your bodies a living sacrifice and holy." In God's eyes, every one of you is most holy! How can we say that? We can say it because "Your sins and your iniquities will I remember no more." And, "As far as the east is from the west, so far have I removed the transgression of my people." And you say, "But, I'm still sinning, and I’m still doing things I shouldn’t!" It doesn't matter, because when you understand God's concept of sin and His concept of Calvary, it will free you up from the guilt of just simply being who you are, and will then allow you the access into His presence which will bring to you transformation. I have been speaking this for years -- if the Spirit of the living God is never formed in you, so that He begins to grow up in you and be expressed in you, you will never change inwardly! And if you only change outwardly, it doesn't help you anyway, because outward conduct and outward change do not produce anything but a better outward person. But what God needs is for His people to understand that because they are the way they are, because they inherited that nature from Adam, they need to feel no shame, no guilt, and no condemnation. I inherited all of those things that I was in the natural because of not knowing my true identity and nature and have believed the lie that I am separated and alienated from God because of my conduct. To be continued

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