True Faith is evidenced when the reality of sin and the need of pardon is recognized by the believing sinner. This is not an intellectual nod to a theological doctrine but a fact which pierces the heart asunder when the Name of Jesus Christ is lifted up to the lost as their Lord and Savior.
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” John 12:32
The drawing of the Holy Spirit when the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified is given to the lost cannot be intellectual understood. The witness of the Spirit of God to your spirit when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior that you are a Child of God is not a carnal experience that can be explained. Some may “feel” nothing but they recognize a change…a new creature in Christ Jesus which is now born of the Spirit.
For the believing Saint, true Faith is evidenced when the reality of sin and the need of victory over sin’s dominion is recognized. Jesus did not come to save us in sin but from sin. Sin has no place in the Believers life.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under Grace.” Romans 6:14
This dominion over sin is not gained through 12 steps nor 40 days of purpose. This reality of sin in the Believer is not to be ignored. Lying to ourselves or God about the reality of sin in our life does not constitute deliverance from sin. Abstinence does not constitute deliverance from sin. Sin in a Believer’s life should be directly dealt with the same way it is dealt with upon Salvation…at the Cross of Christ.
“8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” 1 John 1:8-10
When the Believer stumbles (and they will stumble), it is the same recognition of sin and need of deliverance from it’s dominion that is evidence of true Faith in the Cross of Christ. This doesn’t mean the Believer has lost their Salvation. God forbid no! As long as we believe in our heart that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior; that He and He alone paid the price to atone for our sin, we are Saved…miserably Saved, but indeed Saved.
Sin’s dominion is afforded the Believer by Grace, not abstinence which is utilizes self will to be obedient to a law (Romans 6:14).
“8 For by Grace are you Saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Again, sin has no place in the Believer’s life. Sadly however, many Believers do not know how to live for God. Because their faith is placed in their ability to overcome sin instead of the Cross of Christ for victory over sin, they are in a constant battle with self. Stuck in Romans 7, they are under constant condemnation from man made laws and not the Grace of God through faith.
“18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 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.” Romans 7:18-23.
The modern church has left their First Love, Jesus Christ and sought other methods for dominion over sin. The methods have left the Body of Christ under constant condemnation if they do not choose to ignore their sin.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the Law of Sin and Death.” Romans 8:1-2
Recognizing sin as sin and seeking deliverance from sin by faith in the Cross of Christ gives the Holy Spirit latitude to do that which He and He alone is commissioned to do – free us from the Law of Sin and Death. Because we have believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ, Who He is and what He has done to free the Believer from the dominion of sin, the Holy Spirit superintends the work of God in the Believer’s life enabling us to live unto God as we ought to live. This is not a carnal event but a spiritual law which requires denial of self, not acceptance of sin nor acceptance of self will (abstinence) to overcome, but the complete and utter dependence on the work of Jesus Christ as sufficient to break the power of sin.
“And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
-Donna Clark Warren