The World

December 3, 2023 Preacher: Michael Clary Series: The Victory of Christ

Scripture: James 4:4

 Good morning church. And happy first week of Advent to all of you as well. Yes, it is fun times, fun Advent season.

I love this time of year. My name is Michael and I'm the lead pastor here and we are going to detour from the first Peter series we were doing and do an Advent series called the victory of Christ. And that'll be just over the next four weeks. And in this series, what we'll be, what we'll be doing is focusing on how we can experience the victory of Christ over our sins, personal sins.

I'll give you a book, this, this series was inspired by, and I'm drawing a lot of material from this book called Spiritual Warfare, Christians, Demonization and Deliverance, by Carl I. Payne. So, this book, I read it this past year, very accessible and delightful book. And so there's three chapters in the middle of this book that were helpful for me, and that's the basis of this series, so I commend this book to you.

What Payne argues in this book is that temptations to sin can be grouped into three overlapping categories, and there's strategies for each of these categories. And so, I'll put this on the screen here for you. There's the world, the flesh and the devil. So, the world is external temptation, external solicitations to sin.

The flesh is internal. solicitation to sin. And then the devil is supernatural solicitation to sin. And that's, those are the next three weeks, what we'll be doing. And then the final week will be Christmas Eve, where we talk about Jesus coming and all about his victory. So, these three temptations, they overlap.

I want to say this at the outset: this is a teaching tool because in any particular sin or temptation, you're going to see elements of all of these because there's a lot of overlap. But in terms of just understanding how we're tempted to sin and how we can fight sin, it's, it's good to have some kind of breakdown like this that can give us a little bit of bite sized chunks to look at.

So, this is how we're breaking it down as a way to just help us face our temptation. So, it's not always one or the other, but in every case, there's probably some combination of all three. Regardless of the source, though, we are victorious in Christ, and our victory in Christ is what we apply in our particular temptations to overcome sin.

So, let's dig in we're gonna, we'll be looking at a number of different texts, but we'll start in James chapter 4, James 4:4, it says this. You adulterous people. So, he's talking about some kind of adultery here. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God. Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

So, James here is saying that a friendship with the world Is enmity or hostility with God and he likens this being an enemy of God with adultery. So that's a spiritual adultery. It's an Old Testament metaphor of Israel committing adultery against the God who saved them and rescued them. Same idea he's applying here.

It's like if you want to be friends with the world, it's like spiritual adultery. You're at enmity with God. So, here's a question that oftentimes people will ask whenever they encounter this concept. If God so loved the world that he sent his son Jesus to die to save the world, then how is it spiritual adultery when we love the world?

If we, if we love the world, we're doing what God did, right? How is that an inconsistency? Well, the answer to this is in that the word world is used in a number of different ways in the New Testament. The, the author John, who wrote the book of 1 John, the gospel of John, the book of Revelation. John uses this word a lot, and he uses it in a lot of different ways.

And that's part of its rhetorical power, is that you have to think whenever you encounter the word, what does it mean? So, there are several meanings and uses that can be detected in the New Testament. And there's five in particular that that I'll mention here. This is from the Tyndale Bible Dictionary.

And it just gives us a summary of the five different ways that the word world is used. And the Greek word is kosmos. So, you know, kind of cosmic. Same idea. So, the first use is, the world is the universe as God created it. So, it's just the created realm, that's the world. Or it's the earth in contrast to heaven.

So, it's earth being distinguished from heaven. So, in this case, you would have like John 6:14 they, the people said of Jesus, this is the prophet that has come into the world. Meaning he's a prophet from God, but he has come into the world. So, it's the earthly realm as distinguished from heaven.

The third use is the totality of humanity. So that's John 3:16. This is all the people. For God so loved all the people. For God so loved all of humanity. That he gave his only son. The fourth use is the totality of human existence. In this present life, with all of its experiences and possessions. So, the world is, is all of it.

It's, it's all the things that you experience and possess and encounter. So that would be Matthew 16:26, where Jesus said, what would it profit a man if he gains the whole world? He doesn't mean you gain an entire planet, but he means all of the, all of the experiences and possessions and all the things that you want.

If you gain all of those things and yet forfeit your soul. Number five, and this is what we're talking about today. This is our definition for today. The world is the world order as alienated from God and in rebellion against God and condemned for its godlessness. Now whenever you encounter the word world in the Bible in the New Testament, any one of these could be in play.

But in our text today, the way James uses it and some other texts I'll show you, this is This, this is what is at work. He's talking about this, this world system that's alienated from God. So, whenever James 4 says, if you want to be friends with the world, you make yourself an enemy with God.

Why? It's because the world itself is alienated from God. The world order is alienated from God. So, if this is your friend, then you are aligning yourself with God's enemy. Because the world order, the system of the world is alienated from God and it's arrayed against God and it is a system, meaning it's not a mono causal thing.

There's a variety of factors in at work in this fallen world that are arrayed against God, that are, that are in rebellion against God. And whenever you align yourself with that system, you're, you're making yourself an enemy of God. So, in that sense you would be committing spiritual adultery. That's why James 4 says “You adulterous people,” because if you're a Christian then you are the bride of Christ, right?

I mean Jesus died to purchase you as the bride of Christ and Then making yourself a friend with the world is like hopping in bed with God's enemies. It's spiritual adultery. Now, there's a text in 1 John 5 we'll look at in a moment, but 1 John 5 says the whole world lies in the power of the evil one, meaning it's under Satan's control.

And so, Jesus says in Matthew 8:7, woe to the world for its temptations to sin. So, this is Jesus speaking woe to the world for temptations to sin. So, the world is external to us. It says it's necessary that temptations come, meaning that's part of life, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes.

That is, woe to the one that is operating in concert with the world that presents a temptation to us. So, these are external solicitations to sin. Now let's look at 1 John chapter 2. John uses this word “world” in the same way. And he says here, do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world. So, he's going to give us some things. All that is in the world. And we've got three things. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. Those things are not from the father, but it's from the world. You see that? All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and this is New American Standard Bible, by the way.

Lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the boastful pride of life. Those are not from the father, but they're from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts. But the one who does the will of God lives forever. So, the things of this world are the particular ways that those external sources Solicit us, proposition us, tempt us to sin, right?

So, let's look at these one at a time. They overlap, right? But these are the three. Lust of the flesh, that's the first one. Lust of the flesh is external propositions designed to trigger some physiological response in our mind and body. That's a lust of the flesh. The most obvious ones that you might think of are sexual temptations, but there are others.

But that sexual temptation is a big one, but it could include anything that involves indulging the flesh, physical usually. So, it's alcohol abuse, substance abuse, gluttony, pornography, sexual sin, things of that nature. And the most obvious desire of the flesh is the sexual desires that are commonly triggered by external sources.

So, it could be something that you see, could be something that you encounter, that, that all of the sudden, because you encountered this thing in the world. This image, this person, this stimuli, it prompts you to sin. And so, there's this thing that triggers a temptation that triggers it within your own desire, within you, it triggers some lust of the flesh.

There's this billboard, I-71. We drive by it all the time on the way to and from school, and It's like, it's, there it is. I mean, there's nothing you could do. It's right there. And it's an image that is inappropriate and it's broadcast for everybody to see. And so, it causes this decision point because you encounter something and, you know, every, anytime we go by it, I'm just like, I just drive like this.

It was like, don't look that way because it's an inappropriate image. But here's another example. So, speaking of billboards, I looked up, I googled what, what's the billboard top, top song right now? And I'm just like, I'm just curious, what is the top song right now? And I discovered that the number one song right now is Lovin on Me by Jack Harlow.

I had never heard of this song but so I looked up the lyrics and I think it's meant to be funny. It's kind of an ironic thing, but humor is powerful because what we laugh at, if you laugh at something that laughter is a pleasant experience. And you enjoy it. And so, anything that you're laughing about cultivates a positive association with that thing.

And so, the song is celebrating sexual immorality in a way that's a little funny. It's a little ironic. It's kind of clever. And in so doing, it elicits, it elicits some kind of a desire, but it represents the world. And this song is just one part, one tiny little part of an entire world system that is collectively in rebellion against God.

And it turns that rebellion against God into a form of entertainment. And next week it'll be some other song. And the week after that it'll be some other song. And chances are, whatever the top song is going to be, or the top five song is going to be, unless it's Mariah Carey's Christmas song, is going to be something that celebrates sin.

Usually. Now you might think, what's this a funny song? It's a joke. Not a big deal. Why are you being such a, an old stick in the mud, Michael? And that's because if that's the way we think about it, then that tells me that you're thinking, well, it's just harmless, right? It's innocent.

Come on, it's just stupid fun. But things that we think are stupid fun can be quite tempting. And it can be tempting because it curates a desire for something ungodly in our soul. And if we're not, if we're at least not aware of that, if we don't detect it, if we don't discern it, then we'll just go along with it like a dead fish floating down the stream.

We'll just kind of go wherever the stream pulls us. The second one is lust of the eyes. Lust of the eyes. Now, these are, it can be a little confusing because we think lust of the eyes, well, the eyes trigger lust for sexual things, but lust of the eyes has a little bit different sense here. These are external propositions to sin, and they're desired to, or they're designed to trigger desire for beautiful things and oftentimes with the hunger to achieve or, or, or to possess.

So, the heart of desire of the eyes or lust of the eyes is discontent. It's fueled by an envy. And we think like, you know, you're this, the sense that we all have, and it's not always conscious, usually it's just below the surface. It's subconscious, but it's still there at the level of feeling. We think if I had that, I would be happy.

Nobody thinks that way. If you say it out loud, it sounds kind of silly. But that's, that's the way our desires work. And, and, and it could be the most stupid things. And there's a lot of that during Christmas time, right? Because we see commercials and ads, and we think Oh, that thing, man, that's so good.

That car, that house, that vacation, whatever it is. The thing that, that jewelry, that piece of clothing, that pair of shoes or some gadget, whatever it is, it's just like, I want that. And if I had that, it's like, wouldn't it be so cool to have that? Man, life would be, that would really make life easier.

And we, we have, it triggers discontent and that's the lust of the eyes. You know, good advertisers know that they're not selling products, they're selling promises. They're not selling, okay, here is, you know, here is the latest iPhone and it's got this, this, this. Now, some advertising will have that, but if you look at a commercial.

They're selling you a promise: your life will be easier and better, more convenient, more fulfilled. And, oh, like, let's say the camera on a phone, it's like you'll, it's like your memories, you'll save your memories, the cherished moments with your loved ones. That's what they're selling you. They're selling you the ability to capture and freeze time so that you can hold on to a moment of happiness forever.

That's what they're selling you. They're promising you something. They're not, they're not selling you a product, but they're selling you this promise in the form of this product to get you to buy it. Sports car advertisers. They're selling status and image, right? Fun and excitement. They're not selling transportation.

You know some piece of junk car will get you from point A to point B just as well as a Ferrari. So why not just buy the piece of junk car? It's because the Ferrari is a lifestyle vehicle. It's status, it's image, it's cool factor. It makes you the object of envy. That's what they're selling you.

That's lust of the eyes. The boastful pride of life. Are external propositions that are triggered by selfish ambition, and that's a hunger to achieve. So, you can think of it as a desire to control your own destiny. To where you can be in the driver's seat and you can, you can have what you want and do things your way, apart from any means that God would appoint to you.

So those are the three. John tells us, 1 John 2:15-17, If you love the world, the entire system, or if you love the things of the world, which is lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, the boastful pride of life. If you love either of those, let me just go back to this. Like, if anyone loves the world, loves the father, so do not love the world nor the things in the world.

So, if you love the world or the things in the world that we've just been talking about, then this is, this is the hard verse here, the hard thing to swallow. The love of the Father is not in you. So, a person who, that has the love of the Father in them, they're marked out as being different, right? They don't love the world.

They don't love the things of the world. Now we'll talk about, we'll flesh this out as we go along. But we need to grapple with what John is telling us here. This is a very serious thing. And what James, he said earlier, he said, friendship with the world is enmity with God. Do you want to be God's enemy? Do you want to be spiritually in adultery?

So why would any Christian love the world? You might think, why would anybody want to do this thing? Why would anybody love the things of the world? Why would anybody want to be deceived? And the answer is because we love our sin. We want to sin. We would rather accommodate sin than mortify sin. And then the world can become our accomplice.

And because it's external to us, we have some plausible deniability that it's actually anything that is truly happening to us. I can say it's the world's fault. I lusted because I saw that billboard. It's the billboard's fault. It gives us some way to distance ourselves from moral culpability. But John is saying here that your relationship, your orientation to the world is an indicator of your relationship to God.

So, just as a thought exercise, if there were something that you're tempted by, it could be some lust of the flesh, some sexual experience, some woman or man that you, that you're tempted by, or it could be some possession that you could have, or some experience, or some form of control that you could have.

If you could have that thing that you desire, and you could get away with it, Would you do it? If you knew you could get away with it, would you do it? And if you already know that you would do it if you could get away with it, then you love the world. You love the things of the world. You love your sin.

And John has a very sober warning for you. The love of the Father is not in you. And if you love the world, the devil will exploit this fact to destroy you. He'll lower your defenses and will increase your opportunities to sin, to give in to it. That's the world. That's the system of the world that is hostile towards God and rebellion against God.

And as we come into contact with the world, there's, it's going to present these promises, these enticements to us, this, this, this hope that things will be better if you could just have this thing that the world is offering you and it triggers your lusts. So, here's the thing, James says, friendship with the world is spiritual adultery.

And you can't call yourself a Christian and have a mistress on the side. 1 John says, if you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you. Meaning, you're not a Christian. You're not regenerate. If you love the world. And we've seen a lot of apostasy over the last few years. And apostasy is simply the outworking of this principle.

It's the outworking of fake Christianity. Where people loved the world, but they wanted to pretend to love God also. And whenever the heat got too hot, and the tension became unbearable, then they bolted and they went with what they truly loved, which is the world. And they say they're deconstructing or they're apostatizing.

But what's going on is they're just revealing who they always were. Somebody who was pretending to love God, but really they loved the world more. And they made their choice. So, the point is very simple. You can't fight sin and love sin at the same time. Because what you love always wins. Apostasy happens when you're in love with the world.

And you're in love with your sin and you don't truly love God. Apostates love their sin because they're enslaved to it. They're enslaved to the world. They're held captive by it and they're powerless against it. And if that's you, let me give you some good news. Because we're here, we want to hear good news.

Let me give you some good news. Jesus Christ died and rose again to set men and women free from their sin. That's what we celebrate. That's why we come here. It is because we have a Savior who died to sin so that we, or He died physically so that we might die to sin. And He rose again physically so that we might be raised in a new hope of victory over sin.

That's what we have. So, the good news is that the, is the gospel through Jesus Christ, we have victory over sin. So, every Christian has the promise of life with God in eternity, and also the power over sin and temptation in the present. Let me give you another promise. This is John 1, 4 and 5. So this is the same guy who said the same thing earlier, Mike, if you don't, if you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you.

Same guy said this, everyone who has been born of God, who is, who is that? Tell me. Christians. Everyone has been born of God. Christians. So, let's make this. Crystal clear. Every Christian overcomes the world. That's our promise. That's what we have in Christ. Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.

And this is the victory. Oops, I was sloppy there. The victory that has overcome the world. Our faith. Faith is something we believe that we can't see it with our eyes. So, what is that thing that we believe but we can't see with our eyes? We believe Jesus Christ was a real man who came to this earth because he was sent by the Father out of his love for the humanity that he came to save.

And he was perfect and sinless, and yet because of his sinful perfection, the world hated him, mocked him. beat him and nailed him to a cross and he died and was buried in a tomb, but three days later, he rose again, victorious, not only physically, but victorious over the entire spiritual realm. He's victorious over the world.

And then our faith is placed in him and his victory. And so, whenever our faith is in the right object, Jesus Christ, his victory is our victory. And that is the victory that has overcome the world. It's yours. That's what we have. So, when it comes to facing sin and facing temptation, we've got to realize that we are victorious.

We are overcomers. We don't have to lay down and play the victim and act like, well, this is just happening to me. I don't know what I'm going to do. No, you are victorious in Christ. You have power in you to overcome any sin.

So don't believe the lie that you just have to succumb to it. Because that's not the way it works. Jesus died not merely to take us to heaven. He died to give us his victory over the world and the flesh and the devil. So, if you're here today and you're not a Christian, hear me, please hear me with, with love and all love and respect.

I plead with you. Look to Jesus Christ. Confess your sin. Repent of your sin. Turn and believe in Jesus, and you will receive not only eternal life, but you will receive power in this life to overcome sin. And if you are a Christian, hear this, we can put our victory to work. Our faith has overcome the world.

Our faith is in Jesus. He's overcome the world, and we have that faith, and we can put it to work in our fight against sin. You've already been set free. Sin has no power over you. The world may tempt you; the world may trigger a sinful desire in you, but you do not have to succumb to it. If you're a Christian, the love of the Father is in you, meaning that your, your desires have been transformed.

Your heart has been changed. You've been given a new heart, a heart that is tender and soft towards God. The love of the Father is in you. You are not a slave to sin anymore. You're a slave to righteousness. So that's my sermon. I got more to say. That's my sermon. That's the, that's the basic idea. And I want to give you some tools to put it into practice.

So let me give you four things. How do we avoid loving the world or loving the things of the world? We'll go back to John 2:17. We'll look at a couple other scriptures, but I want to show you these four things. John gives us an important clue in fighting the world's propositions to sin.

Verse 17 here says, the world is passing away and also its lusts, but the one who does the will of God lives forever. So, you see here, the world is passing away, it's temporal. And the one who does the will of God lasts forever. That's eternal. So, the world propositions us by offering this exchange, we're exchanging something eternal and of Incalculable value and exchange that for something temporal and fleeting.

It's a bad deal.

The world proposition just with this sort of exchange a counterfeit version of something eternal then Matthew 16:26 Jesus said what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? What shall a man give in return? So, there's this sense of an exchange.

And Jesus is saying what's the profit? What's the gain? What's the benefit if you trade in something of inestimable value in order to receive something of momentary, temporal, fleeting, dying value? Four things. Number one, set your heart on things above. Set your heart on things above. So, overcoming the world's temptation is not just this.

This practical strategy, it's got to begin at the very beginning. It's got to begin with God Himself. The love of the Father is in you, right? So, we have to cling to that fact. And when one loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. But anybody who doesn't love the world, or anybody who's, the love of the Father is in them, they don't love the world.

So, the love of the Father, that's where it begins. Because God is everything. He's the Alpha and He's the Omega. The first, the last, the beginning and the end. And nothing compares with Him. So, Paul says this in Colossians chapter 3, If you have been raised then with Christ, seek the things that are above.

That's where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth. Why? Because that's a bad deal. The things on the earth are fleeting, temporal, dying, passing away. So that's, we don't want to set our mind on that. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ and God.

That's the same thing James was saying, or John was saying in 1 John 5. The victory that has overcome the world is your faith. Your faith is here. You have died. That's your faith. And your life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, appears, you also will appear with him in glory.

That's your faith. And that faith has overcome the world. And that means that victory is alive in you this second, right now, this moment.

So, Christ is the true north. And we have to calibrate everything in our lives, every priority, every decision, every desire, to his eternal coordinates. Because eternity with Christ, that is your destiny. That's your home. That's where you're headed. And the world that we live in, it's a theater of deception where Satan's schemes are being played out.

And it's a sophisticated apparatus of, of temptation and solicitation and proposition and desire and lust to get us to trade something eternal for something temporal. So, this theater of deception is something we've got to navigate in the power of the spirit. And with, with the help of the church and the word of God, I mean, we've, we have resources.

We have to navigate this theater of deception until we reach our homeland. So, Christ is your life, set your heart on things above where Christ is, he's first. Number two: don't take the deal. Don't take the deal. So, with every temptation, you're being offered a deal. Choose the world over Christ. And we don't take the deal because it's a bad deal.

Jesus said, what can you give in exchange for your soul? Ten minutes of porn? Is that worth it? A fling with the woman you work with? Neglecting your children so you can build your career? Whatever that thing is that you're chasing, that's temporal, that won't last. And what Christ has given you will last.

It'll last forever, it's eternal. That's what we've been given in Christ. So, the world lies to you by presenting these promises to you that it can't keep. Promises of fulfillment and hope and pleasure. Deceiving you into thinking, this will feel good. This will give me some relief. This will make me happy and fulfilled.

And it's always a lie, it never, it can't deliver on its promise. Because there is nothing the world can possibly offer you that is worth the price of your soul. So as a Christian, eternity dwells in you. If you're a Christian, eternity dwells in you, meaning the father’s love is in you. Eternity dwells within you, you're indwelt by the Spirit, so eternity lives within you.

You already possess Christ. Eternity is already your inheritance. And 1 John 2:17 says, the world is passing away with its desires. It's fading. So, the world's temptation is to exchange your birthright of love and joyful service and glory in the kingdom with some fleeting pleasure of sin. That's a bad deal.

We wouldn't call it deception if it didn't look good. It does. Sin can look good. That's why it works. That's why it's power, it has deceptive power because it does dress itself up. It does look good. The world deceives us by making sin look good and appealing and desirable and fun and we can enjoy all of those things with little or no consequence.

And that is so stupid. You're smarter than that. God has given us so much. He's given us eternal riches in Christ, and the world is offering you a shortcut, and it's all fake. So, you got to recognize we're being played.

Whenever you pull out your phone, and you're tempted, you know what I'm talking about. You're being played. You're being lied to, and you're giving something of eternal value to the devil. Making a bad deal, and that's dumb. Not only is it sinful, it's just stupid. It's dumb. So Christian, hear me on this. You are eternal.

You are eternal. And there is not a price tag that you can put on your soul. You were made for eternity. Christ redeemed you for eternity. John says, whoever does the will of God abides forever. That means it's eternal, it's permanent, it's everlasting. So, whenever you're tempted by a woman at work, or a man in your neighborhood, or porn on your phone, or greed, or whatever else, or to lie to get out of trouble, or to arrogantly refuse to admit fault when you're wrong, or whatever that temptation is, Remember, you're being offered a bad deal.

That fleeting momentary pleasure, or that fleeting momentary relief of some painful consequence of a prior sin that will damage your soul. There's no life there. It can't satisfy. It will leave you empty in the long run. Number three. Train yourself. To be disgusted by sin, train yourself to be disgusted by sin.

So, as we've already talked about the battle with the world is won or lost at the level of desire. If you love the world, the father's love is not in you. If the world is your friend. You'll be an enemy of God. And what Christians often do is that we view sin through a therapeutic lens, like we're passive victims of things that just happen to us, of things that we just experience as though we have no culpability in it.

And so, we treat sin like a chronic condition, gotta learn to live with it, while secretly nursing a desire for it. Secretly nursing and feeding our love for the very sin that we say out loud that we would want to escape. And then, in our self-pity, we demand others show us compassion for our sin and feel sorry for us.

Nonsense. Sin doesn't just happen to you. You choose it. You choose it because you desire it. And you desire it because you love it. And you love it because deep down, you still believe alive that it's good and it's better than what Christ has given you. So, Christian, the battle with sin is won or lost, ultimately, at the level of desire.

You don't hate your sin nearly enough, and neither do I. So, we can either play the victim and demand everybody around us play the game with us because they're playing the game too, so we're all, we're all playing the same fantasy. And expecting everybody else to accommodate our spiritual adultery, because they are adulterers, too.

Or we can train our desires to love the things of God. And to love God the Father most, and to be disgusted with our worldliness and sin. I've got a family member who, who had a secret porn addiction for nearly two decades. He knew it was a sin. He was a Christian. But he, he was living in this war, right?

He kept doing it anyway. Why? Was he a victim of it? It's like, well, I'm just, I'm just too weak. Just can't overcome temptation. He liked it. He did it because he liked it. He enjoyed it. But something happened one day that was a breakthrough for him. It changed his inner desire. And that breakthrough was the thing that finally helped him to set, to be set free from sin.

And one day he learned that the porn actresses, actresses that he watched were often exploited, trafficked and underage girls, and it hit him so hard. It said he made him wanna vomit. He wanted to throw up. He was immediately repulsed. It's like it hit him by a ton of bricks because he saw not only his sin, but also the effects of that sin as it played itself out on the world system.

And it made him sick that he was complicit in it, that he participated in it, that he supported it financially. That he bought its product and that his participation in it would lead to more women being exploited and trafficked because there's a market demand for the product that they were selling. And he was so repulsed and disgusted by that that he, he confessed to his wife, he confessed to the elders of his church.

And then he repented publicly in front of the entire church. He hated his sin. And once he hated his sin, he was no longer tempted by it in the same way. We're tempted by things that we secretly desire. That's what tempts us, because we desire it. And the world will activate those desires and tempt us.

Satan will solicit those desires by putting it in front of you because you love it. And so, the fight will be won when you hate it. When you hate the sin, and when you hate it, then the temptation loses its power. And you hate it whenever your mind is set on the things above, the things of God, eternal things.

When your heart is set on those things, then the temporal, fleeting pleasures of sin, whenever Satan dangles it before you, you're like, I don't want that, I'm disgusted by that, I hate the effects of that, I hate everything about that, and I hate you for offering me that. That's how you win. But you don't win when you're like, Yeah, I love this thing.

Doing my best, but I'm sure next week, whenever we get together in our accountability group, I'll report the same failure once again. That's not, that's not fighting. You don't experience victory that way. You experience victory when you hate it. And you're disgusted by it.

Number four. Believe God for victory over every sin.

There, I'm convinced from scripture. I'm not convinced from what I hear in the evangelical subculture, but I am convinced from what I hear in scripture that there is not a sin that we should surrender to as though we're powerless. I just don't believe that. I'm not arguing that we can reach a state of sinless perfection.

I'm not saying that. What I am saying, any sin that you can identify that is afflicting you. I believe that we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us and through faith and hard work and obedience and applying spiritual disciplines and the means of grace, we can overcome, but we do not have to consign ourselves to perpetual defeat.

I had a church member go back challenged me once about how much in our speaking in our liturgy, we referred to ourselves as sinners and you know, chafed at that. I didn't like that. We're sinners. What do you mean? It's like, I sin, you sin, you know, we don't, anybody who denies that they're, that they've got sin in their life is a liar, 1 John says, so what are you talking about?

And I think it was splitting hairs because when, when we define sinner as one who, sins, to whatever, to whatever degree they experienced it, then is it, is it appropriate linguistically to call them a sinner? Sure. So, in that sense, yeah, I'm a sinner, you're a sinner, we're all sinners, but positionally to declare this as a matter of identity within our church and for that to be the normative way that we speak of one another, it cultivates a spirit of defeat that says, well, you're a sinner, I'm sinner.

So. Are you really all that surprised that I sinned in this horrible way yesterday? Of course not. Well, we're all sinners. It's a way to make excuses for it. And it's a way to kind of, to keep the victory that is ours at bay. But we have victory. I've got to read this again. Everyone who has been born of God, every Christian, overcomes the world.

Meaning you don't have to lose. And this is the victory that has overcome the world. Our faith. Meaning it's not up to you. It's not up to you to white knuckle it. And come up with just the right technique and just the right spiritual discipline and the right habit and the plan. No, it's our faith, our faith in Jesus.

That's our victory. And so, if our faith in Christ is solid, then we should experience victory. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? Nobody. Only those who believe Jesus is the Son of God. Those are the only ones who can overcome the world. So be encouraged.

You are not a victim. You're a victor. And that, that's a promise. That's not a heap of guilt. I'm not saying that to make us feel bad. I'm saying that to give us hope that we have resources and we, the resources that we have need to be appropriated through our faith because we believe that Christ in us is stronger.

He's overcome the world. He's victorious in the world. That victory is ours. We share in that victory. So now as we come to the table, we celebrate the victory. This is a feast, a banquet of our conquering king who has defeated sin and all earthly power and all supernatural power. All authority is his.

We come to the table, and we feast the victory of heaven- Jesus.

Let's pray. Our father and our God, thank you that you have sent your son to come and die in our place so that we can have victory. Thank you, Jesus. You have overcome the world. And we ask you now, Lord, I just, my heart goes out to anybody here, or they just feel as though they're overwhelmed with some sin or temptation.

Father, I pray that you will remind them by your spirit that they are cleansed and clothed in righteousness because of Jesus. We do not earn our way to heaven. We do apply the way that you have earned in this life on the way to heaven. But we don't earn it. So, Lord, give us the faith to believe not only what you've done for us, but the ongoing work of sanctification that we can experience.

So, give us hope, Father. Make us a hopeful people. Lord, I don't know how this sermon will land. And I just pray by your spirit that you will apply it exactly how it needs to be applied. But Lord, I pray that we will, we will be built up and encouraged knowing that we have victory because of the work Jesus has done.

And so, we pray now, feed us spiritually as we feast on your grace and goodness. And we ask this in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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