Overcoming … The Devil

Thoughts
The Devil.  Our last enemy to consider is Satan; also known as the devil or the evil one.  Jesus taught us in John chapter 8 that at the heart of Satan's character is a liar.  "The devil was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar and the father of lies" (Jn 8:44). At the heart of Satan's temptations are lies.  Lies about Christ and His character.  Lies about Christ and His finished work on the cross.  Lies about Christ and His promised victory over sin in our lives.  Lies about Christ and His goodness.  Lies about Christ and His living inside us. …
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Overcoming … The Flesh

Thoughts
The Flesh.  We now turn to the enemy within; the flesh.  In the New Testament, the apostle Paul gives us three visuals, complete with action verbs, for defeating the flesh.  They are walking in the Spirit, crucifying the flesh, and putting on Christ.  "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh ... those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit" (Gal 5:16,24-25). Walking in the Spirit is living into all that Christ promised regarding the Spirit's indwelling.  When we allow the Spirit of God to live the life of the Son of God through us, we are walking in the Spirit.  And…
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Overcoming … The World

Thoughts
How do we overcome the remnants of our indwelling sin and the enemies that stir them up?  How do we resist the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil?  We have talked often about the theological answer to these questions; overcoming sin by the power of the resurrected Christ literally living His life through us.  But what does that look like in practice?  Let's take a look at some specifics. The world.  We overcome the world by our love for Jesus.  "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, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride…
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“Sin Which So Easily Entangles Us”

Thoughts
Last time, we talked about the continuum regarding sin found in Hebrews chapter 12.  "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Heb 12:1).  On one end of the scale is the encouragement and expectation to "lay sin aside".  At the other is the acknowledgement that "sin so easily entangles us". In light of the New Testament promise that our sin nature was destroyed at the cross and that we are now indwelt by the sin-crushing power of the resurrected Christ, how is it that sin still manages to gum up the works?  Let's start by looking at…
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