Standing Firm & Not Backsliding
‘But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.’ ~ Rom 13:14
Eternal life is not received until we persevere in holiness to the end and gain right to the tree of life [Revelations 22:14]. Therefore as Disciples, we must not put down our cross but continue to deny ourselves, follow Christ, and persevere in a holy life until Jesus returns.
How can we continue burning bright for Jesus and not endanger our soul’s eternal welfare by entering a sinful backslidden state? What practical things can we do to help ensure that we will not fall back into sin and perish?
Abide in Christ & His Word And Be Led By The Spirit
John 15:4-5 ~ Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
- In order to stand firm and stay fruitful Jesus said that we must abide in him. He is the source of our nourishment and the one that causes us to bear fruit. Without him we can do nothing!
- Abiding in Jesus is simply exercising faith in the person and message of Jesus and allowing those words to remain in your heart [John 5:7].
- If you want to stay free from sin, abide in Jesus deeply, and be so involved in bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God that sin is not even an option! You cannot be abiding in Jesus, out sharing your faith with others, and winning souls from darkness into the light while being anywhere near sin.
Romans 13:14 ~ But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
- Our flesh has many lusts and desires that it wants us to fulfill but the Bible says that if we will put on Jesus Christ, this will act as a shield against these desires and prevent us from fulfilling them.
- Putting on Jesus is putting off your old identity of self and realizing Christ now lives in you. Let Him live through you and let the message of Jesus dwell in your heart by faith and be led by those teachings.
Galatians 5:16 ~ Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
- Paul says this in another way. He says to walk in the Spirit and that by doing so you will not fulfill any of your fleshly sinful desires.
- Walking in the Spirit is being sensitive and allowing the Spirit of God to influence our hearts with the message of Truth.
Psalms 119:11 ~ Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
- David expounds upon this when he says that he has put God’s Word into his heart and locked it up in there for the express purpose of keeping him from sinning against God.
- Meditate always on God’s Word and think about it constantly. Let those words remain firmly hidden in your heart and you will not sin.
1 Peter 4:1-2 ~ Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
- If through the message of Christ, we develop the same mindset that Christ had, then we will stop sinning.
- This mindset was a mindset that is committed to allowing it’s flesh to suffer and to no longer live for its desires but only for the purposes of God!
Romans 6:11 ~ Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- This is a mindset. We are to firmly believe in our minds that we are completely dead to sin through the sacrifice of Jesus.
- Realize fully that we are now alive unto our God and sin has no more power over us!
Be Fervent In Prayer Against All Sin & Temptation
Matthew 6:9&13 ~ After this manner therefore pray ye: … And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
- There are very few items in the Lord’s Prayer but one of them is a definite request to God that he would prevent us from being overly tempted and that he would deliver us from Satan’s schemes.
- Fervently pray to God that he will deliver you from all the traps set by the enemy. This is absolutely necessary to your spiritual survival or Jesus would not have included it in this all-important prayer.
Mark 14:38 ~ Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
- Jesus acknowledged that our flesh was weak and liable to temptation and failure.
- The remedy he says is to be alert and prayerful. Always be on your guard for unexpected temptations and always be praying hard to God to keep you free from these opportunities to sin.
1 Peter 4:7 ~ But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
- Because judgment day is coming soon Peter admonished us to be very serious and prayerful.
- The end is coming and if we do not want to be taken by surprise, in a sinful state of condemnation, then it is imperative that we be alert and in constant prayer.
Jude 1:20-21 ~ But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God.
- Jude tells us that the way that you can stay built up and strong in the faith and against all evil is to pray in the Holy Spirit.
- Praying in the Holy Spirit is getting in a state in which we are filled with God’s Spirit and then in that mindset pouring our hearts out to God in accordance with his will.
- If we do this, we ensure that we will keep ourselves strong in faith to resist sin and ultimately firm in the love of our God!
Be Sober, Vigilant, And Fight Hard In God To Resist Satan
1 Peter 5:8 ~ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
- One of the enemy’s tactics it to cause you to forget that he is even there and that there is really a war going on!
- There is a serious battle for your soul taking place every day and every minute. Satan is a powerful adversary who is always thinking of new ways to devour your soul and you cannot stop for one moment and take your defenses down.
- You must be very serious, very alert, and very watchful or you can easily be devoured.
Ephesians 6:10-12 ~ Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
- Realize that there are great powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness that we are fighting against. We must fight hard but we absolutely cannot go against such forces in our own strength!
- We must be strong in our God and in his power and the way we do this is by putting on a the spiritual armor he has provided us with!
Ephesians 6:13-17 ~ Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
- What awesome power God has given us against the enemy. We have the invincible armor of Truth, Righteousness, The Gospel, Faith, and Salvation from God.
- By arming yourself with all these in faith, you will be able to withstand spiritual wickedness and stop all the darts of temptation the enemy shoots at you.
1 Corinthians 9:27 ~ But I keep under [hupopiazo: beat black and blue], my body and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
- God has given us great power to fight against the enemy but we must also put up a very strong fight with this power.
- Paul said that his flesh was like an enemy and that he had to beat it into submission ever day of his life so that after preaching the message of salvation to others he himself would not be damned.
- Sometimes we just need to give our flesh a firm beating in the spirit and let it know that Jesus Christ is the boss!
Deuteronomy 4:9 ~ Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life.
- Be very careful to not let the truth slip from your heart. Satan has control of today’s media and exerts much sway and influence.
- We must be very diligent to keep our hearts free from this influence and this can only be done by not allowing wicked things into our hearts.
Revelations 3:11 ~ Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
- Satan and his children do not have a crown and they will do everything they can to snatch yours.
- Jesus says Hold on! Simply hold on with your dear life to what you have received in Jesus.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ~ There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
- Even though Satan is scheming against us and traps are laid everywhere, God has promised that there will never be a situation where you cannot hold on and escape the trap.
- As Disciples, God promises that we have been given everything we need to resist being overtaken by temptation and sin.
Fellowship With Godly People – Don’t Hang Around Sinners
Ephesians 4:16 ~ The whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
- The body of Christ is a source of nourishment and strength against temptation for Disciples.
- We have much power to influence each other and determine whether we will all make it to the Kingdom!
Hebrews 3:13 ~ Exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
- The Scriptures say that a sure remedy against going back into sin and being hardened in that state is to fellowship daily with other Disciples.
- By getting together and exhorting one another, we confirm in each other’s hearts the message of Jesus, and ensure that all of us stand firm unto the end.
Hebrews 10:24-26 ~ And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.
- Do not neglect this method of staying free from sin! Many have fallen from the truth and been hardened because they did not seek out and fellowship with others who were godly and of the Truth.
- Instead, let us gather together often and stir each other up to continue in good works bearing fruit for the Kingdom because if we are again entangled in sin there is no hope or forgiveness for us!
1 Corinthians 15:33-34 ~ Be not deceived: evil communications [homilia: companionship] corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
- Gathering with sinful people will have the exact opposite effect on your life as gathering with the righteous.
- There is no more sure way to guarantee you will fall in your hour of temptation then to hang out with ungodly people. These are Satan’s children and the tools he uses to influence and tempt Disciples. To do this is equivalent to throwing yourself head first into the lions pit!
Make Practical Changes In Your Life To Protect Yourself
We should not just pray that God will lead us not into temptation but we should also do everything within our own power to ensure we are not leading ourselves into temptation.
Matthew 5:30 ~ And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
- Each person is different but as we live our lives we learn that there are particular things that bring strong temptation into our lives.
- Jesus said that if we find something keeps being the source of temptation and sin then we must do everything we can to get that thing out of our lives.
- It is so important that even if the thing that is causing you to fall were to be your hand, even then you should chop it off. This is because the wages of sin is death!
- If we allow something in our lives to cause us to sin, it is the same as allowing that thing to cast our bodies into the pits of hell.
1 Corinthians 7:8-9 ~ I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
- When Paul was counseling single men and women that were struggling with passion for the opposite sex he did not just say ‘hey, you need to just be strong and stop lusting!’. No, he told them that they also need to get practical and do something that would ensure they would fulfill that desire in an honorable way.
- Paul suggests that the permanent solution for this issue is marriage. This was the solution that God provided and if we are struggling in this area, we should surely be on the hunt for a godly spouse.
- Realize that one of Satan’s tactics is to work through others to tell you that you should simply be content single and wait for this person to just appear. This is a half-truth. Yes, we should be content in all situations but not content to go to hell! If you cannot contain than do what you can to get married! Just make sure it is a holy Disciple of Jesus; otherwise, you will perish.
1 Timothy 5:13-15 ~ And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan.
- Paul said that singleness also was a source of many women’s temptations to be lazy and inactive and to simply wander around from friends house to friends house gossiping about others.
- Paul says that the solution is to get married and get busy! Get a godly husband and raise up a family. That will ensure you are not idle and you will not give Satan an occasion to speak against that holy Truth you represent.
Proverbs 23:29&31-32 ~ Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
- The Scriptures do not condemn the drinking of alcohol but is does contain many warnings that alcohol can easily turn into a powerful influence for evil and sin in our lives.
- We are warned that alcohol has the ability to wound us powerfully like a deadly serpent. If there is anything that can increase the power of temptation 100 fold, it is alcohol!
- For many of us, the best course of action is to simply abstain from all alcohol and thereby ensure we never fall prey to this trap.
Psalms 127:2 ~ It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
- Being overly exhausted is another way that the power of temptation can be greatly increased in our lives.
- When we do not get enough sleep, our flesh gets very irritable and much harder to put into submission.
- We do have to be diligent to provide for our families and there is much work to do for the Kingdom of God but do not wear yourself out and bring upon yourselves unnecessary temptation.
- God promises that he will take care of all your needs. He knows the amount of hours he has given you in a day and he does not expect you to over exert yourself. He truly gives his beloved saints sleep!
These are just a handful of ways the scriptures show us how being practical in our daily lives can ensure we do not fall into sin.
Walk in the Spirit and seek out the things God would have you do that will ensure victory in your life.