Are you tired of feeling trapped in a cycle of sin and shame? Do you long for true freedom and victory over the mistakes and missteps that hold you back?
The good news is, it is possible to break free from this pattern and experience true freedom.
In this blog post, we will dive into the cause of this struggle and discover the path to overcoming sin once and for all, and discover the secrets to breaking the chains of disobedience and walking in the victory God intended for us to have.
As we’ve said on Episode 20 of the Raising the Standard podcast, man is composed of three parts: spirit, soul, and body, and in that order and alignment we were created in. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thess 5:23 that he wants believers to prosper in spirit, soul, and body.
When man fell in the garden, this order was thrown into chaos. Man mutated and became an entirely different species; we have changed from our original state and the original intent that God created man for.
The kingdom man is created to rule and reign in dominion with the Creator. And now we have mutated into a completely and wholly different species than what we were created to be.
I am specifically referring to the man who does not know God. The Bible says that through one man (Adam), sin entered the world (see Rom 5:12). When sin entered the world, it entered our human nature and it now governs and controls, impacting everything in our life.
The soul has enlarged and is governing in a place it was never designed to govern. It was supposed to be the human spirit overseeing and essentially governing the soul and body of man. And now due to the fall, the soul has enlarged.
Your mind, will, and emotions are governing your body and governing over who you are as a human being. At least, until Christ steps in and we become born again.
The Heart & Spirit of the Good News
We are all born into sin and in need of a Savior. This is the core message of the Gospel. Humanity has been separated from God due to our sinful condition but through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, we can be restored, forgiven and made new.
It's important to understand that we all fall short of God's standard. Sin is missing the mark and it separates us from God. This is the foundation of the Gospel message, and through accepting it, we can have salvation and a restored relationship with God.
If we look throughout church history and look at the contemporary messages being preached right now, there has been a lot of focus on the depravity of man and the sinful condition that man now finds himself in. This is the root of many of the tragedies that we see throughout the world at this present time. This can all be traced back to the fact we live in a fallen world where sin has infiltrated its systems, the culture, the environment.
We are seeing the consequences of the earth under sin.
Mistaking knowledge for good with life
So if you grew up in church or you observed Christian teaching or evangelism, much of the focus has been on this sinful state of man, the depravity of the human fallen condition. And this has been a hyper focus on the knowledge of the evil within the fruit of the tree.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is what Adam was instructed not to eat from and he ate from it. And this hyper focus has now emerged within American preaching and evangelism where we’ve focused on the sinful state. I'm not saying it's wrong; it’s true that we are born sinners and that sin separates us from God. But we don't hear much about the portion of the fruit.
But there are two components that are often overlooked and missing from many messages today in sermons and books about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: knowledge and good.
We know a lot about evil in the world, but we don't hear a lot about how man now has an experiential knowledge of evil and good. We can also say this is the number one trait of our fallen human nature also known in scripture as the natural man. This will manifest through man's drive to attempt to do good; this hunger within himself to want to be good, to want to do good.
So the inward drive to do good and to do evil comes from the same tree; it's the same source that is driving men to do good and driving men to do evil at the same time. Man still wants to please God; there are many people that don't know God, but they want to please God, and they think they can do so by doing good works.
What happens within man is that our value system is now distorted and as a result we start mistaking good for life.
Two Different Trees in the Garden
Remember, the tree that Adam did not eat from was the tree of life. So now there's this vacuum, this hunger for life, but we don't have it within us. We only ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so man will do good in replacement of the life. He will be conflicted within himself because he has a desire to do good, but he ends up doing evil.
If you do not know the Lord, your spirit died at the fall, and you were born with that shrunken, mutated, or that deadened spirit.
And so he's mutated and enlarged in his soul life made up of our mind, our will, and our emotions. All of those things comprise the soul. And this is the human life. This is the life of humanity, the life of the soul. And there's this second element at work with man as a result of eating that knowledge of good and evil, and it will lead to sin.
So while we have this human life within us, we also have the result of the tree that will always lead us to sin. This puts man in a pursuit of good and a desire to abandon evil. And he can never be fulfilled doing either. And no matter how hard a man tries to do good and eventually does some good things and then falls and does evil, he's never satisfied with either.
Let's look at the cycle and the pattern that men get stuck in
You could say this is the fruit of eating that forbidden fruit on that day in the garden (see what I did there?). You have a desire to do good, but you end up sinning because that part of your nature is working within you, in your body. And then sinning will cause you to feel terrible.
Enter the feelings of guilt and shame. This also will cause men to be disgusted with themselves and we end up falling into despair. We run and we want to hide from everything because of the emotions associated with sinning. After some time, men will eventually stand up. They will gather themselves. They'll stand up and they'll vow never to do that again.
We have a conscience and sometimes this results in a need to pacify feelings of guilt since our conscience bothers us. Men may do good deeds, but usually they're compensating for evil and for shortcomings. Man wants to do something good because it pacifies something within them, and it convinces them on some level they’re a good person.
And then what happens next is that man will eventually fall, stumble and sin again. And the cycle repeats itself.
Here’s the secret many men don’t realize: this inward drive to do good and be good comes along with this propensity for sin. When I say sin, I'm talking about fulfilling the natural cravings of the flesh. They both come from the same tree: the knowledge of good and evil.
The Trees of the First & Last Adams
Earlier I said it was this tree that launched the greatest tragedy in human existence. Here's the good news; it was also a tree that Jesus Christ, the son of God and the son of man who became flesh, dies and resurrects as the firstborn of a new species.
Just as sin entered through this tree and the fruit of this tree, we see that Jesus Christ died on a tree. As he dies and is resurrected, he's giving birth to a new species. He corrects the fallen human condition.
When you become a disciple of Jesus Christ, when you become a believer, when you repent and you follow him and you pledge your life to walk with him, he makes you a new man, a new creation.
That mutation is now fixed; he is the solution by causing us to become a new species!
Becoming a Christian and pledging your life to following Jesus and expanding the kingdom of God, this new birth of what Jesus says in John 3 is being born again, is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. It is a door.
When you become saved, you enter into a journey of maturity that all men must follow. This is the pattern in natural life, and is also the pattern in spiritual life, but the natural life is a pale comparison of spiritual truths.
Reversing the Mutation Doesn't Happen Overnight
Think of it like this: if you have children, you watch them grow and they progress through various stages in life. And there's a growth process that occurs when they're given proper nutrition and rest.
Well, the same thing happens for us spiritually as men. We grow, we mature, we strengthen with the right nutrition, with the right rest, with the right protocols, we will grow into strong spiritual kingdom men.
This growth is actually a pattern of allowing our spirit man to enlarge and ascend over our old man, our soul life, what the Bible calls our old man or our natural cravings and appetites known as the flesh.
As you feed your spirit, it will grow. As you feed your spirit, you mature and you gain strength, and that spirit comes back into right alignment as originally intended.
Your human spirit in union with the Holy Spirit comes into proper order and alignment. Spirit, soul, and body. That is the way we were designed as men with our spirit governing our mind, will, and emotions, and of course, over the appetites and cravings of our flesh.
We do Not Do Good Works to GET Saved
So I want to be clear about this again: we do not do good works to GET saved. We cannot save ourselves by doing good works. Remember, man ate of the tree of the knowledge of good, and now there is this drive within man to do good, thinking he can save himself. So we don't work for salvation, but the spirit leads us to do good works.
We're still called to do good works, but those good works don't save us. Only the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross saves us. The cross that Jesus calls all disciples to pick up when he says “pick up your cross and follow me” is for our flesh. That is the process of putting down the natural cravings, of pushing down the self-life, that soul-life that always wants to come back into ascendancy. But through the power of the spirit, through being born again and having Jesus Christ in our life, infused with the energy, the anointing, and the power of the Holy Spirit residing in us, we no longer have to fight on our own.
We have the Holy Spirit within us as Kingdom Men that gives us the power to overcome the evil one and take dominion over ourselves.
If you want to take dominion in life, if you want to occupy, if you want to expand, if you want to move and you want to grow, you must take dominion over yourself first.
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