The
Flip Side
of the
Problem

Laying aside the sin
which doth so easily
beset us

I THOUGHT HE WAS NUTS!   One day,
    during class, my philosophy teacher--one of
these British guys who knows which spoon to
use for desert--looked at me and said, "Please,
be so kind as to make the room dark."

   Figuring he had more boring slides, I got up
and headed for the light switch.
   "STOP!" he politely yelled.
   "I thought you wanted it dark," I said.
   Shaking his head with dignity, he said, "Use
some other means; you may not turn off the
lights."

   I looked around, thinking I missed something.
"Professor, I realize you're a pretty smart guy,
but--"

   "Mr. Kowalski," he said, "class time is
precious.   Try introducing darkness, rather than
removing the light."

   "Huh!?" I said, looking at his head for signs
of a concussion.
   He pointed toward Lisa Harding's book bag
stuffed underneath her chair.   "IN THERE!   I
am sure you will find it dark."
  He was losing
patience.   "Simply open the young lady's bag
and release some darkness into the room."

   I looked at Lisa Harding: 5'11", 270 lbs,
and growing a mustache.   He's nuts if he thinks
I'm gonna touch her bag with her sitting right
there.
   "Look Professor, with all due respect, the
minute I open that bag, it'll no longer be
dark inside.   I'll be the only one seeing
darkness--when Lisa puts my lights out."

   Everyone else laughed.
   The Professor just smiled.   "Excellent, Mr.
Kowalski!   You may now sit down."

   I got back in my chair, convinced, I did
miss something!

MY CHRISTIAN FRIEND, did you grasp
    the profound truth hidden within the
    opening story?
  Once again our God
has woven a spiritual truth within "the laws of
nature."
  Darkness cannot, in and of itself, be
poured into a room.   Darkness is the absence of
light.   It is the lack of light that results in
darkness.
   Biblically speaking, "darkness" describes the
state in which man finds himself, without God.
The Bible says, God is light.   Take away God, the
Light of the world, and all you have left is
darkness.   That is why Jesus Christ, God in the
flesh, said: "I am come a light into the world,
that whosoever believeth on me should not
abide in darkness."
  John 12:46

To remove, you must add . . .
Jesus Christ also taught that, spiritually
speaking, to eliminate darkness, you must
introduce light.   A person in spiritual darkness
can't just walk out of darkness; they must first
step into the light: "I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life."
  John 8:12

Man's real problem is not the presence of
darkness, but rather the absence of light.   Thus,
the only way to rid this world of darkness is by
displacing it with light.
   It is important that Christians fully understand
this concept, otherwise they will waste time
trying to "remove" the world's darkness, rather
than spending the time "adding" God's light.
   Now, having said all this:

let's apply this same concept toward
removing the "sin which doth
so easily beset us..."

The Bible tells us to "Lay aside every
    weight, and the sin which doth so easily
    beset us, and let us run with patience the
race that is set before vs."
  Heb. 12:1
   Ask the average Christian why they have so
much trouble running the Christian race, and
usually the answer is sin.   Naturally, if we
perceive the problem as being the presence of
sin, then the solution becomes removing that sin
from our lives.

Most Christians try to do just that on a daily
basis.   Yet, while many find certain sins easier to
eradicate than others, rarely does anyone get the
total victory over all their sins.   Overall, everyone
struggles with sin, one way or another.

Granted, none of us will be perfectly sinless as
long as we have our corruptible flesh hanging
around; but still, one has to seriously wonder if
the extent of our struggles with sin is what God
intended.   The Bible does say to the born again
Christian: "For sin shall not have dominion over
you: for ye are not under the law, but under
grace."
  Rom. 6:14

The victory over sin has already been won by Christ when He shed His blood on the cross:
"Knowing this, that our old man is CRUCIFIED WITH HIM, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN.   For he that is dead is FREED FROM SIN."   Rom. 6:6-7

Moreover, we don't find the first century Christians struggling with sin the way we do today.   Why is that?   One may argue that we modern day Christians have a lot more sin to contend with than our predecessors.   The following statement by the Lord Jesus Christ about "the last days" seems to imply just that:
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."   Mat. 24:12

However, the "last days" began with the Lord's ascension into heaven.   Iniquity abounded during the dark ages, and yet look at all the Christian martyrs who stayed faithful and sanctified--we rarely hear about their hearts waxing cold.
Certainly not as cold as our's can wax today.

Furthermore, ask yourself: what was Adam and Eve's problem?   They rebelled against God--and certainly rebellion is sin--but was it a sin problem that initially caused them to rebel?
Remember, they didn't have a sin nature PRIOR to rebelling.   So what was their real problem?

There is a flip side to a sin problem . . .
Go back to the last verse we read.   Notice an interesting correlation the Lord reveals to us:
"because iniquity shall ABOUND, the love of many shall WAX COLD."   Did you catch it?
   The Lord says when sin abounds, love waxes cold.   An increase in sin coincides with a reduction in love.   The following verses further imply a "seesaw" correlation between love and sin:

n "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."   1 Pet. 4:8
n "Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins."   Prov. 10:12
n "He that covereth a transgression seeketh love."   Prov. 17:9

Perhaps the implication here is that just as light displaces darkness, love displaces sin.   This is not farfetched when one realizes what the Bible teaches about love in regard to the law:
   "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.   This is the first and great commandment.   And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments hang ALL THE LAW and the prophets."   Mat. 22:37-40

"And Jesus answered him,
The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.   And the second is like, namely this,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.   There is NONE OTHER COMMANDMENT GREATER THAN THESE."

Mark 12:29-31

Sin is sin; any sin, no matter how "small," will take anyone to Hell.   However, can we suppose that the greatest sin would be to break the greatest commandment?   If so, then not loving God and man results in the greatest sin.   No wonder the Bible says: "love covereth all sins."

Note the following verses: "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for HE THAT LOVETH ANOTHER HATH FULFILLED THE LAW.
For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.   Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore LOVE IS THE FULFILLING OF THE LAW."
  Rom. 13:8-10

If we practice perfect love, we inherently keep God's law, and keeping the law means NOT

There is even a third example . . .
Every saved born again Christian is in a constant battle with their sin nature, which the Bible commonly refers to as the flesh: "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that YE CANNOT DO THE THINGS THAT YE WOULD."   Gal. 5:17
   A Christian's common reaction is to regard his/her inability to "conquer" the flesh as a flesh problem.   However, as in the case of darkness and sin, the real problem is not too much flesh, but rather not enough Spirit.
   The Bible says God is Spirit.   And just as light displaces darkness, and love displaces sin, it is the Spirit which overcomes the flesh.   That is why the Bible says "Walk in the Spirit, and ye SHALL NOT FULFIL the lust of the flesh."   Gal. 5:16
sinning, "for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4).
God's Word also says, "But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected."   1 John 2:5

"God is love" (1 John 4:8).   Couple that with the fact that "Who- soever abideth in him SINNETH NOT" (1 John 3:6), and once again we find that love displaces sin, just as light displaces darkness.

We have a love problem . . .
Perhaps the real problem we face today is that we don't love God and man as we should.   This is not to say that sin is not a problem.   But the reason we struggle so much with sin, is because we don't practice the only thing that will displace it--love.   Adam and Eve's problem was that they didn't love God--they had a love problem; their lack of love resulted in sin, in much the same way that a lack of light results in darkness.
   My friend, unless we begin to love God more than our sin, we will never get the victory over it.   God's Word says: "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and HIS COMMANDMENTS ARE NOT GRIEVOUS."   (1 John 5:3).   Obeying God and staying out of sin will not be grievous if we love God with "All thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength."   Matt. 12:30

The flip side of our sin problem is a love problem.   Perhaps you constantly struggle with sin.   Assuming you are truly saved, are you loving God and man as you should?

IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven?
  The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).

BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated between you and your God," Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.

SECONDLY, you must realize that there is NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."   (Eph. 2:8-9)   Baptism, good deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are all examples of good works that cannot save you, because, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he [Christ] saved us," Titus 3:5.

THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through Jesus Christ.   He said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."   (John 14:6)   THAT'S WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."   Romans 5:8-9

THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner and can't save yourself.   And call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you.   "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."   Romans 10:9

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