Ever say that to somebody? "Don't even think about it!" It's a modern day admonition to head off at the pass something that you anticipate someone trying to inflict upon you.
"Hey dad, Jimmy's mom let him paint his bedroom purple and I was wondering...". This could be a spot for a "Don't even think about it!"
Or it could be used in a more serious situation.
Romans 6:12 - "Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions."
Paul is giving us his version of "Don't even think about it!", as he strongly urges us to avoid sin.
Don't consider it. Don't yield to it. Reckon yourself dead to it. Refuse to allow it. Stay away. Keep it out. Don't entertain it.
I always find myself scratching my head as I find more and more Christians in the world making excuses for sin rather than obeying the clear teaching to avoid it like plague.
Somewhere over the centuries teachings about sin being unavoidable and inevitable have replaced the clear teaching of Paul in the Word.
When did "Let not", "Consider yourself dead to sin", and "Don't continue to allow", turn into "You have to", You can't help it", and "You must every day"?
Well, I do know when, but that's not important right now.
What's important is that sound biblical teaching proceed.
Paul says that when we become born-again, the power of sin is broken in our life. We are now to live in unbroken fellowship with Christ.
Listen to me here very carefully. While I realize that sin is forever lurking at the doorstep, we must realize that we are not bound to obey it.
The relationship we once had with sin is broken when we begin our new relationship with Jesus.
Why is that such a difficult concept? Most of us who are married have had other relationships before we met our spouses. We had to break off and forget any such previous relationships before we solidified our present ones, did we not?
The problem, I believe, is with a religious spirit. Many people cannot see Jesus as a relationship, and sin as the home wrecking former love interest.
We used to be in love with sin. Now we are in love with Jesus. Paul says we must consider ourselves dead to the old flame which was sin, and alive now to the new relationship with Jesus.
The two are as incompatible to each other as any former flings and your new spouse.
Picture this: "Honey, guess who I just ran into at the grocery store? We haven't seen each other for years, so I thought I'd bring him/her home for dinner!" Do you think that is going to fly?
Picture this: "Lord, I got to thinking about some stuff I used to do before I met you, and realized how much I miss it, so I'm going to be spending some time in it from time to time." Do you REALLY think that is going to fly?
The biggest lie from hell is that we have no control over our actions and that Jesus somehow just winks at it.
The fact is that you do have control as a new creation in Christ. If the new nature you have received in Him cannot conquer the issues of your old nature, then you really don't have a new nature at all, do you?
This is the reason why Paul said we must have a renewal of our mind after we become born-again (Romans 12:2). God has done His part in us by creating a new spiritual being through Jesus Christ. Our response to that is to live according to the Word (Jesus), to be doer's of its instruction. We are no longer to conform to previous sinful patterns of living.
Romans 6:14 - "For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God's favor and mercy]."
Get this deep down in your spirit this morning. Grace does NOT override free will. Grace is there to lead us and to restore us if we fail, but Grace never gives us an excuse to fail.
Jesus says in Revelation 3:20 - "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."
Dining (having relationship) with Jesus is one on one and personal. Don't invite SIN to the table.
Keepin' it Real,
Pastor Kevin <><