Categories
Anti-Dotes-For-Modern-False-Teachings-Like-Hyper-Grace Lent Devotion

BYE BESETTING SIN, THANKS TO THE BLOOD!

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

If it is not possible to overcome besetting sin in our lives as believers, the Bible will not even call us for it. But it does! Hear the writer of the letter to the Hebrews: “Therefore, seeing we also are compassed by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us 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 us” (Hebrews 12:1 KJ21).

There are those who are merely satisfied with the cleansing work of the Cross. Does the Cross cleanse us from sin? Of course! Apostle John wrote, “the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all Sin” (I John 1:7 ESV).

The Cross of Christ does more than just PURIFICATION. It gives us POWER over habitual sin. The Cross of Christ does more than just WASH away sin. It gives us the wherewithal to WALLOP sin! The Cross of Christ does more than just CLEAN sin. It enables us to CRUSH sin’s grasp over us!

The connection between the Cross of Christ and victory over besetting sin is so clearly established in Scripture that we will have to be stone-blind or be heavily influenced by cultic hyper-grace hell-populating teaching not to notice it.

Apostle Peter expressed it clearly. He wrote, “He(Christ) himself bore our sins on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (I Peter 2:24 ESV). Apostle Paul penned the same thing using different words and imagery: “Those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). And when he wrote in Galatians 6:14, “the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and to the world” he was saying this: “thanks to the deep work of the Cross in my life, the besetting sin of worldliness is now dead (crucify here means death) in me!”  Jesus died so that we might have victory over sin in our day to day lives.

Let me talk about various “P”s that help us understand how the blood of Christ gives us victory over daily, besetting sin.

PEACE & THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

Prophet Isaiah wrote, “the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him” (Isaiah 53:5). When we choose to sin against the Lord as a believer, the first result is a loss of peace. The knowledge that we will lose our peace when we sin should strongly deter us from walk down the familiar path of sin. Yes, that journey to watch a web series full of erotic scenes is not worth it for it destroys our peace which was given to us because of the work of the Cross. Yes, that online affair outside the boundaries of marriage is not simply worth it because our serenity goes for a Six (to borrow a Cricket imagery)! Apostle Paul wrote, “we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (Romans 5:1 NLT) on the Cross. “When I commit a wanton wickedness against my Lord, my peace will go for a huge Six. I don’t want that to happen. So, I will overcome the temptation before me by tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit!” That is what we should say. That is what we should do.

PRECIOUSNESS & THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

The Bible says, “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ” (I Peter 1:18-19). When we realize the preciousness of the blood of Christ, we will realize how atrocious it is when we keep returning to same old sin (that porn-watching, that drunkenness, that abusive language, etc.).

Hosea’s wife left him to go to the Red Light area for prostitution. But that did not put a red light (stop) on his love for her. He bought back his wife from the Red Light District operators  by paying 15 pieces of silver, five bushels of barley and a measure of wine (Hosea 3:2). These things were by no means cheap those days. They were very expensive. Exodus 21:32 and Zechariah 11:12 tells us that the price of slave in the Jewish slave market was 30 shekels of silver. Translate that into today’s world where to ‘buy’ a kidney also you need to shell out a bomb. Imagine the price of one full individual, then! Hosea paid this monstrous amount, part in silver (15 pieces), part in agricultural produce (five bushels of barley and a measure of wine). After redeeming her, Hosea told her not to return to the Red Light area as a prostitute (Hosea 3:3). She had to put a ‘red light’ (stop) on her life of sin having experienced a love from her husband which did not stop even though she went into the red light area! Having been bought with something far more precious that Prophet Hosea paid for his wife, which is the precious blood of Jesus, we must also take efforts to overcome sin. Since we were “bought” with a price – the utterly precious blood of Jesus – we must glorify God in our body, the Apostle Paul wrote (I Corinthians 6:20). We must stay away from sinful habits that destroy our souls and bodies – torrid habits such as masturbation coupled with porn-watching, alcohol/drug consumption, sexual activity outside marriage, etc.

THE PROFANING & THE BLOOD OF JESUS

The author of the book of Hebrews wrote these powerful lines: “How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned blood of the covenant by he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of Grace?” (Hebrews 10:29 RSV). And when do we profane the blood of Christ? The same author answers this question very directly: “when we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth” (Hebrews 10:26 NIV). So, when we are tempted to watch that profane web series that is showing in that popular streaming service (Netflix and the likes) we must tell ourselves this: “If I watch that, I would profane the precious blood of Jesus which I do not want to do. So, I will overcome that temptation empowered by the Spirit!”

Yes, it is possible to beat besetting sin through the blood of Jesus!

THE PERSECUTION & THE BLOOD OF JESUS

John observed in the Book of Revelation this: “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not lives even unto death” (Rev. 12:11). Yes, end-time believers overcame “the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world” (Rev. 12:9) through the blood of the Lamb (the Lord Jesus Christ). The Devil tried to threaten these believers with severe persecution but because they were inspired by the blood of the Lamb they did not “love their lives so much that they were afraid of death” (EXB version of Rev. 12:11). Jesus was extremely bold as he marched toward the Cross. While his disciples ran helter-skelter when the Roman arrest party came, he very boldly marched towards them saying, “I am he (the one you have come to arrest)!” (John 18:4-6). His bold voice threw the arrest party on the floor. They were flabbergasted.  He was that bold! So, his blood gives us the courage in the face of persecution that can came to us for saying ‘no’ to sin. Therefore when we say ‘no’ to sin inspired by the blood of Jesus this complaint that the writer to the Hebrews made about his congregation will be no longer true about us: “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Hebrews 12:4 RSV). Instead of compromising with sin trying to escape the brickbats, inspired by the blood of the Lamb we will conquer sin despite the onslaught of severe persecution which may come from the Government, from your boss in the place of work.

Keep connecting the above-mentioned four “P”s – Peace, Preciousness, Profaning, Persecution – with the Cross of Christ! Habitual sin, which the Bible clearly warns us against (I John 3:6), will be a thing of the past!


This article was published in Evangelical Fellowship of India’s AIM magazine (April 2021 edition). Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. He has preached by invitation in over 20 Indian States and in five nations, in a ministry that has spread over three decades. His book, STRAIGHT TALK (on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, Sexting, Phone Addiction, wise life partner choice, happy marriage, and More), is seen by some as a Reference Text Book on what the Bible has to say on these Taboo Topics, and is available on Amazon and Google Books. Alternatively, you can reach out to him via WhatsApp at 91-8886040605 or email to emailduke@gmail.com to buy a copy.

Categories
Deep Disciples of Jesus Shaping Article

READY TO SHUN AND SHAKE OFF BIBLICAL ILLITERACY?

Duke Jeyaraj

September 8 is observed as World Literacy Day. How many of us appreciate the fact that the Bible Translation works have indeed accelerated the literacy levels in many a place across the globe?

The translation of Bible into English by the likes of John Wycliffe (1328-1384) and William Tyndale (1494-1536) in the 14th century and 15th century paved way for even shopkeepers in England to become 95% literate. Bob Creson writes, “Literacy in England is directly attributable to the Bible” (The Washington Post, December 11, 2014). This phenomenon was repeated in India. Here is a report: ‘Teaching  people to read was one of the responsibilities the evangelists undertook so that by the time they left a village there were Christians who could read. Conversion and literacy were adopted together. Among the Khasis in Northeast India missionaries taught that “You cannot be a Christian without reading the Bible!” So, people were taught to read in Schools.’ (Darrell L. Whiteman’s essay in the Philip C. Stine-edited book,  ‘Bible Translation and the Spread of the Church: The Last 200 Years,’ page 138).

Unfortunately Christians who brought in literacy initiatives so that people could read the Bible, are fast becoming Bible illiterates. ‘Sodom and Gomorrah? Are they sisters?’ – this Biblically illiterate generation asks!

Let me use the word ‘THEOLOGY’ as an outline to underline the need for Biblical Literacy among God’s people.

T-Titus Being Called To Pick Bible-Strong Elders!

Paul  fondly called Titus his ‘son’ (Titus 1:4). He told Titus about what kind of elders he had to appoint for providing Christian Leadership in every town: “He must hold firm to the trustworthy Word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9, ESV).

H-Head-nodders, the Bereans Weren’t!

The people of Berea were not head-nodders. They were more noble than those in Thessalonica because they not only “received the Word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see” if the things Paul and Silas taught were in line with Scriptures.

E-phesian Elders Called To Commit Themselves To The Word of Grace!

Paul never stayed continuously in one place to minister as much as he did in Ephesus. And when he wanted to move, he made a gripping farewell speech to this church’s elders. What did he say? He said after he left, ‘fierce wolves will come in not sparing the flock’ (Acts 20:29). What was the antidote for this wolf-attack? A commitment to the ‘Word of His Grace!’ (Acts 20:32).

O-One Hundred Twenty Thousand People, That God Talked About!

God’s last question to Jonah still rings in my ears: “Then shouldn’t I show concern for the great city of Nineveh, which has more than one hundred twenty thousand people who do not know right from wrong, and many animals too?” (Jonah 4:11, NCV).  The big number of people in Nineveh who were morally confused as they had no knowledge of Yahweh’s life-giving laws which in-turn left none in any doubt about right and wrong – from that big number comes a missionary call to teach the Bible to those who know nothing about it! India’s population is approximately 10,000 times more than Nineveh and that means we have a bigger motivation to reach the Word of God to the ignorant millions and teach it to them!

L-Lack of Knowledge Which Hosea Writes About!

One of the most painful cries from God in the whole Bible is recorded in the book of Hosea. God says, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. ‘Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also with ignore your children!” (Hosea 4:6 NIV).

O-Online Millions and the Opportunity For Evangelism They Present!

Sandhya Keelery wrote on July 7, 2020 that there are 550 million internet users in India (Statista.com). This huge number beckons Bible Teachers to dedicate their lives to teach people by modern media  such as Zoom. And there are fully online Bible Training programs by reputed Bible Colleges like South Asian Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS), Southern Asia Bible College (SABC), etc., which trains those who feel called to be Word preachers.

G-Going On Circle!

Apostle Paul talked about an ever-increasing circle of Bible Teachers when he wrote to Timothy: “And the things that you have heard me say among many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be qualified to teach others as well…” (2 Tim. 2:2).

Y-ahweh’s Prediction!

Yahweh’s prediction about a famine of hearing God’s Word is mentioned in the book of Amos (8:12). So, in the short time available now, let us become Bible Literates! Let us learn to handle the Word of Truth and teach it to our generation! 

You may be a lay-person. But you can equip yourself by a self-study of the Word of God. Pick up a good Systematic Theology book. Wayne Grudem, Millard J. Erickson and others have written excellent systematic theology text books. I picked up my first theology book, not after I landed in Bible College, but long before that. As a student of Technology (B. Tech) in Allahabad, I was studying volume 1 of Renewal Theology by Rodman Williams! And I led Bible Studies on the Doctrine of God for a small group in the men’s hostel! That was the training ground for a nation-wide Bible Teaching ministry for me! God has grand and glorious plans for you! And as you shun and shake-off  biblical illiteracy  and  take time to study His Word systematically, you will become a blessing!

Duke Jeyaraj wrote this aritcle of Aim magazine of Evangelical Fellowship of India. This article appeared in the magazine’s Septemeber 2020 edition.

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is a trained Agricultural Engineer [B. Tech from SHIATS, Allahabad, India], who did not pursue a career in the line of his education but nevertheless enjoys growing cacti in the balcony of his flat, during his spare time! He could have been a cricket commentator but prefers to wrap Bible Truth around cricket magic moments and other interesting-to-Google Genners contemporary events. God’s call upon him made him utterly restless and he obeyed that call to by founding the Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission (G4 Mission) to finally find serenity after having served as a International Bank Customer Service Executive/Youth Pastor/Bible College Teacher/Missionary/Youth Mag Editor. G4 Mission is not a church but an inter-denominational ministry to present-day people, a ministry which Duke works full time for, as an itinerant presenter/preacher since 2008 putting to use the formal theological training he received from Southern Asia Bible College in Bangalore [M. Div & Doctor of Ministry]. Duke is called ‘dad’ by Dale (16) and Datasha (12) and ‘hubby’ by Evangelin and calls Hyderabad, India, his adopted home. Duke has preached by invitation beyond his national borders (we are talking about nations such as Bangladesh, Singapore, Germany, Nepal and the United Arab Emirates). In case your curiosity is triggered by hearing all this, you may checkout www.dukewords.com [if you are the reading plain text type], www.soundcloud.com/shoutaloud [if you are part of the audio-listening tribe] and www.youtube.com/visitduke [if you group yourself with the video-steaming generation]).