Defeating the workings of iniquity

boat-house-192990_640Isaiah 59:6: Their webs will not serve as clothing; men will not cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands.

From the focus verse, iniquity is a principle and its works are the expression of that principle. David while repenting (from his adultery and murder) said that in iniquity he was fashioned (Psalm 51:5), in reference to the spiritual genetics of sin, which we all carried in Adam.

Adam was made with no sin, perfect, distinct, pure, but when he dabbled into sin his nature was changed. Sin became man’s nature, soon after God said that the imagination of man was continuously evil (Genesis 6:5). Man became corrupted and got into in a downward of trend of sin and destruction.

There is nothing anyone can do about sin except come to Jesus (the only man who lived without sin [Hebrews 4:15]) to give you his grace. He is alive and sitting at the right hand of God in heaven. Though invincible, he is alive and willing to help you be an overcomer as he was.

Sin is an entanglement, it is a form of slavery, but in Christ we get to exchange slavery to sin for slavery to righteousness, a liberating form of slavery (Romans 6:13-18).

Because of conscience, sin makes you uncomfortable; it fosters a sense of condemnation and inadequacy. The law, both the one written on the heart through which the conscience indicates whether you have done something wrong or right and the one written out in the commandments, are lights showing you the right action to take, but the pull of the cord of sin away from truth makes doing the right thing a struggle, if at all possible.

But in Christ things are different. Paul said: I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, but the life I live I live by the grace of Christ who loves me and gave his life for me (Galatians 2:20). The grace of God changes us in the core of which we are, bringing us into a new experience of righteousness.

Having been set free by Christ, we are now charged to walk in the liberty wherewith Christ has set us free, and no longer to be in bondage to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). Peter said we should grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And there is no other name given under the earth by which we might be saved from sin (Acts 4:12), but the name of Jesus (Matthew 1:21).

The change comes when we meet him as the one with the divine mandate to save us from our sins. The slave cannot save himself, but a free man can pay for our freedom. Jesus, free from sin, paid with his life to set us free.

When the children of Israel were in Egypt, they were slaves. They could not be free, they could not move beyond certain boundaries. They served the purposes of their evil lords who will want to maintain the status quo. They needed outside help. And God sent Moses to preach/proclaim deliverance to those captives, the same thing Jesus described as his calling: preaching deliverance to the captives (Luke 4:18), because God did not make man to be in captivity; he made him to have dominion (Genesis 1:26-28). And in Christ there is restoration.

Paul in his letter to the church in Galatia contrasted the works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love first and foremost but it has some principles: Peace (love in serenity) joy (love in exuberance), self control (love in limitation), faithfulness (love in consistency) kindness (love in relationship) goodness (love in action), patience (love in difficulty) meekness (love in humility) (Galatians 5:22-23).

When love courses through us, works in us, iniquity does not have a place. It is written: love is the fulfilment of the law (all righteous demands), and against love and its eight principles, earlier mentioned, there is no law. Paul said that the law was made for sinners (1Timothy 1:8-16), (we are made righteous in Christ) and the demands of the law are fulfilled in us who walk according to the spirit and not according to the flesh.

That means to move away from the works of iniquity, we have to walk in the Spirit, which is walking based on the higher principles of life and love. We read that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23). What that means is that to counter the force of death in sin, we have in Christ the gift of eternal life. To counter the spirit of darkness, we are moved into light (Colossians 1:13). To counter the law of sin and death, we have released in us the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1-2). Everything is about Jesus. In him all things consists, find their rightful place, hold together (Colossians 1:17).

We should not to struggle with sin. In Christ we are dead to sin (Romans 6:1-13), our spiritual taste buds have been changed and sin no longer has dominion over us, no longer appeals to us, no longer tastes good to us, no longer moves us. We have now set our eyes on things in heaven and not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2). The earthly represents the limitation of the sinful man; the heavenly represents the presence of God.

God did not make man to be subservient to sin. The wrong shift came by man’s decision to believe the devil, now all we need to do is believe Jesus and we switch back to the right mode, as we embrace reconciliation with God in Jesus.

We are not supposed to try to clean ourselves up; the blood of Jesus is more than able to do that. We cannot help ourselves; that is why he came to help us. What we should do is embrace his grace. The bible says that sin shall no longer have dominion over us because we are not under the law (demand for righteousness) but under grace (empowerment for righteousness) (Romans 6:14).

Once the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness, we are then bold to come near to the presence of God (Hebrews 4:14-16). God had been beckoning to wayward humanity. He said: my hands are not shortened that they cannot save, but your sin created a barrier between us (Isaiah 59:1-3). In Christ man can come into the full embrace of God.

For God to interact with the people of ancient Israel there had to be a series of laws, barriers and regulations, that makes the relationship with God about forms, rituals, regulations and restrictions. And God was hiding behind a veil in a small place in the temple. But in Christ, God’s ultimate intention was achieved, the issue of sin was laid to rest and the relationship between God and man was restarted through the medium of faith.

 

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