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Sins of the mind

Preface

Scripture readings: Matthew 5:8, Mark 7:20-23, Colossians 3:5,8


We often hear some people say, "I have no sin." They think that people who are without sin do not need to believe in Jesus.



They think that murder, arson, robbery, drugs, gambling, etc. are sins and that other shortcomings are not sins. Because they didn't kill, set fires, etc., they say there is no sin.


But the Bible says that all have sinned and that all are sinners: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) "But what about this? Are we better than them? Not at all! For we have proved that both the Jews and the Greeks are under sin. As it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks God; all have turned from the right way, and together they have become useless. There is none that doeth good, not even one.'" (Romans 3:9-12)


Murder, arson, etc. are major sins. The absence of major sins is not the same as the absence of minor sins, such as cursing, lying, losing one's temper, and so on. These so-called minor sins are found in everyone. If you say, you have never lied, then you are lying now. Or some people think that these are not sins, but only faults and shortcomings, and that the judge cannot convict. Yes, the judge will not condemn a person who lies, but God sees it all as sin. So we must not say we are without sin.


In fact, the major and minor sins listed above are all sins - sins of behavior, and sins of the mind, such as hatred, greed, doubt (doubting God), lustful thoughts, etc. Man does not consider them to be sins, but God includes them all in the list of sins, for murder comes from hatred, theft from covetousness, and adultery from lustful thoughts. Although not all of them are done, all of them are motives for sinning, and all of them are sins in the sight of God, so that no one is without sin.


Some people say that only those who do not sin are saved. In this way, there is no one who is saved. And some say, He who does not sin will be raptured, so that no one will be raptured. They also say that only those who do not sin will enter the Kingdom of Heaven (the Millennial Kingdom). In this way, no one will enter the kingdom of heaven either. By victory and defeat, they mean not sinning and sinning.


If we clarify all this, we will not neglect sin in our minds.


Both the world and Christians should read this booklet "Sin in the Mind" very well. The world is justified by faith and does not condemn; Christians should deal well with sin in their minds, lest they suffer great loss!




Chapter 1: The Sinner


What is a sinner? People generally think that those who have broken the law of the land are sinners and the rest are good people. But the Bible says that all men are sinners. Good people in general are just the better of sinners.


I. Adam sinned and became a sinner

God made the first man named Adam: "And the LORD set the man in the garden of Eden, and caused him to repair and keep it. And the LORD commanded him, saying, 'Of every tree of the garden you may eat as you please, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die.'" (Gen. 2:15-17)


Unfortunately, Adam's wife was tempted to eat what God had forbidden her to eat: "Then when the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and that it was pleasant to the eyes and made one wise, she took it and ate it; and she gave it to her husband, and he ate it." (Genesis 3:6) As a result, they were driven out of the Garden of Eden: "So they drove him out. And he set the cherubim on the east side of the garden of Eden, and the sword that turned and flamed on every side, to guard the way of the tree of life." (Gen. 3:24) Thus, Adam and Eve became sinners.


It turns out that God created man for good: "I have found only one thing, that God created man upright, but they found many tricks." (Acts 7:29) God did not create sinners. God made good men, but good men were tempted by Satan to sin and became sinners, and were condemned by God to death.


Adam committed only one sin and was to perish. When they had sinned, they were ashamed: "And their eyes were brightened, both of them, and they knew that they were naked; and they took the leaves of the fig tree, and wove for themselves a skirt." (Genesis 3:7)


Man is afraid of shame, because he has sinned. Babies are not yet sinful, so they are not ashamed.


There are many who say they are not sinners themselves, but they also have to wear clothes to cover their shame, which means they are also sinners.


Second, sin is hereditary

Adam was a sinner, and his children and grandchildren are also sinners. Sinners beget sinners, just as dogs beget puppies and cats beget kittens. Dogs do not give birth to kittens; lions can never give birth to tigers.


A sinner begets a sinner, and a sinner begets a sinner, and a sinner does not beget a good person.


Therefore, we are born sinners. Although the person born has not yet committed a single sin, he is a sinner. A sinner has a sinful nature. The sin nature is the nature of man, so man will sin. This old life - the life of the sinful nature - cannot be transformed into a new life unless we get a new life again.


The sinner will perish. But Jesus died on the cross for sinners to atone for our sins. God gives us new life - eternal life - if we truly trust in Jesus Christ. Then we will no longer be sinners, but righteous.


III. What sins sinners commit

Some commit major sins, while others commit only minor sins. Everyone commits sins of works, and everyone has sins of thought.


No matter what sin is committed, no matter how many sins are committed, as long as he is a descendant of Adam, he is a sinner, and he will perish.


It is natural for the world to sin, no matter what sin they commit; we have the life of God, and this new life cannot sin, but we still have the old life in us, so we will still sin. It is not right for us to sin. As we have new life, let us stop the old man from sinning by the Holy Spirit.


Let us not think it strange when the world treats us badly. If the world is better than we are, we have dishonored God!


Chapter 4 How We Should Walk

It has been said, "All sinners in the mind have them, and not only can they not be prevented, but they are difficult to get rid of." Yes, this is a more difficult practical problem to deal with.



I. Know the importance of God

Man may do as he pleases, but God will not allow it, for God attaches special importance to the thoughts of man.


1. God knows

The proverb says: "God knows, the earth knows, you know, I know." This is the sin that is done in secret and no one knows about it. If there is a person who knows, we will say, "Heaven knows, earth knows, you know, and I know." What they call "heaven knows" is really "God knows. Indeed, God knows everything: "...... I know all their thoughts." (Deut. 31:21) "...... For He searches the hearts of all men, and knows all thoughts and desires." (1 Chron 28:9) God knows all things about us from afar: "I sit down, I rise up, and Thou knowest them all; Thou knowest my thoughts from afar." (Ps. 139:2)


God "examines the heart and the soul of man" (Ps. 7:9). "O LORD of hosts, who judges righteously and examines the hearts and minds of men, I will see you avenge yourself on them, for I have made my case known to you." (Jer 11:20, cf. 20:12, Rev 2:23)


2. Jesus knows everything

Jesus is the Son of God, and He is God, so He also knows everything about us: "Jesus knew their hearts" (Mt 9:4). "Jesus knew in his heart that they were murmuring in their hearts, and said, 'Why do you murmur in your hearts?'" (Mk 2:8)


After the return of Jesus, He will judge us: "Therefore, do not judge anything until the time comes, but wait for the coming of the Lord, who will reveal the hidden secrets of the heart and the thoughts of the mind. Then shall every man receive praise from God." (1 Cor. 4:5) This is speaking of our good side. Of course, our bad side, He will also shine out. Now He knows all that we think, but He has not yet shone out in a mirror so that everyone may know. When He comes, He will shine out all our thoughts and intentions in us, so that all may see them. So we should reject all the rockets from the devil.


2. "Cleanse your hearts" (Jas 4:8)

The word "clean" here is "purify" in the original language.


If a garment is soiled, we can wash it with water to make it clean. But a piece of gold has impurities in it, so if we wash it with water alone, it only cleans the outside, but not the inside. If we wash it with water, it is only clean on the outside, but if we refine it with fire, it will be pure on the inside. We are to be cleansed from our sins by the blood of Jesus; and God will refine us by fire with suffering, so that we may be pure inside. Our hands are washed with water, but our hearts are refined until they are pure, so that we do not fear suffering. In Matthew 5:8, 1 Timothy 1:5, and 2 Timothy 2:22, the word "pure heart" means "a pure heart."


So, how can we be refined to be pure and unmixed?


1. Ask God for discernment

"Search me, O God, and know my heart and my mind; test me and know my thoughts." (Psalm 139:23) (Psalm 139:23)


2. "A renewed and changed mind" (Rom 12:2)

First, "Do not be conformed to the world," and then "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." The thoughts of the world are evil: "The thoughts of a foolish man are evil." (Prov. 24:9) We believe in Christ and have a new life, but our old life remains. We must "not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may see what is the good and perfect and pleasing will of God."


3. To pierce and cut open with the word of God

"The word of God is living and effective, quicker than any two-edged sword, piercing and cutting open even soul and spirit, bone and marrow, discerning even the thoughts and desires of the heart." (Heb. 4:12) (Heb. 4:12) The Bible is the word of God, and we must use it to pierce and cut open our evil thoughts and to discern the thoughts and ideas of our hearts. It is difficult for a Christian who does not read the Bible much to do this. Therefore, we should read God's word carefully and use it to pierce through our evil thoughts.


4. To resist the devil's rockets

"Therefore, let us obey God. Resist the devil, and he will leave you and flee." (Jas 4:7) (Jas 4:7) The devil is trying to use evil thoughts as rockets to shoot into our minds, and we must resist them. Just as a bird of prey is over our heads, we must immediately drive it away. If we immediately reject this bad thought, even if we think about it, it is none of our business and does not count as our sin. But if we continue to think about it, it becomes our sin. Therefore, whenever we think of something inappropriate, we must immediately resist it, and it will not be considered our sin.


5. "Think about the things above" (Col 3:2)

If we spend our days thinking about earthly things, we will not have time to think about things above. Notice that our minds are constantly thinking. If we think more about heavenly things, we will not have time to think about earthly things, that is, we will not have time to think about bad things.


6. Healing by the Holy Spirit

"Therefore put to death your members which are on earth, as fornication, uncleanness, evil passions, evil desires, and covetousness, covetousness being the same as idolatry." (Col 3:5) (Col 3:5) It turns out that by faith we have died to our old life: "For you are dead" (Col 3:3). Why should the dead be "healed" again? When we kill a chicken, the chicken is dead, but it still moves. It is dead, but it is not yet dead. When we kill it a few more times to kill it, it will not move. We are dead in status, but we are still not dead in reality, so we should continue to heal our old life.



We cannot cure our old life by ourselves: "I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, there is no goodness. For it is up to me to will good, but it is not up to me to do it." (Romans 7:18) "But I feel that there is another law in my members that is at war with the law of my heart, and has taken me captive to the law of sin in my members. I am so miserable! Who can deliver me from this body of death?" (vv. 23-24)


First of all we have to rely on the Lord Jesus Christ: "Thanks be to God! By our Lord Jesus Christ ......." (v.25) The words "so that we may be delivered" are not in the original text. For we are not separated, but overcome. And we will deal with it by the cross of Jesus Christ, and moreover, we will be healed by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8 calls us to rely on the Holy Spirit. It is by the Spirit that we can "stop our anger" (Psalm 37:8), and by the Spirit that we can "forsake": "But now you will forsake all these things... ..." (Col. 3:8)


We should always ask God to deal with us by the cross of Christ through the Holy Spirit, until we die to our members on earth (all kinds of sins and sins of the mind).


If you rely on the Holy Spirit, you do not rely on yourself; if you rely on yourself, you cannot rely on the Holy Spirit. We must rely on the Holy Spirit with a humble heart, and the Spirit will work, and we will not have to struggle, and we will be victorious.



Chapter 5: Blessed or Defeated

When Christ comes again into the air and receives us into the air, He will come to judge us at the judgment seat of Christ. This judgment is to judge our works and our lives.


If we do not die to the sins of our minds by the Holy Spirit, we will be reckoned with at the altar of Christ in the future.


I. "Cannot bear the kingdom of God"

"Do you not know that the unrighteous cannot inherit the kingdom of God? Do not deceive yourselves; neither fornicators ...... can bear the kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 6:9-10)


1. Here it refers to the unbelievers: "the unrighteous"

Verse 11 then speaks of us: "There were some of you 'once'; but 'now' you are washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God. "


2. The Bearing of Believers

The words "enter" and "bear" are the same and different. All who are born again can enter the kingdom of God: "Jesus said, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5) In other words, whoever is born again will enter the kingdom of God. Whoever enters the kingdom of God has the inheritance of salvation, and he bears the inheritance of God. This is the inheritance of salvation.



The inheritance of victory: "He that overcometh shall inherit these f``or an inheritance ......." (Rev. 21:7) The overcomer has another kind of inheritance. Whoever does not deal with sin has no inheritance in the kingdom of heaven: "For you know for sure that neither fornication nor uncleanness nor covetousness has any part in Christ and in the kingdom of God. He who has covetousness is the same as an idolater." (Eph 5:5) This is addressed to believers: "But as fornication and all uncleanness, or covetousness, there shall not be even a mention of it 'among you,' in order to be worthy of the saints." (v. 3) Notice the words "among you" and "saints." If a believer has these sins and is not put to death, he has no part in the kingdom of heaven. This "no part" does not mean no access, it means "no inheritance." This is the inheritance of the overcomers. If we do not win, we do not have this inheritance.


"Hear, my beloved brethren, has God not chosen the poor of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom which He has promised to those who love Him?" (Jas. 2:5) The word "bear" here is "heirs." Note: "to those who 'love Him. '" This inheritance is not for all who are saved, but for "those who love Him".


Second, we cannot "bear the blessings"

We who are saved are eternally blessed, but another kind of blessing is given to the overcomers: "Do not repay evil for evil, insult for insult, but bless, for to this end you were called, that you may receive blessing." (1 Pet. 3:9, see verses 8-11 for more details.) Christians who fail cannot bear the blessings of the overcomers.


God's Wrath and Punishment

Many people think that God's wrath will come upon us if Christians do not listen to Him.


1. It turns out that the wrath of God is against unbelievers

"When John saw that many of the Pharisees and Sadducees had come to be baptized, he said to them, 'Species of vipers! Who has instructed you to flee from the wrath to come?'" (Mt 3:7) The Pharisees were characterized by hypocrisy; the Sadducees were unbelievers in the resurrection. They were both "a kind of serpent". If they do not repent, they will not be spared the wrath to come: "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness, against those who practice unrighteousness and hinder the truth." (Rom. 1:18) These "ungodly and unrighteous" and "hinderers of the truth" are the wicked of unbelief. The wrath of God will come upon them: "Do not be deceived by the vain words of men, because of these things the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience. (Eph. 5:6, Col. 3:6) "...... The wrath of God has come upon them to the uttermost." (1 Thess. 2:16) These are the words spoken to the world.


2. Christians

(1) Freedom from the wrath of God.


"Now if we are justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from the wrath of God through Him." (Rom. 5:9) (Rom. 5:9) The word "more" does not mean that we should do anything, but "will be necessary", which will certainly be free from God's wrath.


"Waiting for the coming of His Son from heaven, Jesus, whom He raised from the dead, who will save us from the wrath to come." (1 Thess. 1:10)


From these verses, we know that whoever is saved will not receive the wrath of God.


(2) God's punishment.


But if we sin and do not deal with it, God will "punish" us: "When we are judged, we are 'punished' by the Lord, that we may not be condemned together with the world." (1 Cor. 11:32) God's "wrath" is against the world, but God's "punishment" is against Christians. If we do not deal with our sins now, we will be disciplined by God in this life. The discipline is from the father to his children: "What you endure is that God disciplines you and treats you as sons. What son is there who is not disciplined by his father?" (Heb. 12:7, see verses 5-11), and as we are sons of God, the wrath of God the Father will not come upon us. But if we disobey God the Father, God the Father will discipline us and punish us with afflictions in order to bring us to repentance, which is the punishment of this life.


But if we are disciplined and do not repent, we will be punished in the future after the judgment, which is a great loss: "If a man's works are burned, he will suffer loss, but he will be saved. Though he be saved, it is as though he had passed through the fire." (1 Cor. 3:15) If you are punished, you will suffer loss, but you will be saved. However, we should not think that because we are saved, we are free to sin without dealing with it. If so, our loss is great: "as one who has passed through the fire."


Although we do not have sins of works, we can have sins of the mind. We must deal not only with the sin of works, but also with the sin of the mind.


Remember: If an unclean thought suddenly shoots into our mind, and we think about it and immediately reject it by the Holy Spirit, it is not considered our sin. But if we continue to think about it and think about it, and the more we think about it, the more we taste it, then it becomes our sin. This is the sin of the mind. If we have sin in our thoughts, and we don't deal with it, but act it out, then it becomes sin in our behavior. If there is sin in the mind, there is not necessarily sin in the deed; but if there is sin in the deed, there is sin in the mind. Most of the sins of the mind involve only oneself, but the sins of the deeds involve others.


The first thing to do is to deal with the sins of the mind in order to reject the sins of the deeds.


When we die by the Holy Spirit to the sins of our minds, they are cleansed by the blood of the Lord. This sin will no longer be judged or remembered in the future: "I will forgive their iniquity and remember their sin no more." (Heb. 8:12) If we do not heal and deal with it by the Holy Spirit, this sin will be revealed before all men and be openly judged: "For we all shall be 'revealed' before the stand of Christ, that every man may be recompensed according to his own works, whether good or evil." (2 Cor. 5:10) This is true of sins of conduct, and also of sins of the mind: "So it seems necessary that each of us should make himself known before God." (Rom. 14:12) The "own things" include both sins of commission and sins of thought. If we deal with them now, they will not be made public in the future; if we do not deal with them now, they will be revealed in the future, and we will suffer loss after the trial. Therefore, as Christians we must deal not only with the sins of works, but more importantly, with the sins of the mind. It is better to reject bad thoughts as soon as they come, so that they are not considered our sins; if we commit them, we should deal with ourselves and repent completely, and the sin will be blotted out by God. If we do not deal with it, we must be publicly tried in the future, and then we will regret it too much!


Author: Lin Xian Gao

De-scripted on April 30, 1998




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