9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)
Romans 8:9 (NLT)
This article continues from the previous one. In the previous article, I wrote about Verse 7-8. These are very negative verses. The only reason why that article does not sound negative is, I put them within the context of the Gospel. If I did not do that, it will create a negative outcome. Why? These verses speak of the weakness of the sinful nature. They do not tell us whether we have it and if we do, how to get rid of it. So, if you read Verse 7-8 independent from the rest, you will get very depressed.
Do you have sinful nature in you? The above verse answers that. It says you do not if you have the Spirit of God living in you. Who are the people in this world who have the Spirit of God living in them? The answer is Christians. If you are a Christian, you do not have sinful nature in you. You are holy in the eyes of the Lord. You cannot repent of your sinful nature because you have none.
This is the opposite of what religious churches have been teaching. Religious people do not accept the truth that being Christians makes us automatically holy and be free from our previous sinful nature. They think of holiness as something we must do to achieve instead of a gift given by God the moment we became Christians. Yet the Bible says otherwise.
Let me relate a story on how depraved religious people can be. While I was searching for Joel Osteen messages in the YouTube yesterday, I came across a video clip posted by a religious guy showing himself standing in front of Lakewood Church (Joel Osteen’s church) shouting his sermon to the church members as they were leaving the church. He was quoting a lot of scriptures but like the rest of religious people, they were all quoted out of context. His primary message was to denounce Joel Osteen. It seemed that those who attended Lakewood Church are bound for hell if they continue to go there. One of his arguments was in the form of this question, “When was the last time Joel preached on sin and repentance?”
What do you think he meant by that question? He seemed to think that if you attend a church that does not preach on sin and repentance based on his standard, you are going to hell. Obviously, this guy did not read Romans 8, in particular Romans 8:9. As Christians, we have repented from our sinful nature the moment we believed. There is no sin for us to repent from. The only “sin” we can repent from are sinful acts and thoughts.
In case someone wants to ask whether Joel had ever preached on sin and repentance, let me answer that for you. Based on all the messages I heard from him, including all those that are listed in my blogroll, my reply is: yes. Joel preached on sin and repentance in all his messages. He just did not use the exact words. He used simple language in his sermons in order to help his listeners to understand the Word Of God better. If you listen to his messages, you will find them to be full of repentance from sin. Let me give you an example. When you reject a negative thought and choose to trust in God to deliver you from a bad situation, you are effectively repenting from a sin. So, listening to Joel Osteen messages makes me repent from my sins.
Religious people can never understand this. Neither can they accept the truth that we Christians are not obliged to obey their religious procedures in our repentance of sin. This is why their lives are filled with bitterness and anger.
In conclusion, as Christians we are free from the sinful nature. Without the sinful nature, sinful thoughts and acts have no power over us. Knowing this truth enables us to overcome sin effortlessly. We repent from our sins by rejecting negative thoughts and replace them with God’s thoughts.