BREAKING THE SIN CYCLE

Breaking The Sin Cycle
Randall Caselman
1/29/97

BREAKING THE SIN CYCLE


Sin is as addictive as any drug, but in the end is far more dangerous and
deadly. Sin begins its vicious cycle with temptation. We all know the painful
reality. How should we respond? If we are to break the sin cycle and live a
life of freedom, we must discover the answer from God's word.

Let's examine Satan's methodology from Genesis, Chapter 3.

1. Satan always comes in disguise. Moses records the fact that the serpent
was more crafty, cunning, subtle. The Devil is smooth in his deception. He
didn't come to Eve in all his ugliness. Temptation is never ugly, sour,
painful or bloody. There was nothing in his approach that alarmed Eve. Satan
doesn't come tempting us as a coiled snake, a roaring lion or with the wail
of a siren. He doesn't appear waving a red flag. He sorta of slides into our
lives. He comes disguised as a comfortable companion. Scripture tells us that
he appears as an angel of light. How is Satan dressed in your life? As a
blue-eyed blond, a new and exciting business opportunity, a bottle of booze,
a drug laced cigarette, a pill or a television show?

2. Not only is Satan disguised in person, he is disguised in purpose. He
didn't come telling Eve, I came to destroy your life, rob you of your faith
and rupture your relationships. No, he came saying Let's have a religious
discussion. Satan wants to talk theology. He's not talking sin, but Bible.
Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden? There
doesn't appear to be anything wrong here. Satan is simply waiting to make
sure of proper exegesis. He wants to understand God properly. You see Satan
can be a religious devil. He used this same strategy on Jesus during His
wilderness temptations, didn't he? Satan knows scripture. He can quote
scripture. He can twist scripture to fit his needs.

Satan doesn't come kicking in the door of life, saying Pardon me, Madam, give
me your tongue in gossip, give me 30 minutes in front of the Soaps and I'll
destroy your marriage, rupture your relationships and damn your soul. No. No.
He says, Let's talk a bit, reason together about the church, Bible, religion,
the eldership etc. etc.

Satan also disguises the process, He doesn't come telling us, I am here to
lead you out of the word of God, I am here to divide this church. Satan never
comes dragging the chains that bind us, carrying the fire that burns us or
the loneliness that smother us when we give into his temptation.

Somehow in their discussion he brought Eve to the point in the process that
Eve said, God told us not to eat of the three and not even touch it. Now Eve
has gone beyond the word of God. He never said anything about touching the
fruit - just do not eat. Satan is smart. Sometimes his methods bring us to
making laws where God never made laws. Its called self-righteousness,
Phariseeism. Know for sure Satan disguises the process of temptation and sin.

Well, what kind of defense do we have? How can we overcome temptation and the
resulting sin it brings? Jesus says, Resist the Devil and he will flee from
you. The secret is how to resist.

By controlling our thoughts. James contends we are tempted by our own lust,
our own evil desires. Solomon tells us we become who we think. Sin is not a
disease. Sin is not something which we have no control over. Sin is a
decision we make.

Mind control is the answer. A mind focused on money and things becomes a
materialist. A mind focused on sexual fantasies becomes a fornicator. A mind
focused on hate and revenge becomes a gossip, slanderer and murderer. A mind
focused on God becomes Godly.

Paul gives us the secret. Finally, Brethren, whatsoever things are true,
honest, just, pure, lovely, good; if there be any virtue, praise, think on
these things.

By controlling our environment. Many of our temptations are the result of our
surroundings and the circumstances we place ourselves in. As Christians we
must learn to control our environment.

Those we keep company with.
The books we read.
The music we listen to.
The movies and videos we watch.
Paul says, Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character.

By Prayer. Jesus in his model prayer tells us, Pray that you be not led into
temptation, but delivered from evil. God has the power to deliver from evil.
Ask Him. Beg and plead with Him.

By losing ourselves in God's work. We must choose whom we will serve. Joshua
said we must make this choice daily. Jesus taught An idle mind is the Devil's
workshop in the parable of a man who cleaned his house but failed to re... It
with good. The Devil then returns with seven others, so that the last state
was worse than the first. It's not enough just to say No to temptation. We
must replace evil with God's goodness.

The vicious cycle of temptation and sin can be broken, but victory is certain
to those who belong to Jesus.

Randall Caselman
1-501-273-2434


Written By

Bella Vista Church of Christ

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