No Book Like It

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You can take every book that has ever been written, stack them all up and put them against the Bible, and the Bible would be light years away from them all. Books can change the mind of man, for his mind is unstable. Books can move the emotions of man, for he is a sensual being. Books can give correction, direction and instruction for man, for his knowledge and wisdom is limited. While books can give information and change the mind of man, there is one thing they cannot do, GIVE MAN A NEW HEART. Books cannot make a new creature out of a human being. Books can alert, convict and convince man that he is a sinner and a vile creature, but books have no power to deliver man from what he is and the course he is on.

The Bible has that kind of power because the Bible is more than a book, it is the word(s) of God. The absolute, unadulterated and infallible word of God. Yet it is even more than that. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2). What powerful scriptures. The power of God is beyond our ability to grasp, but these two verses do show us how God created all there is. He just spoke it all into existence. It is because the word is God. To try to make this as simple to understand as possible, just know that what God says is as much God as His presence is. Take note that when Moses asked God, “Show me Thy glory,” God answered his request. “And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:5-7). Did you see that? God was as much talking as he was walking before Moses. With God, we get the full experience. He is a God that talks. Everything He says is absolute truth. People say God can do anything. However, there are some things He cannot do. He cannot speak lies. If He did, it would falsely represent Him and he would cease to be the WORD.

Being more specific yet, we learn that Jesus Christ is the Word. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Before there ever was a Jesus, there was the Word. Jesus became the living expression of the Word. It was the Word that was made flesh and dwelt amongst man. Jesus proved to this world the validity of God’s word. Jesus came to believe it, live it and preach it. He preached what and who He was. He was a living manifestation of the word of God.

Some Christians may think Jesus always was. This is not true. The Son of God always was. There was a day when Jesus, a human being was conceived. There was a day he was born. He had a beginning. That was the beginning of the life of Jesus on earth. Though Jesus had a birth, the Word that He was, always was. Jesus was one hundred percent man and one hundred percent God. The man side of Him was born; the God side of Him always was.

Tell me if you can, what book can claim such credentials as the Bible? Take even spiritual books. Any spiritual book that has ever been written (I wrote a couple myself), may encourage and strengthen Christians. However, they only do so because they are based on the Bible. Without the Bible, they have no authority. We must be careful when we read books by men who claim their book is based on the word of God. Man is not like God. “…Let God be true, but every man a liar…” (Romans 3:4). Even in his best intention, man taints, falsifies, opinionates, exaggerates and diminishes the Word of God. Yet he believes he is right on the mark with what he writes. He believes his version of the truth is the right version. There is the King James Version, the New King James Version and many others. Then there is the “MY version,” or the “YOUR version.” The true version is what the Holy Spirit teaches. He teaches the truth.

One of my favorite all time movies is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I have probably watched it all the way through about ten to fifteen times. I don’t have much interest in it today. I have had my fill of, “Hee Haw, Merry Christmas Bedford Falls, My lip is bleeding” and learning that every time a bell rings another angel gets his wings. The movie doesn’t do much for me anymore because I watched it too many times. It is way different with my Bible. I have read the Bible through over thirty times in my life. I am not exaggerating when I say I still get excited when I get to the part where Samson brings down the temple, and when David runs toward the giant and then topples him with a sling and stone. I know how every Old Testament story ends, but yet, I am still excited to read it. No sixty-five inch TV screen in high definition. No surround sound speakers. Just black letters on a white background. However, the words of the Bible are filled with life. They do something to those who seek for wisdom and understanding. I read over and over that Jesus was born in a manger, but when I read it again it seems Jesus is birthed anew in my heart. I read over and over of the anointing and power that the church had in the Book of Acts. Still, when I read it, it stirs in me a desire to be filled anew with the Spirit and to go forth to demonstrate Christ is alive.

What a book! What a fool any person is who rejects it, forgets it and neglects it. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

If you mess with the word of God, it will mess with you. If you read it, it will read you. If you open your heart to it, it will lay your heart open.

Tell me if you can, what book other than the Bible, has so much power that it can plunge into a person’s heart with the ease of a two-edged sword and cause no bleeding? Tell me if you can, what other book has the ability to separate between your soul and spirit and leave your body feeling more whole? What other book can divide your joints and marrow and leave you even walking better? Tell me if you can, what other book could ever have such authority that it can discern, expose and then correct your heart, and then leave you feeling liberated and close to God. NO OTHER BOOK, BUT THE BIBLE.

Eyesalve: The Spirit is Willing

By | Eyesalve

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41


Though it may require a lot of discipline to get your flesh to pray, be encouraged that the Spirit in you has great desire to pray. As you learn to walk in the Spirit, your desire for prayer will increase.

Unless it Dies

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“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24).


“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11).


Modern Christianity does not like the message that is declared in these verses of scripture. Many Christians today want smooth words, they want the easy path and they want the assurance of things above, while they yet have their affections set on the things here below. They don’t want to hear about dying. After all, isn’t salvation about life? Yes indeed it is, but it is life in the Spirit that salvation refers to. If there is going to be spiritual life, there has to be death to the carnal life.

That is what Jesus was talking about when He said, the “corn of wheat” must die if it is going to bring forth fruit. You see, a seed when it is planted in the ground, if the conditions are suitable, will bust open and the plant will begin to take root. It was the brokenness of the shell of the seed that resulted in the plant to start growing. If the seed were to stay intact and just lay there on hard ground, or be buried in dry ground, then there would be no growth.

Jesus is applying this principle of the seed to our lives. He is teaching us that if we want to produce life and we want there to be fruit, then we too must be like a seed that must die and break open. Again, I will say that there are not to many believers who want to hear this kind of talk. The ones who do are those who desire to bring forth the life of God and the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.

Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost. The order for that deliverance of mankind is first the crucifixion of Jesus, His death on the cross, His burial in a tomb and then His resurrection from the dead. There has to be a death for there to be a resurrection. First, there has to be a surrender, then the victory. First must come humility, then an exalting. We humans are used to it being the other way around. We see first the life of a baby at birth, and then later a death of that person. Just as each of us was born, then later we will face death. Some baby’s die just moments after they are born, some go on to live to a hundred years old and even longer. The principle of spiritual life is the opposite. First is the death, then comes the life. First, we humble ourselves and die to self, which is what it means to being crucified with Christ, then flows the life.

Some may ask, “If what you are saying is true, then how could we ever get born again? How could I possibly know as a heathen, that I have to die to self if I want to receive a brand new spiritual life?” Those questions are not that hard to answer. When a man does get born again, it was because he did humble himself and recognize he was a sinner and that he had a need for a Savior. He humbled himself to such a point that he surrendered his life to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Though he did not die a physical death, he died to the life he was living. When this is genuinely done, it is then a person is born again. I know modern Christianity teaches that if a person repeats a sinner’s prayer and understands with their intellect the message of salvation, that they then become a Christian. That may be true if they are joining a social club or a religion that just calls themselves Christians. Christianity is not a religion to belong too. You can religiously follow Christ. You can enjoy the social benefits of belonging to the true body of Christ, but a person only becomes a true Christian when they are BORN FROM ABOVE.

Another may ask, “If my previous life of a sinner has died, how come I still have some impulse and desire to sin? Doesn’t Galatians 5:24 say, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts?” Yes, our affections and lusts have been crucified with the flesh, however Paul goes on to say, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:25-26). If Paul says, “Let us not be desirous of vain glory…,” then evidently that old flesh is still hanging around that presses on us to be desirous of vain glory. The crucified life is a life we have to choose to live every day. You know why? Because your flesh and my flesh are still alive. We will not lose all desire to sin until this body is forsaken and we are given a new glorious body. In the meantime, you must reckon your flesh dead. That means to consider that your flesh is dead, even if it is demanding your attention. When your flesh rises up in all its ungodly attitudes and immoral thoughts, you must ignore it. You must resist those desires that are contrary to the life of purity and holiness. The Bible tells us to take all thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. Therefore we can. Therefore through the power of the Spirit, we can reckon that old flesh crucified.


“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:35).


“He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal” (John 12:25).


Do not give your ear to religion that tells you that there is no sacrifice involved in being a Christian. Refuse to hear those who tell you that there is no cost on our end. Without question, Jesus paid the debt for our sin, He finished it on the cross. He forgave us of our sins so we could enter into a relationship with Him. Now that we are in that relationship, we are called to willingly hate and lay down our carnal life. It is then that “we shall keep it unto life eternal.” If you want to gain life, you must be willing to lose it.

The reason that life is so boring and even difficult for some Christians is because they have refused to surrender their old life. They are trying to hang onto it, thinking that they can yet find some value and satisfaction in it. They refuse to lay down the very life that Jesus died and rose from the dead to rescue them from.


“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).


The choice is yours. What life will you choose? Do you want the carnal life or do you want spiritual life. Do you want to experience spiritual life right now, not just when you get to heaven? Then let the seed of your life die.

Sensual, Having Not The Spirit

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“How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit” (Jude 1:18-19).

The book of Jude is not a book you hear quoted too often. No doubt it’s because it only consists of twenty five verses. However, these two verses are extremely important for every Christian (in America) to read and take to heart.
First I want to start by expounding on what we read at the end of verse nineteen, “sensual, having not the Spirit.” It is important for you to know that people who are sensual are people who are regulated by their senses. The sensual and spiritual are in direct opposition to each other. Thus, one who is sensual is not spiritual, and one who is spiritual will not be subject to or governed by the sensual. The sensual separate themselves from the spiritual. The sensual and spiritual are, and always will be at odds with each other.
When we hear the word “sensual,” many apply it to sexual enticement. No doubt about it, sex is highly sensual. Millions are being seduced by all the provocative TV shows, advertisements, billboards, magazines and internet sites. The porn industry (I hate to use the word industry) generates billions of dollars in sales annually. I have heard several statistics on how many Christian men are bound by pornography. I suppose there are different reports by other groups, but one research group claims that over half of Christian men view pornography at least once a month. Another report said that 37% of pastors struggle with pornography. If you are a Christian who is struggling with pornography, repent before the Lord and ask Him to strengthen you. God did not send His Son to the cross just to save your soul, but to deliver you from the power and stronghold of sin. Perverted sex is highly sensual, but in God there is enough power to deliver anyone from the clutches of any and all sexual addiction.
As powerful to the senses as sex can be, to be sensual doesn’t just apply to that. As I stated earlier, to be sensual means to be governed by your senses. Seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling and tasting. The Greek word that sensual was translated from means to be sensitive. It indicates that when one is sensual their senses are keenly aware of that which is around them and happening to them. Then, as the senses dictate, the sensual person responds. By the way, this is directly linked to self-centeredness and self-awareness.
With that established, there is something of the utmost importance that we all must see. It is imperative for the church (in this hour) to see what we are facing in these last days. In the last days people are going to be ruled by their senses. Jude says men will walk after their own ungodly lusts. The scriptures teach that iniquity will abound in the last days, so none of us should be surprised at what is going on in our society and the world. Sadly, it seems the same sensual spirit that is in the world has made its way into the church.
More and more churches are expected to offer music, drama and entertainment to satisfy the sensual desires that many proclaiming Christians have. I had heard that Barna did a survey and found that 75% of Christian pick their church by the music. Why is that? Because music is a very strong stimulant to our senses. I am not against music. I am a musician and often play instruments in our church, but I also understand the power that music has on our senses. People can easily mistake feelings and emotions for the Spirit of God.
I want to tell you something I learned early on as a believer. Before I became a born again believer I used to play the drums in a seven member wedding and supper club band. The bass player and I use to take a little pint of whiskey or brandy with us so we could add it to some coke or other soda which was usually offered for free. We were being paid to perform so we had to be careful we didn’t drink too much. Nonetheless we drank enough to loosen up and get in the groove. By the way, I don’t drink alcohol anymore because “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Poverbs 20:1). I just had to throw that in. Anyway, there were times when we would be playing a song and I would come out of a roll in precise timing. The whole band was playing exceptionally well. Upon completing that roll I would get goosebumps because I was feeling good and liked how we sounded. To be honest I probably was just impressed with myself.
After I got saved I became a church musician. Now I know many of you will know what I am talking about when I say that I have experienced goose bumps in church when something powerful was said. I have experienced them while playing instruments during worship too. I don’t always get them, but when I do get them I like it. I believe goose bumps can happen at times when we experience a strong presence of the Lord. However, I also know that you can get them when you are serving the devil. One danger we face today is that some churches go through great efforts to put on a show. They work hard at giving the people the best sensual experience they can. Of course they want them to feel good so they will come back again. What is worse than that is they teach the people that all those goose bumps and great feelings they are getting is a result of the Holy Spirit. Then the people go away thinking the Holy Spirit is a feeling and as long as they get a good feeling, then God is present. Thus we have a generation of Christians who are not spiritual, but sensual.
Then there is the other side of the pendulum where we have those in the church that deny experiential Christianity. Non-experiential Christianity, is a false Christianity that teaches that salvation is just something you believe in the mind. True salvation is an experience. When a person becomes a born again believer it is because the Spirit of God has entered them. When this happens a person cannot deny that they experienced new life. The only reason a person could deny that salvation is an experience is because they never experienced the presence of the Lord. Christians are not to deny their senses for even Jesus rejoiced in spirit for what God has done (Luke 10:21). Instead we must bring our emotions under the constraint of the Spirit. If we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, then aren’t we to love God with our emotions? That is what the soul of man is. It is the emotional center of man’s being. God made us that way. The problem is when Christians let the soul regulate their life instead of the Spirit. That is what happened to Adam when he ate the fruit. He became a soulish creature, keenly aware of his senses. He even saw himself in such a different light that he wanted to cover himself up.
This article is not meant to deny the senses, but warn you of the danger of becoming a sensual person instead of a spiritual one.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

Eyesalve: Ready To Pray

By | Eyesalve

“Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” Mk. 14:38

You would think that it is a good thing that the flesh is weak so that the Spirit could dominate. However, it takes discipline, it takes perseverance, it takes participation of our natural mind and body to pray. The Spirit is ALWAYS READY TO PRAY, however, our flesh hates to pray. Don’t let your flesh have its way.

Eyesalve: God Received The Glory

By | Eyesalve

“Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 15And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.” II Ki. 5:14-15

Too often the church decides if the final outcome of something is good only if people are blessed by it. However, there is no greater outcome of a matter than when God is glorified and when men will say, “now I know there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel” (the church). Naaman did get healed, but God received the glory.

Holy Spirit Prepositions

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A preposition is a word used in a sentence, usually before a noun or pronoun, to show its relation to another word, in that sentence. There are four prepositions in the bible that I want to expound on. These words, as you will see, connect the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the believer. These four words are, after, in, by and of. They are little words that can seem insignificant, but when you consider they connect the believer to the Spirit, they become very significant words to us. We will find all four of these words in the eighth chapter of Romans.
The first preposition we will start with is the word “after,” It is found in Romans 8:4-5. You will see this word four times. Two times it is preceding the word flesh, and two times it is preceding the word Spirit. “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”
So what does “after the Spirit” mean? To fall in place behind the leader, to follow the one in authority. Where the leader goes, so goes the follower. What the leader does, so does the follower. What the leader says, so says the follower. It is to recognize the Holy Spirit’s position as Lord, and our position as obedient servant. Too many Christians have this reversed. They think God is supposed to serve us and follow after us. In a military sense, the Holy Spirit is the General and we are the soldiers. We obey and follow His orders. To walk after the Spirit means to imitate the Spirit of Christ. I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “he takes after his dad.” Well, it’s the same thing with our relationship with God. We are to take after Christ. We are to walk in the righteousness of Christ, walk in the holiness of Christ, have the compassion of Christ and have the love of Christ. We are to have the mind of Christ and imitate Him in all ways. We need to continually pursue God and let the Holy Spirit conform us believers into the image of Christ. Therefore, let us walk after the Spirit.
Our next preposition is the word “in.” “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9). Twenty six times in the New Testament you will find the phrase, “in the Spirit.”
What does “in the Spirit” mean? It indicates inclusion. To be a part of something, a part of the plan, being (in)volved (in)timately. Throughout the bible, God has always made known to His servants when He was about to do something. He told Abraham before He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He told Moses what He was going to do for the Nation of Israel. When we are “in the Spirit” we become a part of what He is doing. The word “in” also indicates a place or position. Just as the man who sits in the oval office is given the authority to be President of the USA, so does the man or woman who is in the Spirit have authority over hell. The word “in” also indicates a manner. The Holy Spirit is the manner we must walk in. We are to walk and talk in the same manner as Christ and to minister in the same manner as Christ did.
The third preposition is the word “by.” “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14). Twelve times you will find this phrase “by the Spirit” in the New Testament.
What does “by the Spirit” mean? It means that the Holy Spirit is our source. He is our ability. It is through the help and the power of the Holy Spirit that we can do something and be what God would have us to be. The Holy Spirit goes above and beyond our natural ability and can do the impossible through us. If we are going to do the impossible, it will be by the Holy Spirit. “By the Spirit” also means to live according to God. It is by keeping the commandments of God, doing the will of God and living by God’s standards that we please Him. “By the Spirit” also implies that it is through the agency of the Spirit that we have authority. Our authority is in Christ. By whose permission do we go to the throne room of grace? It is by Christ’s permission. As a preacher, I was taught not to speak about God, but was to speak for Him. Who gave me that authority? It is only by the Spirit that I can do that. “By the Spirit” means we can speak on God’s behalf.
The final preposition is the word “of.” “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:23). This phrase, “of the Spirit,” is found thirty times in the New Testament.
What does it mean to be “of the Spirit?” It means, coming from. The fruit of the Spirit that is displayed in our life, is of the workings of the Holy Spirit. Anything and everything in our life that is godly, has come from and is a result of the Holy Spirit that lives in us. “Of the Spirit,” also means possessed or ruled by. Our lives will reflect who we are ruled by. If we are ruled by the flesh, then our actions will be a representation of that flesh. If we are ruled by the Holy Spirit, then our actions will be indicative of that.
These four prepositions, “after, in, by and of” connect our life to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. These words show us just how much the Holy Spirit is involved in this life we call Christianity. As Christians, we must walk after the Spirt, be in the Spirit, be led by the Spirit and live a life that is of the Spirit. God didn’t save us, brush the dust off of us, stand us up and pat us on the back and say, “You are on your own.” He gave us the ministry of the Holy Spirit so we can give glory to God in every way. Let’s live such a life that is after, in, by and of the Spirit. Let the world see such a life. The life that is totally controlled by the Spirit of God, is a life the world has seen very little of.

Eyesalve: There is Liberty #3

By | Eyesalve

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 3:17

Liberty is the death of sinful desires and a birth of desire for righteousness. Being dead to sinful desires nullifies or robs sin of its hold and demands upon the flesh.

Eyesalve: There is Liberty #2

By | Eyesalve

“Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” II Cor 3:17

Just as, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, so too where ever the flesh of man is, there is bondage. Watchman Nee said, “That which violates the law is the flesh, and that which attempts to keep the law is also the flesh.” Your flesh can’t win, whether you violate or try to keep the law, you are in bondage.

Are We Just Sinners Saved By Grace? (Continued)

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As I stated in last month’s article, I will continue to expound on, what I consider poor theology, Christians considering themselves sinners. I will be the first to admit that I have sinned since I have been saved, and I do not know of any believers that have not sinned since they became a believer. However, sin must not be our habit. You are what you practice. If you practice righteousness, holiness and faithfulness, then that is what you are. If you practice or have a habit of sin, then you are a sinner.

In last month’s article I closed with the suggestion that some may ask, “what about Paul claiming to be chief of sinners?” I would like us to take a look together at this portion of scripture where Paul makes that statement. It is found in I Timothy 1:15; “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” No doubt that the way this is translated into English it appears Paul is claiming to be the foremost sinner. Before I continue to look more into this verse I want you to consider a few things. If Paul is really stating that he is not just a sinner, but the worst of them all, why would he rebuke the Corinthians for allowing that man to have an incestuous relationship with his father’s wife? If Paul told them to remove that man from the church should they not remove Paul too, especially if he is a worse sinner than that man? If Paul was the worst of sinners, should he not heed his own warning to the Corinthians about the Lord’s Supper when he said, “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” (1Co 11:29). The worst of sinners would most certainly drink in an unworthy manner.

Again I ask, do you think the great apostle Paul was the worst of all sinners after he became a believer? I am sure he wasn’t and I am sure you don’t really believe he was either. I am a stickler when it comes to reading the bible. I believe, for the most part, we must believe the bible for the simple words it says, but every once in a while something is said that seems contradictory. When that happens we have to take a closer look at the passage(s). One of the most important rules of good bible study is to take the verses around a verse and let it help bring a clearer understanding to the passages in question. I tell my church often, “let the scriptures interpret the scriptures” Of course we cannot leave out the biggest factor of true bible study and that is the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. As we apply the rule of keeping scripture in context, not just with the verses around it, but the text of the whole teaching of the bible, we can get a clearer understanding of what Paul was really saying. Let’s look at the few verses that surround what Paul said in regard to being a chief sinner. Notice how often he talks in past tense in I Timothy 1:12-16.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; (13)Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. (14) And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (15)This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (16)Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

In verse 12, Paul acknowledges that God found Him faithful. In verse 13 he states that he “was before” a blasphemer and persecutor, who at that time obtained mercy. In verse 14 he states that grace “was” exceeding abundant. Then going on to verse 16, Paul tells us he obtained mercy (past tense). When you read these verses together you can come to a simple conclusion that Paul wasn’t considering himself a sinner at the writing of this epistle, but that his life prior to his conversion was when he considered himself to be chief of sinners. Don’t forget, Paul persecuted the church of Jesus Christ and that is one reason why he felt he was such a sinful man. If there is one verse that I would think summed up Paul’s life after his road to Damascus experience it is, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20). I am certain none of you would argue against the point that if Christ’s life is being lived out in Paul and his natural life is reckoned dead, then he is not a sinner. The same is true for you as well. This truth helps bring clarity to what John meant when he said, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1Jn 3:9). That seed of Christ, which is in us, cannot sin. When we live according to the Spirit of God that is in us, we live the life of a saint, not a sinner. This is what is called walking in the Spirit.

When you walk in the Spirit, you are walking according to the nature, character and righteousness of Christ, in the measure of light He gives you. If you walk in the flesh, you can’t help but to express the deeds of the flesh. That is a sinful life. As I said in last month’s article, this could be the reason some Christians make the statement that they are just sinners saved by grace. It may be because they refuse to walk in the Spirit and instead walk in the flesh. If you walk in the flesh you are not going to feel very saintly; if you live in the flesh you are not going to feel close to God. However, if you walk in the Spirit, you will have the peace and joy of the Lord, and you will go out with confidence and boldness to tell others they too can be delivered from being a sinner.

Let me finish by saying that when we became new creatures in Christ, we received the indwelling Spirit, but there also remained that old fleshly nature. Through the Spirit we have power to overcome our flesh, and through the cross we can reckon our old man dead and crucified with Christ. If you are one that insists that we are still sinners because we have that old nature that we give into once in a while, I won’t really argue that point with you. I am well aware of the battle between the Spirit and the flesh. However, if you would read the New Testament in its entirety, you will see that the title of being a sinner is not given to the saints of the living God. If God doesn’t call us one, I am not going to argue with Him.