There is in the derangement of those carriers of delirium tremens and other neural synapsical disturbances an awareness of the truth of the Apostle Paul’s revelation of the flesh:
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
With the flesh, we serve the law of sin. . .
In what doctors term ‘hallucinations,’ the carriers of delirium tremens and other neural synapsical disturbances see their alcoholic and narcotic sin crawling as black insects on their flesh, or feel the insects crawling under their skin. . .their skin, their flesh is host to what we can then call *sinsects.*
This is a truer picture of Satan at work than LaVey-esque clowns clad in black robes tonguing each other in analingus orgies. . .
Those sinners who in horror claw at their own skin, desperate to tear out the sinsects, are absolutely convinced of the alien presence of an Adversary living in their flesh. . .
There are those sinners, with scabs on their arms, legs and chest, who come to recognize their bondage to the sinsects. . .they cry out to God for help. . .I am speaking generally of the 12 steppers. These are not, for the most part, Christians. . .they do not go to God through Christ, but an empty bottle. But by admitting their captivity, they mimic certain of the principles of Christianity. . .and they benefit from a kind of Christian placebo effect, whereby they achieve a stalemate with the Adversary, through extreme self-mortification.
The 12 steppers have the victory of changed behavior. . .but the Adversary still tempts the flesh. This stalemate is tenous, at best. The coffee communion Temples of the 12 Steppers are full of faithful who must confess to *falling off the wagon,* succumbing again to the Adversary’s temptation. . .
Of course, Christians suffer the same. Most who follow the Way are well-acquainted with the *back-slidden* condition.
The Apostle Paul was given the remedy for the law of sin:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Unfortunately, this has become one of the most misinterpreted scriptures in the New Testament. Christians mistake *walking after the Spirit* as the remedy for sin. This is not a cure for sin. It is the pardon from the Law of Sin and Death. It frees us from the eternal consequence of sin. . .but while we wander the earth as pilgrims and strangers, we are still locked in the flesh, our eternal treasure stored in earthen vessels. Hence, we continue to be plagued by sin.
With a misinterpretation of the above scripture, Christians make the cross of Christ of none effect, for by mistaking the above passage as the remedy for sin, they believe if they only *walk after the Spirit,* they will gain victory over sin. In a great spiritual disaster, Christians then end up mimicking 12 steppers: they attempt to *walk after the Spirit* by an effort of their own will. To these misguided souls, walking after the Spirit means *trying hard not to sin* (which is, of course, walking after the flesh. . .and which puts the Christian once again under the Law of Sin and Death).
And trying hard not to sin is exactly what unbelievers do when they diet, quit smoking, or stop themselves from exposing their genitals to schoolyard children. And Christians, through an effort of will, likewise try to make sinful flesh *good.* But they earn no genuine victory over sin, they only temporarily succeed in changing their behavior. . .for the sinful desire remains. And sooner or later the Christian, like the 12 stepper, will *fall off the wagon.* And the process begins all over again, with the guilt-laden Christian trying even harder to *walk after the Spirit.* The Christian thus condemns himself to a lifetime of self-mortification and failure. The Christian existence becoming a wearying war between flesh and Spirit. And from the shame of defeat in hidden sin, hypocrisy arises to discredit the faith in the eyes of the unbelievers.
Where is the peace of God, which passes all understanding, and which is supposed to guard the hearts and minds of Christians?
Is the Christian life really nothing more than a grim struggle of the will to not be an addict, fornicator or any other kind of sinner?
What is the answer to the sin question? How to be free of the circle of the defeat of the will?
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
What is the answer to the sin question? To admit the absolute weakness of the flesh. To admit the impossibility of excising the desires of the flesh through our own *will power.* God must supernaturally deliver us through faith in Christ’s cross-won victory over sin. We can *try hard* to master sin, and fight the losing fight between spirit and flesh, and our life becomes a joyless grind. Or we can be honest, admit our sin, admit our weakness and helplessness to master it. . .and then rejoice in that weakness! For therein is our victory.
Most attribute the Apostle’s *thorn* to a physical infirmity, and not a sin of the flesh, but it matters not the exact nature, since all physical infirmity is ultimately the result of the sin nature we are born into.
Therefore, we must turn our sin over to God, and trust Him to deal with it through the strength of Christ. If the victory doesn’t come in this life, no matter, the glory to come will be that much sweeter!
What shall we say then? Shall we continue to sin, that grace may abound?
No. But neither shall we continue to live by our will.
At heart, *walking after the Spirit* by *trying hard to not sin* is an act of pride. The sinner’s faith is in his own effort. He trusts his own flesh more than the cross of Christ. But God does not reward man’s pride. David Wilkerson commented:
Pride is independence—humility is dependency. The humble Christian is one who makes no move, no decision, without counsel from the Lord. The Bible says the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord, but He cannot order the steps of an independent spirit. This is all to say—God wants full control—give it to him.
God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. . .
All manifestation of filthy desire lives in my flesh. But I no longer scratch and claw at the sinsects which swarm me. Instead, I rejoice in their presence, knowing Christ’s strength is sufficient. I’ve lived a life of failure in the flesh. My best efforts were fruitless. Now I rest from *trying hard to be good.*
Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
I give up *trying to be good*. . .I give up trying to appear good. . . For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing. . .I am a sinner who can only be saved by the Blood of the Lamb. I’ll rest in the knowledge that any victory over sin comes not through my will, but through the triumph of Jesus Christ on the cross:
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross. . .
Plagued by sin, I confess that I am captive to sin and cannot free myself. I have sinned against God in thought, word, and deed, by what I have done and by what I have left undone. I have not loved God with my whole heart; I have not loved my neighbor as myself. For the sake of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, I ask God to have mercy on me, to forgive me, renew me, and lead me, so that I may delight in His will and walk in His ways, not my ways, to the glory of His holy name.
And if the sinsects crawl over me all my days—so be it. Nothing is lost. It is only maggots feasting on the body of this death.
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