THE 5 R's to LIFE IN CHRIST!
Lesson 1- Genesis 3
There was once a song that Frank Sinatra sang called "I Did it My Way."
Unfortunately, that is how most people live their lives, including Christians.
Have you ever said to yourself,
"Where is this abundant life Christ said I would have?"
"Why do I struggle so much?"
"This Christian life is hard, and seems harder than when I was an unbeliever."
Perhaps you're reading this and you are an unbeliever. You're searching for more, and you know there has to be more to life than this. Hopefully these teachings will help you see and experience this abundant life. This life that only HE, Jesus Christ, can live.
We are going to start by teaching you the 5r's.
1. Repent from sin. Let's look at what sin is. Turn with me to Gen. 3.
The serpent, aka Satan, deceives Eve into thinking she won't die, and she can be like God knowing all good and evil. Eve's first mistake was engaging him to begin with. Women are relational, so he was appealing to her natural tendencies. So to be God is to set our self in authority to be God, creator, king, ruler. We want to be independent of THE GOD, and to set up our own kingdom (so we think anyway).
THIS IS SIN! This is where we fail, we do not understand "this Christian life". We are trying to be God, instead of letting GOD, BE GOD. We want to be in control, independent, and think we have the answers. We want to be THE AUTHORITY. Authority is all through the scriptures, from Genesis through Revelation.
So they ate:
Verse 6 touches on the verse 1 John 2:16 which talks about the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life. All three of those words, lust, lust, pride come from the same root word "to covet." (covet: to desire for self, to demand, to take for selfish reasons.) So LUST AND PRIDE are the sins that come from SIN which is to act as God!
Little kids sometimes show us overtly how we grown-ups act.
One child takes the toy (lust, so takes without asking...), the other says, 'NO! THAT IS MY TOY."
(pride fully saying "give it back" as he rips it from the other's hand). Two GODS, kings, saying, "This is MY Kingdom". Marriage looks and works like that, too. WHO is going to be in charge of this kingdom? Husband, wife, or God?
1. They saw for the first time they were naked, and they were ashamed.
2. They knew they did wrong, so they felt guilty.
3. They hid themselves, because they were afraid.
Shame, guilt, and fear are the 3 feelings that go with all sin.
They were caught and God asked them questions and Adam blamed. He didn't just blame Eve, as the world likes to laugh at and most Christians think, but he blamed God, too! We men can be so prideful and arrogant! Can you imagine talking to God that way? The one who made you!
Eve blamed the serpent. Neither wanted to take responsibility for their own actions.
It seems that irresponsibility has been going on a long time!
God then delivers the curse, the consequence for trying to replace Him as GOD and trying to find some sort of significance apart from Him. It cannot be done!!
God then goes down the line of authority starting with the serpent, then Eve, then Adam. Notice what God says to Adam in verse 17:
"Because you heeded to the voice of your wife..... " He should have protected her. In 1Timothy 2:14, Paul says that the woman was deceived, not Adam.
SO LET'S RECAP:
1. SATAN DECEIVES ME INTO THINKING I CAN BE GOD AND BE INDEPENDENT FROM HIM WHICH IS SIN.
2. LUST AND PRIDE ARE SINS FROM TRYING TO REPLACE GOD AND BE GOD.
3. SHAME, GUILT, AND FEAR ARE FEELINGS THAT COME FROM SIN.
4. I BLAME OTHERS AND DO NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONAL WELL BEING.
Think about your life: how you may be deceived, how you act as your own god by lusting and being prideful. Check your emotions: do you feel shame, guilt, and fear and/or blame God and/or others for your mental and emotional well being?
Go to God now and confess to Him what he is showing you.
If you need help, seek a Godly friend, pastor, counselor, or call our church office and get some discipleship counseling.
You may want to send a prayer request (go to the sidebar and to prayer requests).
Until our next teaching - how sin affects you and others.
Prerogatives of God and Actions of Man)
Remember from the last teaching in Genesis 3 how we want to be independent, be our own god, or play god...
We must remember that God IS God, and that He has prerogatives that belong to Him and only Him! ( see diagram)
God is God, and you and I are NOT!!
So when we try to be God and do these things, we are replacing God in his rightful authority. You may say, "I don't do that." Do you ever get mad at someone? Do you hear yourself saying or thinking, "They should . . ." or "They must . . ." or "I want you to do . . ." or "You need to . . ."? And when they don't do it, do you demand obedience to it.... and then judge them unworthy of your love?
Sometimes these can be the smallest of things. I always tell people life is lived in the small things. For instance,
1. I set MY standard: I want the toothpaste lid back on the toothpaste every time.
2. When Robin does not do it, I demand that she does it by yelling at her.
3. Then I judge her to be unworthy of my acceptance and love.
Even if it is so silly and lasts only for a short second, every time we get mad, angry, or throw a temper tantrum we are trying to be GOD.
4. Sometimes my wife gets mad at me and yells at me, so I think, "I will get her! I won't take out the trash for a week." (Yuk!) But I got her back!! Vengeance.
5. I worry. I am anxious and fearful about money or people and think, "Oh my, what am going to do? I must work harder, or give the kids everything so they will like me. If only...." I am trying to control life. Women tend to try to control life and become over responsible in the family dynamics.
6. A husband might say, "I will go hunting this weekend even though I haven't spent time with my wife or kids all week (or ever). I will leave the wife/girlfriend to raise the kids....." Men tend to do this and be irresponsible and independent.
7. Sometimes we seek affection, approval, affirmation, acceptance, or attention from people (which includes any premarital sex or men pleasing). I believe this drives people in this day and age, especially, with all of our computers, tv, and movies. The message the world tells everyone is that you deserve to be loved and you need to love yourself more! You need more self esteem!
Has it worked so far? No. The bible tells us we already love ourselves (Eph 5:29). We love ourselves too much!!
8. A person might say, "I need NO help. I can figure it out on my own." This is simply pride.
All of these can occur spiritually (an unbeliever is being independent, asking no one, especially God, for help), mentally, emotionally, physically, maritally, parentally, or financially. It may seem small, but it is still sin!
Are you acting as if you are God? If you are, go to God and tell him what you are doing and be specific:
I am setting standards for myself and for others.
I am demanding obedience and judging those around me.
I am seeking revenge or trying to control life.
I am being independent of God and others.
I am seeking acceptance or affection rather than going to God who loves me. (By the way, nowhere in scripture does it say to demand or seek love from one another. It says to give!)
I am being prideful thinking that I don't need help in any area of my life, including spiritually.
When we try to be God and replace Him, it is sin.
Be honest with yourself and you are on your way to being truly free in Christ.
Go to teaching #3.
Lesson #3 - Rejection Cycle
(rejection, offences, hurts, unloving, disrespect, dishonor cycle)
Just as we talked about in teachings 1 and 2, we all sin, and sin is acting as if we are God. Sin has consequences. ALL SIN REJECTS, BUT NOT ALL REJECTION IS SIN! For instance, if God sends someone to hell for unbelief and rejects them, that is not sin. (By the way, God didn't send them. They sent themselves.) If we must discipline our kids, that is not sin (although we can sin in that discipline process out of anger). God told us in His word to discipline our children.
Take a look at the rejection cycle diagram.
1. "I THINK OR FEEL REJECTED AND/OR UNLOVED." Notice it says "I." This is my rejection cycle, and it is your rejection cycle. Take responsibility for it. Then I want you to realize that the word rejection is ANY thinking or feeling of offense.
For instance if my wife disrespects me I could put that under the umbrella of rejection. I could say, "I think and feel disrespected by my wife."
2. I oppose the rejection in my mind and think of it as being unworthy of what I really deserve which is respect! After all, I think I am God!
3. And I REACT by saying or doing things that reject others! In other words I SIN back!
Sin brings rejection.
Sometimes no one is around and I feel rejected or unloved. I am seeking love and affection or acceptance and power, but I feel disrespected and dishonored...
The bible says to honor your wife and respect your husband. When we dishonor our wives, they feel the sting of that sin and feel or think they are rejected and unloved.
When husbands are disrespected by their wives, they feel or think they are unloved and rejected.
There are many feelings under this umbrella of rejection and offenses, such as feeling cheated, manipulated, deceived, or taken advantage of.
Esau felt these in Gen 25-27. Read those verses and you will see. He was taken advantage of by his brother (Gen. 25:27-34) while he was hungry and lost his birthright. Then in 27 he lost his blessing because of his brother cheating, stealing, deceiving and tricking his father (see the sin - rejection). Then it says in 27:41, "and I will kill my brother, Jacob." His reaction to his brother's sin was sin! NOT FORGIVNESS!!!!!
We all get rejected through sin, EVEN JESUS! So why shouldn't we? If Jesus, the perfect, loving, Son of God, gets rejected, should we not also?
If you think and feel rejected now by someone or by your own standards and expectations, go to God and tell Him how you feel. Remember your reaction to the rejection is sin also! Tell Him your sin as well as the other person's!
You do not have to live in that rejection cycle.
Repentance is the key to maturity and transformation, NOT knowledge and information alone! Many Christians have a lot of bible info in their head, but because they do not repent to God through Jesus, their lives do not reflect any transformation or fruit. In fact, knowledge and information alone leads to PRIDE (1 Cor. 8:1).
Let's look at Ps. 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. 3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
Verse 2. NO GUILE, no lying, no deceit! He is just open and honest about his sin. Just admit you sin! We all sin, right? So don't try to hide it. After all where is it? GONE!! ON THE CROSS!! But if we hide it and keep silent, verse 3 says it drains us. My bones even hurt, and I am tired, and drained, YUK! This is how most Christians live! "But I acknowledged my sin and confessed my transgressions to the Lord." Be open and just call it what it is, SIN! You do not need anyone's approval anyway. You already have Gods!
PS. 119:59 says, "I thought about MY WAYS, AND TURNED MY FEET TOWARD GOD'S WAY!" We need to be honest, about "OUR WAY" and take an honest appraisal of ourselves. Then turn toward "God's Way" which is Himself.
Turn to 2 Cor.7:8-11 and read these verses. Godly sorrow leads to salvation; a salvation for the first time and a salvation of maturity - a renewing process. But a worldly sorrow is one that is not whole hearted. It's a façade, and just words. It's a ritual that is not sincere or genuine.
What diligence, clearing, indignation, fear, vehement desire, zeal, and vindication godly sorrow produces. And it proved the Corinthians to be clear. All toward God, they had a ZEAL, which means to embrace, pursue, and defend!!! A zeal that we have when we go running back to God, Daddy, our Lord and Savior!
Let's look at Eph. 4:32 "...even as Christ has forgiven you"
Go to Col. 2:13 "...having forgiven ALL your trespasses..."
And Col.3:13 "...even as Christ forgave you..."
Are you forgiven? YES!!!! SO STOP ASKING FOR SOMETHING YOU ALREADY HAVE! Instead, THANK HIM!!!
True faith claims what a person has now, not what he continues to hope for. We ARE forgiven, we ARE redeemed, we ARE accepted, and we ARE loved!!
Remember to thank God for His forgiveness that you posses now. Repentance is not about stopping sin BUT about your relationship with your God and His son's work at the cross.
To go back to asking for forgiveness, as for instance the "Lords prayer" (which is before the cross and to the nation of Israel and to the Apostles), is as Paul said in Galatians 2:18, "to build on what has already been destroyed is to make your self a transgressor."
We (Gentiles) never had the law to begin with. (Romans 6:14)
So thank God, and remember repentance is the key to maturity.
Go to 2nd R Renewing