Overcoming Satan, Sin, Society & Self

Fred R. Coulter—March 30, 2013

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This Feast of Unleavened Bread has certainly gone by fast. I hope you’ve taken the extra time to do extra study, extra prayer, examine your life and intensify your relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. We live in a world that there are four S’s we need to overcome:

  1. SATAN

  2. SIN

  3. SOCIETY

  4. SELF

All of those are wrapped up in our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. It gets down to how we become unleavened in Jesus Christ.

Let’s go back to Exo. 13 and let’s see a very important thing as it relates to the Church, how it relates to what we are to do, and why the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

There’s a specific reason for it, and there’s a specific reason for why on the Passover that the firstborn were spared. The firstborn are special to God. The firstborn also relates to the Church. We find in Heb. 12 that we are the Church of the Firstborn, with Christ being the Firstborn from the dead among many brethren. God is building His family, and God is producing His government through us. That is, we will be the firstborn forever.

Exodus 13:1—here’s a special thing that God had in command for the children of Israel, and it also explains why He spared the firstborn, because they belong to Him. That’s important in relationship to the birth of Jesus Christ. He was the firstborn in the flesh, of Mary. He was also the firstborn from among the dead. It is only through Him that we will enter into the Kingdom of God as the nation that is the firstborn nation of God.

Exodus 13:1: “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Sanctify all the firstborn to Me, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, of man and of beast. It is Mine.’ And Moses said to the people, ‘Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt…’” (vs 1-3). That’s coming out of Satan and society. To come out from the sin within is also right here; let’s see how he brings that out.

Of course, remember this: The first commandment is not just ‘you shall have no other gods before Me.’ The first commandment is: ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt; you shall have no other gods before Me.’ He judged all the gods of Egypt on the Passover night. All the religion of Egypt came from Babylon.

Here we have a perfect situation and we then go ahead and have this amplified spiritually by the New Testament.

“…‘Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for the LORD brought you out from this place by the strength of His hand. There shall be no leavened bread eaten’” (v 3). That is during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Verse 4: “On this day… [the 15th day of the 1st month] …you are going out, in the month Abib. And it shall be when the LORD shall bring you into the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, and in the seventh day there shall be a Feast to the LORD” (vs 4-6). The reason is because, as we saw before the Passover, we must eat the flesh of Christ—symbolically by the bread; drink the blood of Christ—symbolic of the wine.

Verse 7: “Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And there shall be no leavened bread seen with you, nor shall there be leaven seen with you in all your borders.”

Then here is what we are to do; and this is what we have failed to do as a nation and a people: to teach our children the way of God.

Verse 9: “And it shall be a sign to you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD’S law may be in your mouth, for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt…. [there we have it] …You shall therefore keep this law in its season from year to year” (vs 9-10).

Of course, we know that this foreshadows everything that we do in the New Testament. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote, as we saw on the first day: Let us keep the Feast not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth!

Let’s come to Hebrews, the tenth chapter, and see what the Law of God is to be with us. The laws of God are what direct our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • the laws of God are Truth

  • the Holy Spirit is Truth

  • Jesus Christ is the Truth, the Way and the Life

Hebrews 15—here is what is going to be in our lives. With the Holy Spirit in our mind, we now have the strength, tools and ability to go forward and do the things that God wants us to do; to overcome from within. To have things outside, because a law out here never made anyone do anything. Everything we do is a choice; keeping the laws and commandments of God. Where do the choices begin? Within our mind, from within!

Hebrews 10:15: “And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after He had previously said, ‘This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,’ says the Lord. ‘I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds’” (vs 15-16). I want you stop and think for just a minute: How far away from the Truth of God is the Christianity of this world when they say that the Law has been done away? This is why we have the books:

  • Judaism—Revelation of Moses or Religion of Men?

  • The Day Jesus the Christ Died

  • The Christian Passover

Everything that we publish and do and preach goes right to this. In addition to it, since all the firstborn belong to God, we then are the firstborn from among the world into the Family of God. We’ll cover that a little later as we go forward.

Ephesians 2—here’s what we need to understand and the way that we need to apply it to our lives so that we can realize that God is doing something in us! Living in this world we are to be the light of the world; we are to be the salt of the earth, but we are also to be the begotten sons and daughters of God:

  • growing

  • changing

  • overcoming

God is creating in us:

  • His character

  • His love

  • His Truth

  • His righteousness

and implanting into our mind His laws and His commandments

  • so that we can get rid of the sin within

  • so that we can live our lives in sincerity and Truth

  • so that we can become that new creation

that at the resurrection—pictured by the Holy Day of Pentecost—we will completely shed everything of the flesh.

Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God, not of works…” (vs 8-9). That means your own works. That’s why Protestantism is such a unique counterfeit. It looks so good; it sounds so good; but do you not think that Sunday-keeping and holiday-keeping are the works and traditions of men? How can that bring salvation? It cannot!

“…so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship… [We are the workmanship of God the Father; Jesus Christ dwelling in us! That’s what makes us unleavened.] …created in Christ Jesus…” (vs 9-10). God being Creator is

  • always creating

  • always doing

  • always changing and growing and overcoming

—and that’s testified by everything we see, from the individual cells in our bodies to the great fantastic creation of the vastness of the universe.

“…unto the good works…” (v 10)—the laws and commandments of God. Those are the building of character as Peter said in 2-Pet. 1—to build the character and to realize that God wants the character first, so that when we receive eternal life we will not sin ever, ever again!

“…that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them” (v 10). Always remember this:

  • if you’re walking in the laws and commandments of God

if you’re doing the Truth of God

then you need to understand that it’s not what your works are; they are the works of God in you! How does that happen? Well, the Apostle Paul made it very clear:

Verse 16: “And that He might reconcile both… [Jew and Gentile] …to God in one body through the cross, having slain the enmity by it.” All hostility to the Law of God, all hostility to God—by putting our own traditions instead of the Word and Truth of God—have been slain. Every time there is a human tradition or human way put in place of God’s way, that creates an enmity between you and God as does sin, as well. Because, you see, those traditions are also sin, though they may be well intended.

Verse 17: “Now, when He came, He preached the Gospel—peace to you who were far off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have direct access by one Spirit to the Father” (vs 17-18). Remember how we covered on Passover night, and never forget this:

  • Jesus said that He loves us!

  • Jesus said that the Father Himself loves us!

In this life there can be nothing greater than that. That’s why everything in the world we are to set aside.

Verse 19: “So then, you are no longer aliens and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of the household of God. You are being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone” (vs 19-20). As God looks down on the earth and He sees all of His children—wherever they are on the earth:

  • He’s working with them

  • He’s helping them

  • He’s sending His Spirit

  • they have His Word

  • they understand what they need to do

  • we yield to God daily

  • we confess our sins daily

  • we grow, change and overcomedaily

Yes,

  • we fight the world

  • we fight Satan

  • we fight sin

  • we fight self

That’s how we do it: with God the Father and Jesus Christ in us.

Verse 21: “In Whom all the building, being conjointly fitted together, is increasing into a Holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit” (vs 21-22).

Let’s see what we have to do; why the Feast of Unleavened Bread is so very important for us to do. In 1-John 2 we have that there are many antichrists out there in the world and they are of Satan the devil.

1-John 5:19: “We know that we are of God…” The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread really distinguishes us, that

  • We are of God!

  • We love God!

  • We serve God!

  • We love each other!

  • We keep the commandments of God!

  • We are the workmanship of God!

Verse 19: “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one.” What does the ‘wicked one’ hold out to us very enticingly? The world!

This is why we have the command in 1-John 2:15: “Do not love the world…” God loves the world, because He is the One Who is judging the world. We are to come out of the world just as the children of Israel came out of Egypt. What is the whole religious system of this world called today? Sodom and Egypt!(Rev. 11:8). We are to be the sons and daughters of God, showing forth the fruits of righteousness in Truth, goodness and love.

“Do not love the world…” That is Satan’s system and the society of this world. Think about what is happening in the world and look at what’s taking place because people have rejected God.

“…nor the things thatare in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (v 15). If you love the world, you go by the world, you obey the world, you do the things of the world. But if the love of the Father is in you, you love God the Father and Jesus Christ more than anything in the world! More than any other human being!

What did Jesus say? If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother; it means you should love God more. ‘If anyone loves His father and mother more than Me, He is not worthy of Me.’ (Matt. 10). And yes, our own lives, our own things, because God has the fantastic things that He is going to give us. As we saw on the Passover night, Jesus said, ‘In My Father’s house are many offices.’ He’s preparing a place for us! That’s why we’re not to love the world “…nor the things thatare in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Verse 16: “Because everything that is in the world…” Living today where we have all of the communication like we have here with the videos, television, SmartPhones, dumb phones, handheld devices, iPads—whatever you want to have—direct communication, the world is out there at the touch of a finger.

Just like there is the full course of evil through those things, the Gospel is also being preached. What does it show us? This describes what goes on television 24 hours a day:

“…—the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pretentious pride of physical life—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world and its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (vs 16-17). That’s something!

That’s what we’re doing, brethren, in keeping the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, we’re doing the will of God! When we keep His commandments and have His laws written in our hearts and minds, God is working within us and doing His will with us. We do the will of God!

  • not the things willed by the flesh

  • not the things willed by Satan the devil

  • not the things willed by society

—and furthermore, with the power of the Holy Spirit, He has given us the ability to overcome sin. That’s what the whole Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about.

1-John 2:5: “On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word… [Everything of God. Just like Jesus said, ‘We are to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’] …truly in this one the love of God is being perfected….” We’re going to see how that love is perfected; and that love and the laws of God within us, give us the ability to overcome ‘the law of sin and death.’ God doesn’t remove it from us. We must overcome it! We will see how to overcome it. God’s love is being perfected in us!

“…By this means we know that we are in Him…. [v 6 ties right in with Eph. 2:10] …Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked” (vs 5-6). That is called Christ in you, the hope of glory!

Now let’s see what that does. Let’s come to Romans 6. We’ve covered this concerning baptism in the New Covenant and living under grace. Let’s see what we are to do because we’re under grace. Let’s see how that puts us—while we are standing with God—in a complete separate category than the world. That’s why we are not:

  • to lust after the world

  • to love the things in the world

  • to live the way the world does

We are to live the way that God wants us to.

Romans 6:11: “In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin…” you’re not going to actively participate in it. You’re going to overcome it! You’re going to put it down through the power and Spirit of God; and this tells us how we are to do it.

“…but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof” (vs 11-12). We are to grab that thought and cast it away daily! We are ask God to:

  • cleanse our heart

  • cleanse our mind

  • cleanse our soul

  • cleanse our being’

  • to help us every day

Just like every day our body has to get rid of waste, every day we need to get rid of the spiritual sin; we need to fortify ourselves with Truth and Righteousness! Just like every day we need to eat physical food, every day we need to eat spiritual food—which is studying the Word of God and living by it applying it. That way then sin will not rule. It doesn’t say that we won’t be tempted. It doesn’t say we won’t have to fight it, but it won’t rule in our lives and “obeying…the lust thereof.”

Verse 13: “Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin; rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead…” Because when we were buried in that watery grave of baptism, we pledged our death to God! He brought us up out of the water so that we can live, change and grow—that’s what the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about.

“…and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (v 13)—because:

  • you have the Spirit of God

  • you have the Spirit of Christ

  • you have the laws and commandments of God within you

  • you can overcome

  • you can resist

  • you can put down

  • you can get rid of

those characteristics of sin and wretchedness in your life.

Now, we also need to do this, because today we are assaulted with so many visual things of sin, we need to ask God to help us; we need to ask God to cleanse our mind and get rid of these flashback thoughts that we have sin in our lives in the past. We will see how that is done in just a bit.

Verse 14: “For sin shall not rule over you…” You have to fight it! Let’s see how much we have to fight it; let’s see the problems that come along. It doesn’t say we won’t sin, but it says that we should not let it rule over us!

Let’s see how we overcome the sin within so that it doesn’t rule over us; that we:

  • love God

  • love each other

  • love Jesus Christ

  • keep the commandments of God

all of those things are one giant package of true Christianity. Here’s how we do it:

Hebrews 12:2: “Having ourmindsfixed on Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross, although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Now meditate deeply on Him Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds” (vs 2-3).

  • if we do not exercise the Spirit of God

  • if we do not use the laws and commandments of God within

  • if we do not rebuke the evil thoughts of Satan the devil that are projected against us, that come from the world on every side

  • if we do not have our heart and mind cleansed through the Spirit of God and the Word of God

then we may yield to sin! But notice what Paul says:

Verse 4: “You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin.” We’ll come back to this a little later, but this is the whole point: Do not let sin rule in your mortal bodies! Why? Because we’re under the grace of God, and the grace of God gives us the power to change and overcome!

Because we’re under grace, Paul asks the question, Romans 6:15: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law…”—under judgment to death; has nothing to do with spiritually keeping the commandments of God and having them written in our heart and mind. You may need to go back and review the sermon series: Grace Upon Grace and what does it mean to be under law. The whole world is under law. But only those who have the Spirit of God are under grace.

“…we are not under law but under grace? MAY IT NEVER BE!” (v 15). No! We don’t allow it. If we slip and sin, we repent and it’s washed away. If it’s something that needs to be cleansed out of our mind, we go to God—through His Spirit and the washing of the water by the Word—and have our mind renewed in Christ Jesus. That’s how we are to do it.

Verse 16: “Don’t you realize that to whom you yield yourselves as servants to obey, you are servants of the one you obey, whether it is of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” You cannot separate obedience and righteousness. But added to righteousness are all the things of love, hope, joy, virtue, knowledge and all of those things.

Verse 17—this is why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread: “But thanks be to God, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed…” Notice that in two verses: obedience and obey! Keep that in mind just in case you happen to have a conversation with a Protestant who thinks that the laws have been done away. Ask him about this: What does this mean? Ask him if he knows anything about Judaism; because if he doesn’t and if he doesn’t really understand grace; and Paul is saying right here grace is not a license to sin, grace is not a license to get rid of—no, indeed!

“But thanks be to God, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart… [because it’s written in your heart and mind] …that form of doctrine… [you need teaching, doctrine, understanding] …which was delivered to you; and having been delivered from sin… [which we have through Christ and constant cleansing and constantly being delivered] …you became the servants of righteousness” (vs 17-18). That’s what we are to do, brethren.

Let’s see what Paul tells us what we need to do: We need to yield! That’s a choice! That is a thought! That is this active obedience to God!

Verse 19: “I speak from a human point of view because of the weakness of your flesh; for just as you once yielded your members in bondage to uncleanness, and to lawlessness unto lawlessness, so now yield your members in bondage to righteousness unto sanctification”—because God is working in you. He is getting ride of the sin, He’s putting in the character of God. God cannot sin! God is without sin! So, what God is doing is giving to you

  • His mind

  • His character

  • His Spirit

  • His Word

  • His commandments

  • His laws

And this makes you unleavened in Christ Jesus.

Verse 20: “For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. Therefore, what fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end result of those things is death. But now that you have been delivered from sin and have become servants of God…” (vs 20-22).

I want you to think about that. Remember what we read in Eph. 2—we have direct access to God the Father through Jesus Christ. How we have read in the book of Revelation that our prayers come up before the throne of God. How that under the grace of God:

  • God loves us

  • God has given us His Spirit

  • God is working within us for us to change, grow and overcome

In a world that is awash in sin and wickedness and lawlessness and wretchedness, “…you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end result… [at the resurrection] …is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (vs 22-23).

This is why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in sincerity and in Truth. That’s why we ask God to give us the strength to change, to grow, to overcome.

Let’s come to 2-Corinthians 6, and let’s see how this is an active process that we need to do all the time day in and day out. Every day is a new day, and this is why this comes right in with it, so that we do not love the world, we do not embrace the things of the world. Sometimes that becomes a little difficult. Sometimes when we sin—as Paul wrote, ‘The sin that so easily besets us.’ God has to correct us, but

  • that correction is for good

  • that correction is for joy

  • that correction is for righteousness

  • that correction is on to eternal life

We can thank God for it! Praise Him! Love Him!

2-Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers… [in any manner. This can apply to marriage. This can apply to deep friendships and so forth.] …For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common?… [Nothing! They’re the opposite!] …And what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what union does Christ have with Belial?…. [think about all of those things] …Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever?” (vs 14-15).

Every one of these things with how to fulfill 1-John 2:15-17).

Verse 16: “And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols?….” Remember the great sin of Israel when they put the idols right in the temple of God. What did He have to do with it? He destroyed it! Always remember this: Just as God honors repentance, God also corrects His own first!

“…For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said… [Think about this for a minute; think about this in relationship to the message to the Laodiceans]: …‘I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’” (v 16). Think about that!

  • Christ in us

  • the Father in us

  • the Truth in us

This is why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Every year we need to be renewed. Every year we need to have the rededication of our lives to the Covenant of Christ. Then carry that through every day as we go along. What did God say of the children of Israel when He brought them out of the land of Egypt? That they would be His people! Notice what He says of us:

Verse 17: “Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,’ says the Lord…” Is that not what God did with Israel? Is that not what God has done with His Church? Yes, Indeed!

“…‘and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty” (vs 17-18).

We’re going to see the process that comes so that we can really truly be the sons and daughters of God. Remember this:

  • the Father Himself loves you

  • the Father Himself dwells in you

  • Christ dwells in you

You have all the tools—through the Spirit of God and the Word of God—to change, to grow and to overcome!

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Now let’s continue on in 2-Corinthians 7. This tells us what we are to do, then we will look at other Scriptures as to how we can apply this.

2-Corinthians 7:1: “Now then, beloved, since we have these promises…” Consider all the promises of God, everything that He has given:

  • He loves you

  • He cares for you

  • He watches over you

  • He places His angels about you

  • He has given you His spirit

  • He dwells within you

You are a part of God inasmuch as you were connected with His Spirit directly to the Father and Jesus Christ.

“…we should purge ourselves…” (v 1). We have to exercise ourselves to doing what is right. We saw in Rom. 6 that we are not yield ourselves. We saw in Heb. 12 that sin will come along and easily beset us.

  • we know that we have to fight Satan the devil

  • we know that we have to fight the world

  • we know that we have to overcome the sin within, the self and all of that

Here’s what we need to do, “…purge ourselves from every defilement of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of God” (v 1). How do we perfect Holiness?

If we are perfecting these things, we are growing in grace and in knowledge. It has to do also with our relationship with God on a daily basis. Let’s look at Christ, because He was our example. He had to do greater than what we need to do, because He was the Son of God.

Hebrews 5:7—speaking of Christ: “Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications…” That’s what we need to do:

  • pray everyday

  • study everyday

  • work on special things with supplications and yielding to God

  • using the Word of God

  • exercising those things within us

“…with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death…” (v 7). He likewise, because Jesus said, ‘Of Myself I can do nothing.’ Likewise it is with us. That’s why He is our example.

“…and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience from the things that He suffered” (vs 7-8). What did this do to Jesus? What did this do to the perspective of God toward everyone of us who are weak in the flesh; because He in the flesh:

  • had to overcome the flesh

  • had to overcome Satan

  • had to overcome sin

  • had to overcome this society

—all of it!

Verse 9: “And having been perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him.” We need to understand what we need to do.

Verse 12: “For truly, by this time you ought to be teachers, but instead you need to have someone teach you again what are the beginning principles of the oracles of God, and have become those in need of milk, and not of solid food. For everyone who is partaking of milk is unskilled in the Word of Righteousness because he is an infant. But solid food… [strong spiritual meat; really understanding how we need to change, grow and overcome and put the Word of God together the way that it should be] …is for those who are fully grown, who through repeated practice have had their senses trained to discern between good and evil” (vs 12-14).

That’s what we need to do, especially in this world, because there are a lot of things that appear good, but are evil. There are things that come into our mind that enter into them—though we don’t want them—and they need to be purged out; sometimes, on a daily basis.

Let’s see how we do that—1-John 1—how God works with us in changing, growing, overcoming:

  • helping us over our sins

  • forgiving our sins

  • giving the strength to resist

  • also giving us a clean conscience

Let’s look at this way: this is on a daily basis—day-by-day. Remember what it says that if ‘you will hear His voice, today do not harden your heart.’ Let’s see the process that is given here:

1-John 1:6: “If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him, but we are walking in the darkness…” That’s in the world; that’s the way of sin and death. We have to walk in the Light, because

  • Jesus is the Light

  • the Word of God is the Light

  • His Holy Spirit is the Light

“…we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth” (v 6). There we go again, practicing the Truth, which is the Word of God, the love of God!

Verse 7[transcriber’s correction]: “However, if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin.” There has to be that repentance of sin coming before God, and God applies the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and we are justified to God on a daily basis. “…cleanses us from all sin.” Lets how much more it does cleanse us, as well:

Verse 8: “If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our own sins…” (vs 8-9). There it is, right there.

  • He is ready to forgive

  • He is ready to show mercy

  • He is ready to blot out our sins

Verse 9: “If we confess our own sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”—every defilement of the flesh; every defilement of the spirit. How can the spirit be defiled? By sinning! All of it is cleansed, and we grow and we change and we overcome.

Now let’s see how God also does this, and He does it for our good. We have trials! We have tests! We have correction! God is dealing with us as a Father.

Hebrews 12:4: “You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin.” But we do have the spiritual turmoil, the emotional turmoil and all of the things that go with overcoming sin.

Verse 5: “And you have already forgotten the admonition that He addresses to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor grow weary of being reproved by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He severely disciplines every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God is dealing with you as a Father with His sons. For who is the son whom the Father does not chasten?” (vs 5-7).

We’ve had fathers who have chastened us, but God does it for our spiritual good. Let’s see what the result of that is going to be. Here is the operation that takes place. Let’s see how conversion is within; how conversion is a spiritual thing; how these things need to take place.

  • God gives us the tools

  • God gives us the ability

  • God gives us His Word

Romans 12:1: “I exhort you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice…” That’s our flesh, but we have the spirit. We are to overcome every defilement of the flesh and the spirit, by exercising ourselves to using the Spirit of God; yielding to the love of God and not yielding to sin.

“…Holy and well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service. Do not conform yourselves to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind in order that you may prove what is well pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God” (vs 1-2). So, we do this on a daily basis. We are to be renewed in our mind, transformed! That’s what conversion is all about.

How do we do this? This is the whole lesson of the Feast of Unleavened Bread:we put out the leaven; we bring in the unleavened. We eat unleavened bread—the way of God!

Let’s see how the Apostle Paul wrote that we need to overcome, and what he’s showing here—Eph. 4—is that the Church is being built up on Jesus Christ:

  • that the Church is to be edified

  • that the Church is to grow

    • all of us are members of the Church

    • we’re part of the Body of Christ

He gives the whole purpose of the ministry right here:

Ephesians 4:12: “For the perfecting of the saints… [that’s what it’s for, all of us, every one of us] …for the work of the ministry, for theedifying of the body of Christ.” Edify is to build up, and that’s why Jesus was a carpenter, because He built, just like with the Church.

Verse 13: “Until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man…” That perfection is finalized at the resurrection, as long as we’re in the flesh, and as long as we still have the ‘law of sin an death’ in us, because that’s what we still have within us. It is not removed from us until we die.

Notice how God wants it to be: “…unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ… [then Paul gives another lesson here, going back to Heb. 5, that we need not to go back to being children who are unskilled in the Word of Truth]: …so that we no longer be children, tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men in cunning craftiness, with a view to the systematizing of the error” (vs 13-14). That’s what they did. They systematized all of the traditions of men, relabeled them as ‘Christian’ and that’s how we got the Christian world that we have today.

Here’s how we do it, v 15: “But holding the Truth in love, may in all things… [everything] …grow up into Him Who is the Head, even Christ.”

  • That’s why there is no companionship with the world!

  • That’s why there is no agreement with idols!

  • That’s why we are not to be unequally yoked to nonbelievers!

Verse 16: “From Whom all the body… [all the brethren—near and far assembled in fellowship groups or scattered alone—all around the world] …fitly framed and compacted together by that which every joint supplies… [we have something to give to the body of Christ] …according to its inner working…”

  • the transformation

  • the conversion

  • the Spirit of God

  • the cleansing

  • the healing

all of those things

“…in the measure of each individual part, is making the increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (v 16). Now then, he says we’re not to go back and be like the Gentiles were and what they were doing.

Verse 21 tells us what we need to be doing; great instruction. Let’s understand, this is everyday; many times during the day, if necessary. Verse 21: “If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, according to the Truth in Jesus: That concerning your former conduct… [the way that you live, the way that you thought, how your life was] …you put off the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (vs 21-23). That renewal is everyday, everyday,everyday! That way:

  • we can be constant with God

  • we can be overcoming

  • we will be able to put away the sins of the flesh

  • we will be able to put away the temptations of the world

Now then, he gives several warnings here, according to the Truth in Jesus, v 24: “And that you put on the new man… [Christ in you, the hope of glory; the mind of Christ] …which according to God is created in righteousness and Holiness of the Truth.” That’s what God is working with. That’s how God is doing it. In us! Every one of us!

Verse 25: “Therefore…” Since we are being perfected, that means that we are not yet perfected; it is a process.

Notice how that ties in with Ephesians. 2:10—We’re being created; we’re the workmanship of God: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…”

Over here it’s saying the same thing, Ephesians 4:24: “…put on the new man, which according to God is created in righteousness and Holiness of the Truth. Therefore, let each one put away lies and speak the truth with his neighbor because we are members of one another. When you become angry, do not sin….” (vs 24-26). NO! Don’t let it get into anger and revenge and hatefulness.

“…Do not let the sun go down on your anger” (v 26). Never, ever, ever go to bed with anger and hostility and conflict! You need to get it resolved! That will help you sleep!

Verse 27: “Neither give place to the devil.” Go back over James 1 of how sin comes along and it’s a progression of things that we can get rid of and expel before we actually commit the sin. It is a temptation. If we are doing that, we are not giving a place to the devil. But, if we don’t do that:

  • we’re giving him place

  • we’re giving him a way to work

  • we’re giving him a way to cause us problems and difficulties

Verse 28: “Let the one who stole, steal no more…”

  • change your behavior

  • change your thoughts

  • change what you’re doing

“…rather, let him labor with his hands, working at what is good, so that he may impart something to the one who has need. Do not let any corrupt communication come out of your mouth, but that which is good and needful for edification that it may give grace to those who hear” (vs 28-29). That’s how we need to do it. Let’s understand something, brethren, very important:

All of us have been through various church wars. Those who are new, they were in church wars with the Christianity of the world. Those who have been in the Church for a while we have had church wars within by those who are trying to come in and subvert the Truth and get rid of the way of righteousness and bring it into subjection to the satanic lies of the Christianity of this world. We’ve all had our difficulties and problems where then we have had our ups and downs in overcoming sin—right? Yes!

Verse 30: “And grieve… [or vex] …not the Holy Spirit of God…” Don’t frustrate it. How do you do that? You frustrated the Holy Spirit of God—which is leading you—when you allow sin to get a toe-hold in your mind; when you allow:

  • the thoughts of lust

  • the thoughts of carnality

  • the thoughts of disobedience

  • the thoughts of self-pity

  • the thoughts of hatred

—and all of those things. That’s why we’re going to see what we need to do replace all of that. And it will take time. Here’s where to start:

Verse 31: “Let all bitterness, and indignation, and wrath, and clamor, and evil speaking be removed from you, together with all malice; and be kind and tenderhearted toward one another, forgiving one another, even as God has also in Christ forgiven you” (vs 31-32). Keep that in mind.

Now let’s come to Colossians 3 and let’s see that this chapter is one of the key most important things that we need to do. In Col. 2 Paul warns about how there were those who were trying to bring in the pagan philosophies. We’ve experienced that. We’re living in the end-time where that is really coming true to its fullest extent.

Colossians 3 is very important in our spiritual growth, because we are to put out, put off the old man; put in—which is being created in righteousness and the Holiness of Truth—the new man, which is Godliness! We are to exercise ourselves to Godliness. Here is how it is done. This chapter is the most important in growing and overcoming:

Colossians 3:1: “Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.” What does it say in Matt. 6:33? Seek the Kingdom of God first! And Matt. 5:48 says ‘Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.’ Combine those two verses together and all the rest of the New Testament is built upon that through Jesus Christ.

Verse 2: “Set your affection on the things that are above, and not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died… [through baptism and your life is now Christ’s] …and your life has been hid together with Christ in God. When Christ, Whois our life, is manifested, then you also shall be manifested with Him in glory” (vs 2-4). That’s what we are looking to.

How do we get from here to there? He tells us, v 5: “Therefore, put to death your members which are on earth… [here they are, all the sins of the flesh]: …—sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, among whom you also once walked, when you were living in these things” (vs 5-7). What he’s saying is that

  • it takes time to overcome

  • it takes time to have our mind cleansed

  • it takes time to build the Godliness, the Godly character

And the Spirit of God is there to help us!

Verse 6: “Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, among whom you also once walked, when you were living in these things. But now… [at this time, as a Christian growing and overcoming] …you should also put off all these things…” (vs 6-8).

Put off or put out, just like we’re to put leaven out of our homes. Why does God use leaven as a type of sin during the Days of Unleavened Bread? Because it’s everywhere! It’s so easy, and we can come to just take things for granted. God doesn’t want us to do it—put off, just like you put out leaven. The spiritual leaven is put off these things, or put out these things:

“…wrath, indignation, malice, blasphemy, and foul language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeingthat you have put off the old man together with his deeds, and have put on the new man…” (vs 8-10). It’s a process: everyday you put it out; everyday you put it on, and you come to God

  • to cleanse your mind

  • to cleanse your heart

  • to help you with your thoughts

  • to help you with your emotions

  • to help you to grow in love, grow in faith,

  • in Truth

—all of those things!

“…put on the new man who is being renewed in knowledge… [by the renewing of your mind; and be transformed (Rom. 12)] …according to the image of Him Who created him; where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian nor Scythian, slave nor free; but Christ is all things, and in all” (vs 10-11). That’s what we are to put out. That’s cleansing us from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit.

Then let God’s Spirit create in us by doing this, v 12[transcriber’s correction]—God wants our cooperation: “Put on then, as the elect of God, Holy and beloved, deep inner affections, kindness, humility, meekness and long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive” (vs 12-13). That is very, very important, brethren. Among ourselves we cannot have unforgiveness. As Jesus said, ‘If we don’t forgive, then He’s not going to forgive us.’ Likewise, the one who is the offender, if you don’t repent God will not forgive you either. So, it works both ways.

During this Feast of Unleavened Bread see if there’s any unforgiveness within you toward any of the brethren, or toward your wife/husband, toward your children. “…if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive.

Verse 14: “And above all these things put on love… [What is love?] …which is the bond of perfection.” Bond is what brings and holds together. So, we can say this: the love of God—that comes from God to us—and our love of God back to God; and our love of God to the brethren; and our love of God in the way that we can grow and overcome is the glue—the spiritual glue—for the bond that holds everything together! That’s how we grow and overcome. That is the key. That’s why we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

What happens when you do that? Then all your cares and worries are put on Christ! All of your sins, all of your iniquities, and all of the evil thoughts that you have are wiped away through the sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ. What does this do?

Verse 15: “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts… [This is what it means to be led by the Holy Spirit.] …to which you were called into one body, and be thankful.” How do you do that? Again, it is a spiritual exercise! It is that which is to develop Godliness in us. Remember, Paul told Timothy, ‘Exercise yourself unto Godliness.’

Verse 16: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And in everything—whatever you do in word or in deeddo all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him” (vs 16-17). That’s what we are to do. Let’s see what else we need to do.

Let’s come back to 2-Corinthians 10, because this focuses in on what’s going on in the mind, and the battle in our mind and heart. That’s why we need the Spirit of God. God judges the heart. Let’s see how we can maintain our heart and mind in a spiritual way, while living in the world, so we can be growing and overcoming and cleansing ourselves through the Spirit of God from every defilement of the flesh and of the spirit.

2-Corinthians 10:3: “For although we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.” We can’t use the human self-help to do good, to do better, to be successful. Those are still all fleshly, because even though they’re based on some of the principles of God, it’s not based upon using and exercising the Spirit of God as true Christianity really is.

Verse 4: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds.” Strongholds are those deep-rooted thoughts of our past life before baptism!The deep-root thoughts that caused us to sin greatly against God! God in His mercy has called us. These strongholds can be:

  • vanity

  • jealousy

  • lust

  • greed

  • the works of the flesh

—which we’re to put aside. As the Apostle Paul has said: God gives us His Spirit, and what we have with our warfare is mighty. The mind can be changed! The experience of sin can be erased! We’re to learn the lesson—never forget the lesson—just like David never forgot what he did with Bathsheba, though God wiped it clean. He learned the lesson!

Same way with Paul in persecuting the Church. But he had to use the Spirit of God to get the stronghold of the motivation that was within him when he was persecuting the Church. Here’s what you do; what are the strongholds?

Verse 5: “Casting down vain imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God… [you put those out and you put in the Spirit of God, and do this]: …and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ.”

  • That’s the process of conversion!

  • That’s the reason for the spiritual keeping of the Feast of Unleavened Bread!

Not just putting the leaven out of our homes; not by the letter of the law; but by the Spirit of God! Not by having a façade and exterior that looks good and sounds good, but within we have hatred, jealousy, lust, greed, sexual immorality and all of those things in our mind! The reason it is difficult today more than in any other age is because we’re bombarded with these things everyday through television, magazines and just people in the world. It is there and we need to be cleansed everyday.

Verse 6: “And having a readiness to avenge all disobedience, whenever your obedience has been fulfilled.” When you obey in the spirit and you as it were take vengeance against the sin within. How do you do that? Let’s see how this is done; we are to imitate God! That’s a real tall standard—isn’t it? Does it not say that we are ‘to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect’? We are to walk in the footsteps of Christ! We are to walk in the Light of the Word!

Ephesians 5:1: “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor” (vs 1-2).

Now we see the putting in of righteousness, and the putting out of sin, v 3: “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, do not permit it even to be named among you, as is fitting for saints; nor filthiness, nor foolish talking or jesting, which are not becoming; but instead, thanksgiving. For this you know… [we know from what the Bible tells us] …that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. Do not let anyone deceive you with vain words; for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be joint partakers with them. For you were once darkness; but now you are light in the Lord….” (vs 3-8). Let’s see what we are to do:

Verse 24: “For even as the Church is subject to Christ, in the same way also let wives be subject to their own husbands in everything…. [He’s talking about the Church and Christ] …Husbands, love your own wives, in the same way that Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it” (vs 24-25). Here is the working and the operation of the Spirit of God that cleanses us from ‘every defilement of the flesh and the spirit’; that helps us to exercise ourselves unto Godliness:

Verse 26: “So that He might sanctify it… [to make it Holy] …having cleansed it with the washing of water by the Word; that He might present it to Himself as the glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it might be Holy and without blame” (vs 26-27).

That’s what we are to do, brethren. This is the reason for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. These are the spiritual lessons that we are to learn.

  • Let’s exercise ourselves to Godliness!

  • Let’s yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit of God!

  • Let’s actively put away sin!

  • Let’s actively control our mind!

And be transformed by the renewing of our mind with the Spirit of God! Have a wonderful rest of the Feast!


Scriptural References:

  1. Exodus 13:1-7, 9-10

  2. Hebrews 10:15-16

  3. Ephesians 2:8-10, 16-22

  4. 1 John 5:19

  5. 1 John 2:15-17, 5-6

  6. Romans 6:11-14

  7. Hebrews 12:2-4

  8. Romans 6:15-23

  9. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

  10. 2 Corinthians 7:1

  11. Hebrews 5:7-9, 12-14

  12. 1 John 1:6-9

  13. Hebrews 12:4-7

  14. Romans 12:1-2

  15. Ephesians 4:12-16, 21-25

  16. Ephesians 2:10

  17. Ephesians 4:24-32

  18. Colossians 3:1-17

  19. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

  20. Ephesians 5:1-8, 24-27


Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 2 Peter 1

  • Revelation 11:8

  • Matthew 10

  • James 1

  • Colossians 2

  • Matthew 6:33

  • Matthew 5:48


Also referenced:

Books:

  • Judaism—Revelation of Moses or Religion of Men? - by Philip Neal

  • The Day Jesus the Christ Died - by Fred R. Coulter

  • The Christian Passover - by Fred R. Coulter

Sermon Series: Grace Upon Grace

BOOKS