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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Faith and Thoughts

What does it mean to bring every thought captive to Christ? Does it mean that we’ll never have an “impure” thought? Lust is not a thought. It’s a desire that would provoke us to consider actions that are contrary to the will of God.

We are tempted to act against God’s will when “we” are “drawn away” by those desires. The desire is not sin. Lust is not sin. It is the cause of temptation. Lust is a part of our sinful nature but sin is not conceived until we allow ourselves to be “drawn away” by our desire to a point where we decide to act contrary to what God would have us to do. Temptation is not sin. If it were then Christ could not have been tempted as we are. Our lust will cause us to have thoughts that are repulsive to our spirit and this only confirms our sinful nature. We all have it but we don’t sin until we decide to act on our lust. We may repent and forego the action but if we have considered the desire and made a plan to accomplish it then we have sinned in our heart whether we commit the sinful act or not. There is a critical point when we must decide to consider the sin or to turn our considerations toward God’s will instead of our own. When we do this then we have brought that thought into captivity and rendered our lust powerless. The power to accomplish this feat is only available through Christ.

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
James 1:12 (KJV)

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21 Comments:

Blogger Timothy said...

KC,
Can I use that for my evening sermon this weekend?
Blessings...

3/04/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Titus what ever I offer is for the body. I am humbled.

3/04/2006 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Kc,

The battle with sin is either won or lost in the mind. When we entertain these thoughts they lead to a carrying out of the desire.

Therefore we are told to bring every thought captive; the thoughts from the evil one must be rejected and instead we should set our minds on the living Word.

Good post,
Jim

3/04/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jim great thoughts. It really is a battle. Thanks brother. ;-)

3/04/2006 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

This is a really relevant topic to everyone.

3/04/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

I agree Matthew.

3/04/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

Thank you for the great reminder that we need to bring every thought captive to Christ. This is a timely message for me.

3/04/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger An Ordinary Christian said...

Bringing every thought unto Christ is a wonderful opportunity, that when passed up is like turning away oodles and oodles of blessing that are stored up as treasure in heaven. When we turn away the opportunity to give Christ our every thought we miss out on joy and peace and union and fellowship with Him. When we give way to sin, we open the door to great danger and impairment, hurt and pain. It is different than the pain that God gives. When God lets us have pain, it is discipline that may be painful for a season, but will bring righteousness and peace when trained by it. When we have pain because we sinned, there is great sorrow. But sometimes that is the only way we learn. After all, we are sinners, and in our flesh dwells no good thing. Thank you Jesus, who delivers us. He is our hope and salvation.

3/04/2006 11:55:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kitty thanks for your constant encouragement. ;-)

Andrea I don't if you've stolen my thunder or set up my next post in this series! ;-) Excellent points, each one. I've been trying to think how I could present a post titled "Faith and Sin" but they are so contrary I decided against that title. Either way I think your last two sentences here will wrap up the conclusion perfectly. ;-)

3/05/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Timothy said...

KC,
The page looks great. Thank you much for the help. Do you do web sites on the side?
Blessings

3/05/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Titus I'm glad you're pleased and I look forward to seeing those pictures in that extra space. I just help friends accomplish what they want to do. ;-)

3/05/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi kc!
This is a tricksy subject to my thinking.
I know the Word says that Christ was tempted in every manner just as we.

I have to wonder, about sinful thoughts and how was it with Jesus ... like coveting, for example. If you want something someone else has, that is sinful and it just comes naturally for us. We shouldn't dwell on it or act on it, but isn't the thought itself sinful? So then, how could Christ have had such thoughts, Him being not sinful? Perhaps being tempted for Him was just being in all the various situations that we have been in, that provoke these thoughts, but He had no sinful thoughts.

I haven't got that one figured out, kc.

3/06/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

(Yea! It's finally letting me post a comment. For some reason, it kept kicking me out before!)

I was actually thinking about this over the weekend! I've heard the ideas that you are sharing all my life. You know, the old phrase, "You can't keep a bird from flying over your head; but you can keep it from making a nest in your hair."

Well, here is my question: Lust, from what you say, equals a desire to sin.

But does lust equal a thought? If so, it would be a wrong thought.

Then, does a wrong thought equal a sin?

3/06/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Rose, it seems you and Kristi both have similar concerns here. Let me try to address this issue more specifically.

The transliterated word used by Jesus in Matthew 5:28 is epithumeo, which basically means desire. This same word is used in Luke 22:15 to indicate the desire Jesus had to eat the Passover meal with His disciples. We can see from this that desire by itself is not sin. In Matthew 5:28 Jesus indicates that if a man would choose or decide to look at a woman with the specific intent of having sexual relations with her then he had already sinned in his heart. The desire for procreation is not sinful though to engage it outside of God’s intended use is. That is the fallen nature of men. We naturally use what is good or God-given for evil. We may have a God-given desire to procreate and we may also have thoughts of procreation but when we align our desire and our thoughts and objectify a specific individual then we have taken an attitude toward another that God only intends us to have for our spouse or intended. (I use intended here in the Hebrew sense of the word. Their perspective on engagement could be equivocated with what we would perceive as unconsummated marriage having a commitment equal to that of a marriage.) In this case the intent or “will” of the man has already been set against God to serve his own desire. This sin is quite literally the result of repenting or turning “from” God as opposed to turning “to” God and involves a change of heart, mind and will. It is a willful attitude of rebellion against God.

A thought by itself is not sinful any more than a feeling alone is a sin. Every temptation has an associated thought. Satan could not have tempted our Lord had he not first planted the thought of rebellion. Jesus response to this thought clearly demonstrated His sinless perfection and His attitude was only to do the will of God. The will or attitude necessary to overcome temptation is not present in that which is born of the will of the flesh. This attitude is only present in the spirit man who was born of will of God. Without this new attitude we are powerless to resist sin but with it comes the power to free us from the sin. The attitude we have toward these thoughts and feelings will determine whether we glorify God in our life or glory in our own lust.

3/06/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

That really helped, Kc. Thanks for explaining it. =)

3/06/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kristi I always appreciate your thoughts and considerations. ;-)

3/06/2006 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Your site looks great and is as ever full to the rim with the thoughts of Christ.

Thank you for edifying us. This is an important subject.

3/06/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Such good thoughts Casey.

This in and of itself is a touchy subject as my Dad stepped down from the ministry over this and broke my mothers heart. It is so crucial that we( us men especially) set up hedges to seal off the temptation even when the possibility of it arises and to keep close communication with our spouses over this issue.

My mother and father went to counseling over this at a place named Moorhead Manor by Pastor Jim Binney. What boggled my wife and I was that Dad was not attracted initially (Dad was steadfast to mom at the time, makes me tremble when I think about it) to the woman and yet later because of proximity.

Once I became friends with a rather friendly woman at a truck stop and my mother cautioned me over this. I told her, "Mom, never in a million years!" as I felt no physical attraction, but she cautioned me on this law of proximity.

I listened to Dr. Dobson not long ago speak on this and it is all to true. Hedges are a must. Let us pray for one another on this. Please consider this as Satan does not necessarily work through the obvious either.

Its to bad that my family has had to pass through the furnace on this, yet at the same time I am so thankful to have learned from Dad's sin. It is my hearts desire to be faithful to my wife and to be able to look her in the eye at the end of our days and say that I have been faithful to you because I love you so.

3/06/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jodie thanks so much for the kindness and encouragement. In all honesty I would say your words here would apply much better to your own efforts. ;-)

Brian thanks again for your insight and for such an important contribution to this discussion. I think my original post could generally apply to all sin but the fact that Jesus used this particular sin to illustrate the concept alludes to the probability it is an all too common pitfall. For believers we should be so careful never to allow our pride to lift us up to the point that we think ourselves immune to temptation as even our Lord was tempted as we are. Couple this with the knowledge that we have within us an inherent predisposition toward sin and you have an excellent recipe for meekness. May God bless your family brother.

3/07/2006 03:22:00 AM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

God has granted you with a measure of meekness and a gift and disposition toward it. You are a blessing, but may God have all Glory as in our flesh is no good thing but only by his Spirit.

He is meek and lowly of heart. Isn't that amazing. God the creator meek towards us. Unbelievable sometimes as I meditate on it. This constrains us to be this way toward one another no matter our differances.

I am so sorry to have failed this, but take heart in that to be disapointed with ones self is to have believed in ones self. So there is much hope and glory found in God alone.

3/07/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brian thanks again for your kindness and Amen to the amazing glory and hope! May God continue to bless you and your family. ;-)

3/08/2006 05:02:00 AM  

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