Self Effort and sin

Many people caught up in the web of sin try to stop sinning by certain rules and guidelines, but what many discover like Paul in Rom.7, is that their desire for the sin increases and the frequency with which they fall into the sin increases. This is so because, sin is an offshoot of the lust of the flesh (and not the spirit) James 1:13-15. Thus, sin can never be combated by the flesh(in self efforts) but with the weapons of the Spirit, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal(of the flesh, natural, human) but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds 2Cor.10:4. Therefore self effort would only push you towards sin as it is a position of pride against God, therefore you can never access his power that way, rather you would be resisted by self effort James 4:6 & 1Pet.5:5. On the contrary, absolute humble faith towards God, believes in Jesus sacrifice at the cross for it rests in this gift of righteousness, believing it and boldly decreeing against sin and at the face of the sin, thereby causing the power of God to be unleashed in that instance to set such a person free from every hold of sin and to prevent Him from falling into any of such sin in future Titus 2:11-13 & Rom10:10.

The Rest of Victory in Christ Jesus

Therefore the next time you are tempted with sin boldly declare “Jesus I receive your help today against this  sin (state the name), I boldly believe and declare that where sin abounds Grace does much more abound in my life Rom.5:20 therefore in the Name of Jesus Christ I decree that Gods grace is sufficient for me over and against sin and i believe with my heart that Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice to destroy sin in His flesh and blood therefore, I plead His blood over me against sin Heb12:4 and I decree that I am sanctified against sin in Christ Jesus Heb.10:10. So, I boldly resist sin and the devil by faith right now in the Name of Jesus, because I believe with my heart and declare with my mouth that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus 2Cor.5:21, therefore I cannot and do not sin, because i am dead to sin in Jesus Christ Rom.6:2,7 & 11 by His Grace at work in me right now in Jesus Christ Name,Amen”.

As you begin to repeat this in faith, especially declaring boldly that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus 2Cor.5:21 you would begin to experience the power of God released and manifest in your life without fail because by faith you have encountered power even the power of righteousness by resting in His Grace .

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What is Self Effort?

Self effort is the attempt of people to make things work for themselves without the help and leading of God. Self effort is works based rather than Grace based, depending heavily on mans ability rather than on God’s sufficiency. As the name goes, it weigh heavily on efforts, attempts, labours and works made by ‘self’. Rather than allowing God to work in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure, a person under self effort seeks to perfect himself by his own labours and works. We see this all through scriptures. Study Rom 4:1-3, Rom. 8:8-14, 9:8, 1Cor.15:50, Gal.2:16, Phillip.3:3-10 & Heb.4:10.

Self effort seeks to establish itself in his own works independent of Gods finished work on the Cross through Jesus. Rather than resting in God and yielding to the Grace of righteousness, self effort seeks to establish herself in her own righteousness outside of Jesus righteousness which is faith based. For instance, a Christian caught up in sin, ought to repent from this sin by faith, receive his cleansing according to 1John 1:9 by faith, yield to Jesus help to stay free from that sin by faith and boldly declare  his/her righteousness positioning with God through Jesus, as the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus no matter what. For you must believe it with your heart and speak it with your mouth Rom.10:10, then the force of righteousness would be activated in you and become operational in your life, to set you free from any addiction and keep you away from sin and sinning. This person must trust in the finished works of Jesus in His life, not trying to set up rules by himself,  which would only cause him to fall short as seen in the scriptures above.

Self effort despises faith and rejects Grace. It has a root in pride, thus God says directly once, “without Faith it is impossible to please me” Heb11:6. Not without works but without faith because it takes faith to be born again at all, it takes faith to forgive and receive forgiveness of sin, it takes faith to receive cleansing from all unrighteousness and it is by faith you receive anything in the kingdom therefore we understand that the trading currency of our new kingdom in Christ Jesus is not money or works but faith in God and His word via Jesus Christ, for the Just shall live by Faith Rom.1:17, Gal3:11, Heb10:38. In Heb.3 & 4, we see how much unbelieve is displeasing to God, and how self effort hinders the flow of His power for good towards His people. Twice the Lord says Humble yourself by submitting to God 1Pet.5:5-7 & James 4:6-7.

A life void of absolute faith in God is a life full of sin. Paul tried to live right by Himself once but failed in Romans 7, then He learnt to trust God to help Him live right. You see pride is subtle as much as it is forward. It is subtle in the sense that it would rather work at giving glory to self by attempting to do for self what only God can do. Pride says “let ‘me’ first try to stop this, ‘I’ should be able to stop it, if ‘I’ do this and that. As simple and sincere as that may sound, it is absolutely prideful, because faith humility would have said, “I can of myself do nothing , but at the instance of ‘Jesus’ Grace and help towards me I would sin no more because ‘He’ is my righteousness and by faith I believe ‘He’ wrought His righteousness in me and through me right now, Amen John 8:27, 5:19 &  30. If Jesus did nothing by Him, what are you doing trying to do all things for yourself and by yourselves.

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Allow Jesus Help you Deal with the Sin Issue

You cant truly encounter Jesus and continue in sin Rom.6:14 (for many who still willfully sin, have never encountered Jesus at all but religion.) and you can’t truly encounter Jesus and remain oppressed. Its time for Gods people to step out in faith and receive the Grace that Jesus bought for us by His blood, thereby walking in liberty, wholeness and freedom without the works of the flesh but by the touch of Grace through faith.

The issue with the church today is that she is preoccupied with correcting and controlling the mixed multitudes in her that she now has no time for Jesus(the same was typical of the pharisees regarding Jesus. Too busy picking faults that they missed His power and glory) and rather than preaching to get this mixed multitudes truly saved by Grace, the church seeks to keep them within the peripherals of the law, hoping they won’t sin and forgetting that the law makes nothing perfect. We should note that the law is for sinners as a rudimentary pattern to bring man, especially a sinful person, to the end of Himself/Herself 1Tim.1:9-10. The law engenders  self effort and self effort would always bring you to the end of self, for by it you will never be Justified Gal.2:16, 3:11 &5:4.

The law was given so that man could identify what sin is Rom.7:7-12, so as not to yield to them but the law was never given to help man stay away from sinning, for it was weak in this area Rom.7:13-23. Only Grace was made to empower man against sin and to make man perfect towards God Rom.6:14 & Heb.7:19. Therefore continuing in what should be a schoolmaster, would only breed unskilled children and not mature sons in God Gal. 3:22-25 & 4:1-7. By this error, double dealings and phony christianity remains prevalent and natural to the unbelieving members of the church and to these category of people,helplessness washes over them because they remain in the church unchanged, never encountering Jesus but religion. Thus the will to sin remains alive in the mixed multitudes of church goers, making their lives perpetually void of testimonies. The thing about this pattern is that sin is still alive  and never dead under the law but under Grace, sin dies Rom.6:2-8, 11-18 & 22.

Notice that in the wilderness, despite the law, the mixed multitude amongst them were still able to draw the Israelites into sinning Numb.11:4, because of their unbelieve and lack of faith in God. Many of them knew not God and so fell and by it and the Israelites that knew God fell also because under the law there is no saving Grace. We see that Grace must have her perfect walk in us for there to be transformation around us. The preaching of law can never make the unbelievers change their minds and even if they do, it never keeps them true to God. It is the goodness of God that brings men unto repentance not the law and it is the Grace of Gof that perfects a person Heb7:19. Therefore, real Christians by the law becomes stifled, growing into faithlessness along the way and becoming slaves to sin (as the mixed multitude already are), rather than dominators of sin because under the law and religion, nothing works Mark7:13 & Gal.5:2-4.

The focus here, is not to say that sin should be condoled amongst us but to ensure that the way to make sin powerless and run oppression out of the body of Christ is to beam the spot light on Jesus via His Grace because He is the only one that has the power to destroy sin in any ones life Heb.12:2, Rom.5:21 & 6:14. Therefore as you focus on Him, His help would be rendered to you, making sin powerless in your life. Therefore the sin you seem to be struggling with has to give way to the righteousness of God now activated in you because you have exposed it to a higher power of Grace in Christ Jesus. For to the mixed multitudes Grace is still crying out but how can they believe if they do not hear and how can they hear if no one preaches it to them Rom10:8-15(esp.14-15).

Notwithstanding, the people to whom the Lord is speaking passionately this hour, born again Christians, who truly desire the things of God in Christ Jesus but have encountered nothing of much value in their life’s as the devil has sold lies to them that their sins or non performance is the reason for their stagnation in life, it is a lie. It is lack of adequate faith in God, His love for us and His Grace towards us that has led to our stagnation in life. A close study of Isaiah 53 & 54 would help us under stand the price Jesus paid for us on the cross and what He stands for in our life’s. The thing that limits the power of God in our life is not sin (for Jesus completely dealt with it and took the power it had in our life’s by His death, victory in hell, resurrection and ascension, being the first born again christian to enter in heaven Heb 4:14 all by faith) but our self effort under the law Rom.3:20 &28, Gal.2:16, 3:11,24 & 5:4. Allow Grace to help you and you would be shocked to see how the power of God would overshadow you to live a life of Holiness, increase and blessings in all areas like Jesus Heb.11:6 & Titus2:11-12. For we are anointed to be as Jesus is in this world 1John4:17.

Therefore, if your issue is with sin, allow Him help you and you would find that you would sin no more Rom.5:20. If your struggle is with sickness and disease, allow Him heal you and you won’t be sick anymore. If your challenge is with poverty and stagnation in life, allow Him be your restorer and your life and finance would experience a boost like never before because He became poor so you could be rich without reservations.

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The Sacrifice Jesus Paid to Help You

The sacrifice Jesus paid was once for all time, so that whether sin, sickness, disease, lack, want or oppression, it all should be totally defeated and destroyed once it gets into His presence at the instance of faith by anyone who would believe. Heb.9:24-28 & 10:10. Jesus said come unto me All of you, that labour and heavy laden an I will give you ‘Rest’ Matt.11:28.

God speaking in Hebrews says unbelieve prevented the Israelites from entering into the ‘Rest’ of the promised land when they should have. In Hebrews 3:6-19 we also see profound statements made all through Hebrews 4:1-end. We see the truth being revealed that when we believe, we enter into the rest of God vs.3 and he that entered into God’s rest has ceased from his owns works vs.10. Then He said, let us labour (fight) to enter into this rest, lest we fall after the same unbelief of the children of Israel vs.11. Adding any form of works to this pattern given us by Jesus is simply disobedience and religion thereby making the word of  God ineffective in our lifes.

There are so many great and perfect things, God can bring into your life when you ‘Rest’. For it is in Rest, you access Gods best. We see Peter in Luke 5:5 toiling all night to catch fishes, but caught nothing. Notice, that to this man the night season was the right time to go fishing according to fish science and to a man under works and the law, night is not for resting but for toiling. Then we find something unexpected happening suddenly by day, when it was most unlikely to get a fish. At the simple instruction of the Lord to Peter, He caught a boat sinking harvest of fishes. No wonder people are struggling a lot today, because many are following after, believe systems, principles, strategies and patterns the Lord never gave. They are toiling hard but catching nothing because they are going about it the way the Lord hasn’t said. They have added something extra which they thought the Lord said, but which He didn’t say. Just like Peter who had a tone of finality in his response to Jesus in saying “we have toiled all night and caught nothing ” many have exalted religion and tradition above Jesus and the Truth of His Grace and unlike Peter who quickly aligned himself rightly by saying “nevertheless at thy word I will throw in the net”. Many have maintained their pride and have refused to be corrected, thereby being destroyed in the process because pride goes before a fall.

We need to settle this in our minds and hearts as believers that Gods way is perfect without any need for additions to it and in Christ Jesus it is simple without need to complicate it. Having a revelation of this truth would set us free for life. We see in the book of Hebrews the in-depth revelation and implication of the change of priesthood in Jesus Christ. We see in Hebrews7:11-19 & 9:1- 12 & 10:4-14 the total change that took place with a pointer that a believer has being ushered to a place of total Rest in God through Christ Jesus as He now ‘Sits’ (not standing any more like the old testament saint but sitting) at the right hand(power position) of the father Heb.10:12.

Therefore we know that if it is of Grace, it is no more of works nor of self effort, but of absolute Faith (in believing and decreeing what God has said to us Mark11:22-24,Rom.4:17& 2Cor.4:13) because when it is by Grace, it cannot be by works and when it is by works, it cannot be by Grace Rom. 11:6 but if it is from Jesus, then it would be of Grace, speaking ‘Rest, Rest, Rest’ all the way. We also know that if it is hard, it is not of Him, if it is stifling it is not of Him, if it is draining it is not of Him and if it lacks Peace and Rest, it is not of Him. So if Jesus came to give us Rest and peace; even as He is called the Prince of Peace, why should we then be toiling?

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Let Grace Help You

Grace is not a topic nor an ideology rather Grace is Jesus revealing Himself to whosoever would believe in Him and His finished works even unto receiving His help John 3:15-16.

John1:14 & 17 reveals to us that Jesus is the one full of Grace and Truth and He is the Giver of this Grace and Truth. Thus when we refer to Grace in cotext, we say ‘He’; because in Christ, Grace is a person to us and His name is Jesus. Scripture records in Acts10:38 that Jesus went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil. Grace is the blessing of God made manifest to man through Jesus, because of His finished sacrifice at the Cross John19:30.

Many in this generation say the reason there is not much healings and miracles in churches today is because of sin. They say the sin of the people is much, causing the power of God to be ineffectual in their life’s. This is a lie, because the only thing Jesus said would make the word of God of no effect in the body of Christ is the tradition of men, and religion Mark 7:13. Paul by the Spirit of God said, Christ is become of no effect to the person who is justified by the law Gal.5:4. Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is that Jesus has dealt with the sin issue when He came to the earth by bringing forgiveness to man( remember Jesus statement to the man sick of the palsy and to the pharisees Matt.9:2-6. Getting in Jesus presence He dealt first with the sin issue and then with the disease. This, Jesus did to most who sought Him personally for healing). For the only person whose sin overtook him and destroyed him was the one who refused to believe Jesus and by effect couldn’t receive the forgiveness of his sin but killed himself unlike Peter (Judas Ischariot )Matt.27:3-6 because of his gross unbelieve.

At Jesus crucifixion and resurrection, He perfected the forgiveness of man, reconciled us back to God by blotting out the sin and taking the note(the accusation made against us) completely out of the way Col2:14, so that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish (spirit, soul and body) but have everlasting life. Perish here means to experience the curse in all dimensions either on the earth(soul, body, financies, materially, family wise etc) or in life after death (concerning the Spirit), to go to hell. God doesn’t want you sick and oppressed but whole and free in Him, all by Grace.

The law would show you what is wrong but would never help you to change it, nor overcome it Rom.7. But when you allow Grace to have His perfect work in you, He would perfect you and make you whole, delivering your inheritance speedily to you without fail, just as He did for Abraham Gal.3:18
   For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

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How to Listen through Grace Prt. 3

3. Spend quality time in His word- engage in a word search for His Grace all through scriptures, the scriptures are filled with so many Grace truths and realities from the old testament to the new testament, that it is almost impossible to gloss past it but a religious mindset has blocked the eyes of many from seeing the truth. Therefore as you go in a Grace search, this sharpens your heart and mind towards Jesus even as you engage the Holy Spirit in this search and listen to Him reveal truths to you. Grace comes by revelation Eph1:17-19 & Eph3:2-20 therefore studying through scriptures with a thirst to encounter Grace in fullness is the way to go. This sharpens your hearing of Grace and quickens your encounter with Him, thereby deadening the law approach in you. You would still be walking uprightly in Grace only you would be doing so in a better way Heb8:6 & Titus 2:11-14. For, Grace is a call to a higher walk with God in righteousness and truth. Thus as you study His word daily, you are transformed into His own image and are changed from one level of glory to the next, all by His Grace. For it is in beholding Jesus, we see the glory of God and are changed.
4. Under Grace, the Holy Spirit is your guide not the law. Thus, whatsoever He tells you to do, do it, as confirmed in Scriptures John1:1-10. Let the Holy Spirit lead you through scriptures and teach you the ways of Grace, because He is the Spirit of Grace. He knows the heart of the son Jesus Christ, thus He takes of the son and shows it unto you John16:13-15.

If you hear God’s word through the law filter, the law and it’s tenets would manifest to you, but when you hear through the hearing of Grace, the boundaries of Grace are limitless unto you Eph3:14-20 & Gal3:10. Are you tired, or weak, because of religion and life’s challenges? Turn to Grace, learn of Grace and you would find rest for your soul. You would encounter the one who would change your story and uplift you forever; the Lord Christ Jesus Himself. He would present you holy and perfect to the father and they would make their abode with you.

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How to Listen through Grace (Prt.2)

2. Request His Grace outpouring on you- because except Grace is revealed, Grace cannot be grasped by Logos(the letters of the word), 1Pet1:13 & Gal.1:11-12 but by Rhema(the revealed knowledge of the word) Matt. 3:11 and Acts 1:8. Grace is the power of God made manifest to man without the works of the flesh and it is represented by the symbol of fire all through scriptures, Thus the above scriptures goes hand in hand with  Acts 2:1-4. John said the one that shall come after me(referring to Jesus) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost ‘and with fire’. Also Jesus said,  you shall receive power ‘after’ the Holy Spirit has come upon you. Meaning the Holy Ghost baptism is one and Grace Baptism is another. Therefore upon request, we are baptized under the Grace anointing Acts 4:23-33. It is note worthy that at the baptism of the Holy Ghost we received the baptism of Grace also Acts2:3 & 4. The mighty rushing wind Acts2:1-2 happened before cloven tongues, like as of fire sat upon each one of them Acts 2:3-4 which reveals a great dynamics between the operation of Grace and the Holy Spirit. We must understand that the Holy Spirit is the custodian of God’s Grace in our life’s Eph1:13-14 thus He is called the Spirit of Grace Hebrew 10:29. In Acts 2:2, the Holy Spirit rushed into the upper room using the symbol of a wind(He is not wind but He is symbolised as wind John 3:8) in Acts2:3 Grace came upon them and in Acts2:4 the Holy Spirit filled them up and began working the grace in and upon them. The resultant effect was a totally transformed apostles who saw salvation of souls and miracles like never before Acts 2:5-47 & 3:1-end.

   First,  a once timid set of disciples became bold. Peter’s tongue as an unlearned man became a tongue of the literate, speaking fluently in learned languages of others.
   Secondly, three(3) thousand persons became born again (on the spot) and added to the church.
    Thirdly, unity reigned in their midst with great Love and Peace as Grace abounded. Thus many more joined themselves to the church, becoming disciples in Christ Jesus.
      Also, a replication of Jesus healing Ministry took place by the hand of Peter and John.
     Next, they boldly stood against their accusers even to the Pharisees, saducees and priests.
     Finally, despite their trials they had an unusual joy transcending their challenges.

Despite all of this, the disciples knew they has to pray and this time they consciously asked for this Grace by Faith in Acts 4:24-31 desiring for it’s higher impact in their life’s and ministries. The resultant effect was Acts 4:31; a repetition of Acts 2:2. They were filled with the Holy Spirit again, along with Grace unlimited Acts 4:31b-35(esp.vs33), thus Great Grace came upon them , all in all.

Therefore Gal.4:22-end reveals that Grace and law cannot cohabit vs.30, because one has to give way for the other. Thus as Spirit filled Christians, we need to consciously thirst and pant after His Grace consciously Psalm63:1 in other to maximise the benefits of God’s Grace in our life’s and to operate effortless in this realm of Grace. At a genuine request this is given to us by our father, not because we didn’t receive Grace at Holy Ghost baptism but because we need to consciously desire it, to see its outpouring in an unlimited dimension in our life’s Isaiah 55:1.  The reason for this Grace baptism is for the repositioning of our minds towards Grace and alertness of our Spirit to receiving it effortlessly without struggle.

The Church world today, struggles with Grace because Grace is not yet  a revelation to them, so they are yet to receive the baptism of Grace. But when that which is perfect is come (Grace)  that which is in part would have to give way and be done away with (Old Law, it’s approach, pattern and effects) Hebrew 7:19, Gal.3:23-25 & 1Cor.13:10.

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