Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth (Part 4)

Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth (Part 4) I. Truth makes us free. JOH 8:32. A. Truth is our first line of defense against Satan. EPH 6:14. B. Truth (when received and obeyed) sanctifies and purifies us. PSA 119:9; PRO 16:6; JOH 17:17; 1PE 1:22. C. If we have not a love of the truth, we are liable to be turned over to delusion. 2TH 2:10-11. D. Since delusion and deception are Satan's power over men, nothing less than repentance to the acknowledging of truth will set someone free. 2TI 2:25-26. 1. Repent: “To feel contrition, compunction, sorrow or regret for something one has done or left undone; to change one's mind with regard to past action or conduct through dissatisfaction with it or its results.” 2. Acknowledge: “To own the knowledge of; to confess; to recognize or admit as true.” 3. The only truly free person is the person who is fed up with the lies that he has heard, the lies that he has read, and most of all the lies that he has been living and so submits himself completely to Christ and His truth. 4. This process of acknowledging truth that leads to genuine liberty involves a need to be truthful about ourselves and our errors. 5. Deception is essentially being enticed (by others or by one's own carnality) to deem a lie an acceptable substitute for truth. 6. We will never be at liberty until we stop deceiving ourselves about what constitutes right thought and action because deception blocks deliverance from bondage to a lie. ISA 44:20. II. Freedom demands that we confess and forsake our sins. PRO 28:13. A. Confess: “To declare or disclose (something which one has kept or allowed to remain secret as being prejudicial or inconvenient to oneself); to acknowledge, own, or admit (a crime, charge, fault, weakness, or the like).” B. Forsake: “To give up, renounce....To break off from, renounce (an employment, design, esp. an evil practice or sin; also, a belief, doctrine). To abandon, leave entirely, withdraw from.” C. The opposite of confessing and forsaking our sins is to cover or hide them. 1. Adam tried covering his sin. JOB 31:33. a. Adam first tried to hide from God to avoid detection. GEN 3:8-10. b. When that didn't work, he shifted blame. GEN 3:12. 2. Our attempts at avoiding detection and denying responsibility for sin are so many efforts to cover it. 3. We deceive ourselves when we think that covering sins as did Adam is the way to prosper. a. That is the first and most dangerous form of self-deception. b. Rivaling that is when we deceive ourselves about the consequences of our sins or foolish decisions. c. We must ever renounce the notion that God did not see or does not mind our sin and folly. d. We must ever renounce the notion that sin can be covered by anything but confession and forsaking. Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth 1-17-10 Page 1 e. We must ever renounce the notion that unconfessed and unforsaken sin is of no consequence. III. Satan sells his lies by deception and the better the deception, the bigger the lie that can be sold. A. Paul's great concern was that saints might be deceived as was Eve. 2CO 11:3. 1. Beguile: “To entangle or over-reach with guile; to delude, deceive, cheat.” 2. She who was beguiled was deceived. 1TI 2:14. B. Consider Eve's deception. GEN 3:1-6. 1. Eve was without sin when Satan deceived her. Do you think that you who are a sinner would be more immune to Satan's influences than Eve? 2. Mark the order: a. Satan cast doubt on God's truth and perverted it. v.1. b. Eve took liberties with God's truth, as if naked truth were not enough to counter Satan. vs.2-3. (1) This is one of Satan's greatest deceptions since the fall: convincing men that the truth alone is inadequate to please God---we have to add our own ideas. (2) The traditions of men make the word of God of none effect and lead to our being further deceived. MAR 7:13; COL 2:8. c. Satan denied God's truth about consequences of sin. v.4. d. Satan offered a rival gospel of independence from God. v.5. e. Eve rationalized away the truth based upon sensual fulfillment. v.6 c/w 1JO 2:16. (1) Mind that yielding to the lie was a means of satisfying a legitimate human need: food. (2) Whenever we are tempted to meet a legitimate need by acting contrary to God's will, this is temptation by “the lust of the flesh.” (3) Food, comfort, sex, happiness, peace, rest, success, acceptance, significance, etc. are all legitimate human needs. But we sin when we meet these needs by acting independently of God. f. Whether we know it or not, every time we yield to temptation, we have done the same thing: reasoning that the perceived advantages of a lie are more valuable than truth. C. Satan tried essentially the same tactic on Christ. MAT 4:3-11. 1. He cast doubt on God's word: “...If thou be the Son of God....” v.3 c/w MAT 3:17. 2. He appealed to legitimate physical need. v.3. 3. He perverted the truth. v.6. 4. He implied that doing his bidding would not have harmful consequences. v.6. 5. He offered a rival gospel of independence from God. vs.8-9. 6. But he lost this battle to a constant appeal to unaltered, unadorned truth given by revelation. D. Basically, Satan had deceived Eve into thinking that she could achieve fulness by acting independently of God and His truth. 1. Jesus Christ's life on earth was the model of NOT acting independently of God. JOH 5:30; 6:38, 57; 8:28, 42, 54; 14:10. 2. There is no fulness acting independently of Christ. COL 2:9-10. 3. There is only futility in doing so. JOH 15:4-5. 5. There is no good thing that we can do independently of Christ. Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth 1-17-10 Page 2 2CO 3:5-6 c/w PHIL 2:12-13; 4:13. 6. The person who seeks to achieve emotional, mental or spiritual fulness independently of Christ will never make it. a. The Book of Ecclesiastes stands as a witness to this fact. b. Pay particular attention to Solomon's conclusion about finding true fulness. ECC 12:13-14. c. Mind how much of modern day psychological and psychiatric counseling is based upon the fallacy of helping people find fulness without God. That is exactly what Satan wants people to think! IV. Satan has many devices by which he deceives men to hold them in bondage away from God and the fulness that can be enjoyed in Him---all of them being denials or distortions of God's revealed word. 2CO 2:11; EPH 6:16. A. Satan will use carnal wisdom and humanistic reasoning as he did with Eve. GEN 3:5-6. 1. Paul says, “...the world by wisdom knew not God...” (1CO 1:21). c/w ROM 1:22. 2. Paul purposed not to preach man's wisdom but to declare Christ. 1CO 2:1-5. 3. We are warned against the spoiling characteristic of philosophy. COL 2:8. 4. Unbiblical human wisdom, “oppositions of science falsely so-called” (1TI 6:20) can corrupt or destroy one's acknowledgment of the truth about God's existence, His power, His promises and His purpose for man and his environment. a. It tends to make man the pinnacle of all things and therefore his own god. b. It tends to assume that man is through gradual self-improvement attaining unto perfection. c. It tends to reduce man to nothing more than a highly evolved animal locked in a chaotic struggle for survival which leads to expensive, futile and often fatal mechanisms for survival and personal peace. 5. We must renounce the deification of human wisdom by ever subordinating it to the truth of God. ROM 3:4; PSA 119:128; LUK 7:35. B. Satan will use emotions to deceive us. 1. The heart is the seat of emotions, such as fear, desire, joy and sorrow. DEU 28:67; PSA 37:4; ISA 65:14. a. Heart: “As the seat of feeling, understanding, and thought. = MIND, in the widest sense, including the function of feeling, volition, and intellect. The seat of one's inmost thoughts and secret feelings; one's inmost being; the depths of the soul; the soul, the spirit.” b. Emotion: “Psychology. A mental ‘feeling’ or ‘affection’ (e.g. of pleasure or pain, desire or aversion, surprise, hope or fear, etc.), as distinguished from cognitive (of or pertaining to the action or process of knowing) or volitional (pertaining or relating to the action of willing) states of consciousness.” 2. Thoughts that are guided by the feeling of the heart are liable to be unstable and corrupted since the heart is deceivable, deceitful and desperately wicked. ISA 44:20; JER 17:9. 3. Emotions can respond to thoughts. Right thinking produces right emotions. 4. When intents are realized or not realized, our emotions respond accordingly. 5. But emotions can also initiate thoughts and intents. Hence, the need to control our emotions. a. Given that the heart is the seat of emotions, we do well to guide our heart rather than letting it guide us. PRO 23:19; 4:23. Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth 1-17-10 Page 3 b. The world says, “Follow your heart.” God says “Guide your heart.” c. It is the fool that trusts the feelings of his heart instead of God's wisdom. PRO 28:26. 6. Dominating emotions subvert rational faith. LUK 24:36-41. a. Fear can overwhelm and eliminate faith. MAR 4:35-40. (1) Satan is as a roaring lion (1PE 5:8-9) which paralyzes and enervates its victims with its roar. (2) The fear of man is a snare. 1SAM 15:24; PRO 29:25. (3) The fear of death is bondage. HEB 2:15. (4) Fear is juxtaposed with soundness of mind. 2TI 1:7. b. Experience teaches us how difficult it is to focus the mind when under the pressure of emotion. c. We should therefore expect Satan to attack us by stirring emotions to interfere with faith since Satan is to be resisted stedfast in the faith. 1PE 5:8-9; EPH 6:16. 7. The heart that is guided by rational thought will be stable and at peace. ISA 26:3; MAR 5:15. 8. We must renounce relying upon the deceptive feelings of the heart as a guide and instead rely upon God's revealed truth to guide us into liberty. PSA 119:45; 73:24. C. Satan will use miracles to deceive men. REV 13:13-14; 2TH 2:9. 1. Many are deceived into thinking that miracles are infallible proof of spirituality. 1CO 1:4-7 c/w 3:1. 2. Many are deceived into thinking that miracles are infallible proof of charity. 1CO 13:1-2. 3. Many are deceived into thinking that miracles are infallible proof of election. MAT 7:21-23. 4. Jesus warned that many would be deceived by miracles. MAT 24:5, 11, 24. 5. Paul warned about perilous times when the truth would be resisted by miracle- working reprobates. 2TI 3:8. 6. We must renounce relying upon miracles as determinants of the validity of a person or doctrine, even as God warned Israel. DEU 13:1-3. 7. We are to walk by faith, not sight (2CO 5:7) and faith is according to the word of truth. ROM 10:17. D. Satan also deceives by getting us to focus on outward appearances of things which appeal to our senses and appetites. 1. Remember that Eve “...saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired...” (GEN 3:6). Looking good and being desirable do not justify indulging in what God has forbidden. 2. Satan cloaks his deceptions in outwardly righteous garb. 2CO 11:13-15. a. The Pharisees appeared outwardly righteous. MAT 23:28. b. Mystery, Babylon the Great is richly appareled, materially prosperous and full of sensual delights. REV 18:16-23. c. Paul warned about those who have “...a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof...” (2TI 3:5). 3. God judges according to the heart, not the outward appearance. 1SAM 16:7. 4. Jesus taught, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (JOH 7:24). Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth 1-17-10 Page 4 5. Jesus appeared “...as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him” (ISA 53:2). 6. An undue deference to outward appearance brings men into bondage. 2PE 2:18-19. 7. We must renounce any tendency to judge the validity of something based upon its outward appearance and resolve to agree with God in judging according to truth, measuring all things by His word. ROM 2:2; 1JO 4:6. E. Satan also deceives by convincing people of extra-biblical revelation that tells them to do something less, more or otherwise flatly against what Scripture declares. 1. This was, after all, the very gambit he used in Eden! 2. How many people will say things like, “The Lord told me...” or “An angel told me...” or “The spirit has lead me...” to believe, say or do something novel. a. The Lord will tell you nothing other than what He has written since: (1) He is faithful, consistent and immutable. JAM 1:17. (2) He is not a respecter of persons (ROM 2:11) and therefore does not give out special revelation which exempts the recipient from His impartial law or binds the recipient to do things not written in His law. (3) for Him to do so would be to imply that there is ongoing open revelation which negates the “more sure word of prophecy” (2PE 1:19) of Scripture. b. The only thing an angel had ever better tell you is to read your Bible and in faith act accordingly. GAL 1:8. c. There are many spirits but we are to test them by the apostles' word since they are not all of God. 2CO 11:4 c/w 1JO 4:1-6. 3. Only where the Spirit of the Lord is may liberty be found. 2CO 3:17-18. F. Another deception that Satan uses to lead us into bondage is the notion of making decisions based upon circumstances rather than God's truth. 1. Circumstances are the pros and cons of a given decision. They are things such as means available, time available, people available, cost, opportunities, etc. 2. In some situations people can be heard asking, “What is God trying to tell me?” a. Behind this question is the belief that circumstances are signposts from God informing us of His will. b. It must be understood that God is not trying to tell you anything. He has already told you in His word what He wants to say. ISA 8:20; HEB 1:1-2. 3. In order for circumstances to provide direction, they must be interpreted. Since many different interpretations can be given, the subjective element enters in. a. Consider this in a situation where you are hindered from doing something. (1) You might think God is trying to tell you that He does not want you to do it. (2) Or you might think God is testing you to see if you will persevere. (3) Or you might think God doesn't want you to do it now but rather later. (4) Or you might think the devil is trying to prevent you from doing what God wants done and you should therefore persist. b. Consider this in a situation where there appears to be an open door---an opportunity to do something. Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth 1-17-10 Page 5 (1) Do open doors indicate what God specifically wants done? Or are they opportunities which God permits, leaving us to decide whether we avail ourselves of them or not? (2) Not all open doors are pathways of obedience or pathways to good things. (3) The door was open for Jonah to go to Tarshish when God commanded him to go to Nineveh. JON 1:1-3. (4) Some open doors lead to elevator shafts or jail cells. Beware! 4. Relying on circumstances alone to determine right or wrong can be very misleading. It is actually akin to pagan superstition. ACT 28:3-6. 5. We must renounce the fickle messages of circumstances as a means to determine right or wrong and instead take heed to the word of truth if we would walk in liberty. PSA 119:104, 130. G. Another common deception of Satan is equating gain with godliness. 1. This is when one is deceived into thinking that material prosperity is the certain sign of spirituality or that God is blessing one's work and therefore what one is doing must be right in God's sight. 2. One's earthly glory or prosperity may not be owing to his walk with God but to his being sold out to Satan. MAT 4:8-9; PSA 73:3. 3. Jesus' disciples were startled that a rich man should hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. MAR 10:23-26. 4. Material prosperity is a very poor measure of faith and spirituality. REV 3:17; JAM 2:5. 5. The loss of prosperity for the gospel's sake is a more certain sign of faith and spirituality. HEB 10:32-34; 11:24-26. 6. Whereas God may bless and reward faithfulness with material gain (LUK 6:38), He may also reward faithfulness with tribulation that hones character (2TI 3:12 c/w ROM 5:3-5) to shape a greater reward at Christ's return. 1PE 1:7. 7. The fruit of God's Spirit is not wealth. GAL 5:22-23. 8. It is not gain but godliness that has promise of the life to come. PSA 49:6-7, 16-19; 1TI 4:8; 2PE 1:5-11. 9. Therefore, if we would walk at liberty, we must renounce all notions of equating gain with godliness as the products of corrupt thinking that is destitute of the truth. 1TI 6:5, 17. H. One of the most powerful deceptions of Satan by which he holds us in bondage is the notion that our eternal salvation and justification from sin is conditioned upon our efforts. 1. This deception flows from the very lie Satan used to deceive Eve in the Garden of Eden: man would not die by doing contrary to God's command. 2. But Scripture teaches plainly that man by nature is dead in trespasses and sins and a child of wrath unable to fulfill any condition to acquire eternal life and justification from sin. EPH 2:1-3; ROM 3:9-20; 8:7-8; TIT 3:5. 3. Many of Paul's countrymen were still walking in bondage to the “do and live” righteousness of the Law, not perceiving God's provided righteousness in Christ. ROM 10:1-5. 4. The Galatian churches had been deceived into abandoning reliance upon Christ alone for justification and so had retreated into bondage. GAL 3:1; 4:8-10; 5:1. 5. We will never be free and at rest unless we renounce our works in favor of what the Scripture says about the completed covenantal salvation wrought by Jesus Christ Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth 1-17-10 Page 6 for His sheep. JOH 10:11, 26-29; 17:2; ROM 5:19; 2CO 5:21; HEB 1:3; 4:9-11. I. Another of Satan's grand deceptions is “All roads lead to God.” The assumption here is that all religions are valid and merely diverse expressions of the god-man in everyone seeking God. 1. This deception basically must concede that child-sacrificing heathen religions are approaches to the true God on par with Biblical faith. But see 1CO 10:20-21. 2. This deception would have to assume that worship of Baal and worship of Jehovah are actually both acceptable. But see 1KI 18. 3. This deception would also hold that antichrist Judaism is as valid an approach to God as is Christianity. But see 1JO 2:22-23. 4. This ecumenical nonsense must be renounced in favor of the Scripture's declaration that Jesus Christ alone is the hope for sinners and through Him only and on His terms only will God accept worship. JOH 14:6; ACT 4:10-12; JOH 4:23-24. 5. To not renounce this Satanic lie that “All roads lead to God” is to put oneself in the bondage of the spiritual and mental turmoil of equating light with darkness. V. We must also renounce Satan's lies about God and ourselves if we would walk at liberty. A. Satan will try to distort our perception of God to hold us in bondage. 1. He may deceive us into thinking that God is as us and thinks like us and in this case our efforts to follow God are actually little more than following our own natural instincts which are corrupted by sin. EPH 2:1; ROM 7:18. a. In so doing we are little different from the idolater who is in bondage to his own deception. ISA 44:13, 20. b. Whereas man is made in the image of God (GEN 1:26; 1CO 11:7; JAM 3:9), man has no right to assume that God is just like him and that He thinks like him. PSA 50:21; ISA 55:8. 2. Depending on our ignorance, gullibility or reaction to circumstances, Satan may con us into perceiving God as being a tyrant, a pushover, unfair, unapproachable, unknowable, disinterested, etc. a. Satan will try to wrest Scripture or distract us from Scripture so as to distort our perceptions of God. PSA 77; LAM 3:1-26. b. This should remind us of how important it is to learn of Jesus Christ by Whom God is made known to us. 1JO 5:20. c. This should also remind us how important it is to increase our knowledge in the Scriptures which expressly testify of Christ. JOH 5:39; 2PE 3:18. d. The more we understand of Jesus Christ by searching His testimony (REV 19:10), the better will be our perception of God. B. Satan will also try to intimidate us with accusing lies about ourselves that contradict what the Scripture says about God's elect. 1. We must renounce all such lies for the truth of who we are in God's eyes through Jesus Christ. 2. We will not walk free from sin and Satan without realizing that we are indeed free. 3. Resisting Satan is based upon our position in Christ. In Christ we are exalted over the devil. EPH 1:15-23; 2:4-6. a. Paul prays for the believers to perceive their position in Christ. b. If we do not realize our power over Satan, we will not utilize it. 4. We are not bound under sin (ROM 6:14; 8:12). We sin because we choose to act independently of God. Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth 1-17-10 Page 7 VI. A major area of deception is self-deception. A. Some examples of self-deception are: 1. Thinking that overindulgence of food or drink is a trivial matter or that you are immune to the deceptive power of alcohol. PRO 20:1; 23:20-21; LUK 21:34. 2. Thinking that we can excite natural lusts with impunity. PRO 6:27 c/w 1CO 6:18. 3. Thinking we are wise in this world. 1CO 3:18-19. 4. Thinking the unrighteous will inherit God's kingdom. 1CO 6:9-10. 5. Thinking we will not be corrupted by evil communications. 1CO 15:33. 6. Thinking we are something we are not. GAL 6:3. 7. Thinking we will not reap what we sow. GAL 6:7. 8. Being hearers of the word but not doers. JAM 1:22. 9. Thinking that religion excuses an unbridled tongue. JAM 1:26. 10. Saying we have no sin. 1JO 1:8. B. If you have deceived yourselves in any of these areas, do not try to cover it up with euphemisms, excuses, blame-shifting, etc. 1. Confess it to God and seek His forgiveness (1JO 1:9), renouncing the self- deception and any attempted cover-up. 2. Remember that it is the acknowledging of truth that leads one from Satan's captivity to liberty. 2TI 2:25-26. VII. We must also renounce all deceptive rationalizations of sin or weakness, admit the truth about the sin or weakness, and forsake it. A. Rationalization makes provision for the flesh, which we are commanded not to do. ROM 13:14. B. Rationalization leaves you a way out if you fall into a weakness. C. Rationalizations are a way of saving face rather than admitting guilt or that some desire has power over you. D. You will never overcome a weakness as long as you rationalize it. E. Some examples of rationalization are: 1. Denial. a. This is denying that you are doing anything wrong. b. Example: “There is nothing wrong with making a pig of myself.” c. This is like Jonah who said he did well to be angry when his anger was foolish. JON 4:9. 2. Minimization. a. This is downplaying the seriousness of what one is doing. b. Example: “I may be a womanizer but at least I'm not a sodomite.” (1) The same law which forbids one sin forbids the other. (2) Either sin makes one a transgressor of the law. JAM 2:10-11. c. Example: “I don't have a drinking problem---not since the funnel.” (1) Sin is nothing to laugh off. PRO 14:9. (2) God always gets the last laugh on sinners. PRO 1:25-26. 3. Comparison. a. This is a form of minimization where you are comparing something you do with something that another person does which you deem to be worse than what you are doing. b. Example: “Sure I drink five martinis in a day but I am not a drunk like my Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth 1-17-10 Page 8 neighbor is.” c. Such comparisons are not wise. 2CO 10:12. 4. Blame-shifting. a. This is blaming someone else for one's error or resistance to reform. b. Example: “He made me so mad.” (1) Israel provoked Moses but that did not justify him speaking unadvisedly with his lips. PSA 106:32-33. (2) Christ was oft reviled yet reviled not again. 1PE 2:23. c. Example: “God made me this way.” (1) This cop-out is tantamount to saying that you either don't have the new birth or that the new birth is inadequate to help you overcome the sin or the flaw in your character. (2) The inward change enables one to obey God and be free from the mastery of sin with Christ's blood and help. EZE 11:19-20; ROM 6:14; 1CO 10:13; PHIL 4:13. d. Example: “The person who reproved me is flawed so that cancels out my responsibility to correct myself.” (1) This thinking would nullify the value of any human reproof. (2) If the reproof is scriptural, it should be received as if from God, regardless of the flaws of the messenger. (3) The scribes and Pharisees were blatant hypocrites yet Christ commanded men to submit to their appropriate rule. MAT 23:2-3. e. Example: “I had a bad childhood / I was mistreated in the past so I am justified in my resistance to needed reform.” (1) Again this is ultimately shifting blame to God Who suffered you to be put in such circumstances but Who also sent His Son to shed His blood for you that you might have abundant life through Him. JOH 10:10. (2) Joseph was badly mistreated by family and fellows but committed his lot to God and lived righteously. GEN 45:5-8. (3) Grace has power to overcome all sin: sins against you and sins you have committed. 2CO 12:9. 5. Affirming one's good points. a. This is when one thinks that the good things that he/she does lessens the seriousness of a wrong. b. Example: “OK, so I withhold marital favors from my husband. But I don't cheat on him. I work hard. I love the kids. I read my Bible. I go to church. What's the problem?” c. The church at Ephesus had several good qualities but that did not excuse them from correcting the one area where they were wrong. REV 2:2-4. d. EZE 33:13 expressly warns against trusting to one's righteousness and committing wickedness. 6. Assuming God's approval. a. This is when one assumes that God is blessing him and therefore approves of whatever he is doing. b. Example: “God is blessing my business so He must not be too upset with my lifestyle or beliefs.” c. God may be “blessing” as a judgment. PSA 106:14-15. Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth 1-17-10 Page 9 d. God may be blessing for His own sake, not for your goodness. EZE 36:32. e. God did not destroy Jehoram because of His covenant with David, not because He approved of Jehoram's ways. 2CH 21:5-7. 7. Delay. a. This is when one realizes he is doing wrong but delays dealing with it. b. Example: “I am going to quit/change/improve .......” (You fill in the blank). c. This assumes that you don't outrun a space of repentance. PRO 1:24-32. d. God's help to deal with the problem is available now and therefore now is the accepted time to do something about it. 2CO 6:2. 8. Euphemizing. a. This is when one puts a positive spin on improper conduct or something unpleasant in order to make it palatable or acceptable. b. Example: “I do not have a rage problem; I am just full of righteous indignation and zeal for God.” c. Scripture condemns the idea of calling evil by a nicer name. ISA 5:20; MAL 3:15. 9. Accepting defeat. a. This is when one thinks that he cannot overcome his weakness. b. Example: “But I just can't quit ......” (You fill in the blank). c. God's answer is that grace abounds over sin (ROM 5:2O) and “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (PHIL 4:13). F. Rationalizing sin or weakness is no escape. 1. If you have been guilty of any such forms of rationalizing sin or weakness to escape dealing with something, renounce it and yield to Christ. 2. The escape is found in acknowledging the sin and trusting Christ to cover it. 1JO 1:9-2:2. 3. The escape is animated by trusting Christ to undergird you to resist and overcome. LUK 22:31-32; 1CO 10:13; 1JO 5:4. VIII. When we realize that we have been deceived by Satan, others or ourselves, and that we could have changed long before we did, this can bring the guilt of all those years of wrongdoing. A. Satan may use this guilt to spur us to justify the wrong rather than face it. This deception must also be countered with truth. B. God's answer: “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end” (PRO 19:20). C. Only by renouncing all forms of deception in favor of acknowledging the truth about our our sin, our Savior, our salvation and our strength can we truly be free. 2TI 2:25-26 c/w JOH 8:31-36.

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