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March 7, 2012
By John Barnett
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God offers to all of us the incredible power of the Spirit to free us from the shackles of sin.
Everything I will share this evening about personal sanctification can only be accomplished through the grace of God, by the Spirit of God—when you as a believer choose to obey.
God does not force our choices in personal sanctification, nor does He make them for us.
He simply unleashes His power when we seek to obey Him.
That power is described clearly in Romans 8, the premier chapter in God's Word about personal sanctification.
Reversing the erosion of our minds by the world around us can be reversed by simple choices to obey in the power of the Spirit.
And what happens when we obey?
We discover that the Spirit of God can set us free.
I like to call Him the Liberating Spirit of God.
Look with me at:
Romans 8:1-4 /"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.2
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.3
For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."/
He lifts us above the law of sin.
In 1983, as I led a team to minister in New Delhi, India we flew on Air India.
Air India has a reputation for over filling the planes with people and cargo until it groans with the weight.
At the New Delhi airport, we raced down almost every inch of the runway with cows at nearly eye level, until at last we felt our plane shudder, slightly groan and lift away from the ground.
Our 899,490 pound Boeing-747 had been earthbound to nearly the end of the runway until a higher law than gravity, the law of lift took over and snatched us off the ground.
Just like the law of lift, aerodynamically teaches that the faster the plane moves down the runway the sooner the lift of the wings tear away the chains of gravity.
So the Spirit of God teaches us that the faster we develop our grace-energized resistance to sin, the sooner we tear away at the anchors of sin and the flesh chaining us to mere earthliness, and we begin to regularly soar to even greater levels of fellowship with Jesus!
We are in the midst of our look at Titus 2, grace-energized men.
The second quality described the man God seeks—he is an older man who model what its like to live life reverently.
This man thinks deeply about God in an amused, shallow-thinking culture.
This man lives a life that is not entertained by sensuality, and never amused by vulgarity.
He is an older man in the faith who understands the brevity of life, the gravity of God’s Word, and the reality of eternity.
Because the Tsunami of sin sweeps across our lives each day, this man always seeks to…
*Reverse the Erosion of a God-controlled Mind*
The only way to recover from an eroded mind, a mind that has gotten neutralized, where evil seeps in a bit more each day, is to purse personal sanctification:
1.*Grace-energized Men Abstain from Lust Promoting Activities (*1 Peter 2:11).
If there are specific areas you know right now are sin, you must repent of them.
Stop now!
1 Peter 2:11/" Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,"/ NKJV
Watch out for AMUSEMENTS that can *infect your mind to satanic ideas and stories.
*We are all aware of attachments in email that can infect our computers with viruses.
Often these programs lodge themselves deep in our hard-drives and wait, springing to life infecting, corrupting, and destroying precious data we need and use.
That is exactly the picture of how Satan operates through media.
Some examples of media that has infected attachments that can harm you spiritually are:
*Movies that follow the theme of sensuality, rebellion to authority, horror, or witchcraft.
*Science fiction that portrays superhuman powers available from cosmic sources leave unguarded minds open to endless fantasies about what if this may be true, and thus a conflict with the authority of God's Word.
*Television programs dealing with adultery, fornication, or vulgarity.
*Music that popularizes eastern religions, satanic words and occultic mantras.
*Games which encourage you to be involved in killing, facing horrific demon-like monsters.
*Actual Occult Practices which bring with them demonic contact: black magic, astrology, fetishes, fortune-telling, séance meetings, witchcraft, palmistry, spiritism, ESP (extra-sensory perception), pictures of witches and occult propaganda, voodoo dolls, tarot cards, Ouija boards, crystal balls, black cubes and related occult practices.
Each of these items causes contact with demons and should be avoided and burned!
(This is the scriptural method of dealing with all such things that offend God, grieve His Spirit, and defile and ensnare us as believers.)
Godly believers should regularly repent of all evil amusements, exposures in their hearts and lives.
2.*Grace-energized Men Starve their Flesh* (Romans 13:14).
Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Cut all supply routes.
If there are websites, TV shows, magazines, videos, and so on, that are less than Christlike, destroy them.
If there are avenues that defile, such as cable TV/HBO and ungodly internet access, get rid of them.
Do whatever it takes to starve the evil desires of your flesh, and those of your family.
*Put on Christ by starving your flesh!*
*Have a no-television week or month.
*Read God's Word before email or online news each morning.
*Pray in the car or meditate on a verse instead of listening to the radio.
*Cancel the newspaper or magazine.
*Create an intentional solitude.
3.*Grace-energized Men Hate Evil* (Rom.
As pilgrims in this world, and with the Tsunami of sin crashing over and around us each day, Paul prescribed one constant attitude—hate evil.
*Abhor, turn away from, and hate evil!*
Evil, because of our ever present flesh, is always more interesting.
This obviously is not a statement about the way things should be, but simply a statement of the way things are.
Once we understand this, much that is mysteriously wrong in life becomes clearer.
For example, if we had forty-nine stations broadcasting healthy, virtuous programming, and only one station broadcasting violent or sexual programming, most of America would be tuned into the one channel, even church people.
Evil is always more interesting.
Understanding the allure of evil explains why we watch so much of it, even when it is so clearly destructive.
The sheer volume of evil our nation is exposed to on a daily basis is one of the most disturbing effects of the proliferation of media.
The only remedy I know is two thousand years old:
Romans 12:9 /"Let love be without hypocrisy.
*Abhor* [hate so go away from] *what is evil*.
Cling [go toward so stuck to, glued to] to what is good."/
The heart of the message Paul taught them is in Ephesians 4:22-24.
Christ’s Lordship must fill our lives displacing any places in our lives to the Devil.
Three clear choices we must make!
Ephesians 4:22-24/" that you *put off*, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and *be renewed* in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you *put on* the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness."/
To apply all this, remember when Paul taught the Ephesian believers about anything tied to Satan in Acts 19:19-20, they collected and burned all of the objects associated with demonic and satanic contact.
Right now, if you have music, videos, games, books, posters, or other objects that are tied in any way to the occult, destroy them today.
4.*Grace-energized Men Look for God:* This is a daily, purposeful, and planned focus on pleasing the Lord in all things.
Start your day crying out for Christ’s help.
*Look for Him!*
1 Corinthians 10:13 /"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; *but God is faithful, who will not allow you* to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."/
This verse has a huge truth we need to stop and really lay hold of--*God is there all the time*.
The longer we meditate on this verse, the more we see God’s shadow.
It is He who is standing over us always ready to delivers us if we but look to Him!
He is not distant; He is never closer than when we are tempted!
God is there all the time.
Have you allowed that truth to sink into your soul and become a part of your operating system?
God has told us that He is faithful.
Whenever we think we are alone, we are not alone.
We never face the adversary, the prowling lion called the Devil—alone.
God has already measured and limited the attack upon us.
He has already provided an escape route if we will only look for it and take it.
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