On June 18, Pastor Bai Yu'e shared the fifteenth sermon in an online series on the church’s revival. In her sermon, she shared the ways in which we can win the battle against sin.
When the desire conceives, you should put it to death. Put God’s words in heart to replace the devil’s words.
Where does sin come from? It is from arrogance, which is the root of sin? Where does arrogance come from? It is from desire.
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:15)
Pastor Bai asked: “What should we do when the desire conceives? “It is not the ordinary woman who conceives but the desire conceives. You should have an “abortion”, not reject the sinful idea but replace it. The desire in our heart which is from the devil’s words should be replaced by God’s words. When God’s words enter our minds, free will is established in our minds by God. When the spirit of God, which is the spirit of wisdom and understanding, works in us, He can help us to value things more important than our desires, and not to follow the evil desires.
How did Jesus defeat Satan? He chose humility over pride.
But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9)
Jesus created the world and the angels. Why was he made lower than the angels? The archangel had fallen to Satan, but Jesus did not destroy them. He chose humility over pride, not the big over the small. He became lower than the angels, suffered death, and tasted it for everyone.
“He became flesh and died on the cross for our sins. He chose the way of humility, triumphing over pride, and defeated Satan.”
Humility is a choice that Jesus made, it didn’t come naturally. We also should choose to be humble to defeat pride.
“Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.” (Ezekiel 28:17)
It describes the fall of the angels. Once angels were full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. They were proud of their beauty and splendor, then were thrown to the earth and became Satan. If your heart is haughty, you will be corrupt. No matter who we are, we should humble ourselves before God.
Love the enemy
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An Eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” (Matthew 5:39)
If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek. Is it possible for you to practice this? This is not the way of revenge, but it releases others and gives forgiveness. So in this way you can restore the relationship between man and God, and restore the interpersonal relationship.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
When facing an enemy, Lincoln said that he would turn his enemy into a friend, and in this way his enemy was removed. This is to follow the Lord's teaching of loving the enemy.
Not to deal with the old self, but to cultivate the new self
Sexual immorality, impurity, lust evil desires, and greed, how can people triumph over all these kinds of sins? Paul said: “What a wretched man I am. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Today we are not dealing with the life of the old self, but cultivating the new self. Whoever is born of God does not sin, because he is born of God. Our life should be transformed, new life should be cultivated, and the character of life from the Lord will be generated in us.
Pastor Bai shared an example: One owner has a big black dog and a small white dog. Our old self, like the big black dog, is very strong and big. And the new life within us is as small as the white dog. We have sin inside and our two selves fight in our hearts, as the two dogs fight with each other. At first, the little white dog can't beat the big black dog. What should we do? The owner has an idea. He encloses the black dog in a cage and feeds it a little bit every day to maintain its survival. But he carefully feeds the little white dog. So it becomes very strong and big. One day, the owner releases the black dog, who is particularly thin because of being kept in a cage for a long time. And the white dog is big, very strong, and then defeats the black one.
We must continue to cultivate our spiritual life. When we are mature, we are able to triumph over all lusts, greed, and sins of the world. Continuously cultivating new lives is the way out. No matter how you deal with it, you can't overcome the old self. Only by growing up in Christ can we overcome sin.
- Translated by Abigail Wu