In our standing in Christ we are redeemed, justified, and set free from sin’s dominion. In our state we still battle our flesh. James 4:1 says, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?”
What happened to Eve? Genesis 3:6 says that she saw something that she desired though God had said ‘Do not’ and she did. Isn’t that what we still battle with? Mark 4:19 says that the desire for other things choke out God’s word.
What is choking God’s word in your heart? Genesis 4:7 recorded God’s word to Cain. We do well to heed it ourselves. It says of sin’s temptations, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
The Hebrew meaning for ‘rule’ is to exercise dominion over something. We are talking about our God given authority to exercise that dominion which Jesus gave us through His death on the cross. Remember that He triumphed over satan and his minions.
Colossians 2:15 says, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” It is important to note what Colossians 1:16 says, “For by Him all things were created…through Him and for Him.”
James 1:14-15 recorded the progression of a temptation. Note that the flesh-trap is our own hidden desires. It says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin…”
How do we go from being enticed to conceiving sin? We dialogue in our mind through our thoughts. The crux of the matter is there is hidden fleshly desire that has not been acknowledged and confessed. When the temptation comes, we easily slide into an inner dialogue. We mull over the temptation and the desire for other things chokes out the truth of the gospel.
Romans 6:6 says in reference to our being buried with Christ in His death at salvation. It says, “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”
When we accepted Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for ourselves, we were set free from the slave block of sin. That is our standing. Verse 13 is our state. It says, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin…”
God says, ‘do not’ and we do when we are enticed through our flesh-trap, and we yield to the temptation and enter into sin. The verse instructs us what we are to do when tempted. It says, “…but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
Unrighteousness, according to Romans 1:18, suppresses the truth of God’s word. Walking in righteousness requires us to continually yield to the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Verse 5 says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh…” That is the flesh trap. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart…” What does that mean? If I allow hidden sin to remain, which according to Hebrews 3:14, it will harden my heart through my own self-deception.
James 1:16 says, “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Our hidden sin is only hidden through our self-deception, because we don’t recognize the thorn-fruit.