Obstacles to Sanctification: How To Deal With Sin

In previous articles, we’ve seen that when God births us into His Heavenly Kingdom, we appear there bearing His nature— we are perfect.  We’ve also seen, that it’s God’s purpose to bring who we are in heaven (a justified spirit), to who we are on earth (a fallen soul), through a process called sanctification.

His ability to do this in us depends on how we deal with 3 major obstacles that stand in our way.

They are:

  1. How we deal with sin.
  2. How we deal with natural information.
  3. How we deal with the Devil.

I’ll discuss each obstacle over the next 3 articles.  In this article I’ll discuss the subject of sin.

Obstacle #1— How to Deal With Sin

Obviously, who we are on earth (imperfect), does not MATCH with who God says we are in Heaven (perfect).

How we deal with this disparity, determines whether God will be able to meet our needs though purpose motivation or whether He will be stifled.

God has a very specific way He wants to deal with sin and His methods are very different from how the “world” deals with sin.

In the earthly system if you commit an OFFENSE you are expected to correct it.  Correcting sin means that you must DO something.  But in God’s Kingdom you do NOTHING, God does all the work, in fact you just REST.  It’s all about REMAINING in the Kingdom.

Let me show you how it works.

In God’s Kingdom everything is perfect.  For example, in God’s Kingdom there is only forgiveness.  Therefore, if as a citizen of God’s Kingdom you find yourself in a condition of unforgiveness, you need to realize that you have mentally LEFT God’s Kingdom.

So how do you DEAL with this sin of unforgiveness in your life?

The answer is that you simply RETURN to the Kingdom of God. There is only one way to return to God’s Kingdom.  You CONFESS your unforgiveness to God. The Bible says that if we confess our sins, then God is faithful to forgive us our sins and CLEANSE us from all unrighteousness.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to CLEANSE us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

Once we confess our sin, we are IMMEDIATELY back in the Kingdom.  There is nothing else that needs to be done.

Dealing with sin is not WORKING to get better, it’s simply REMAINING in the Kingdom.  This is so because Jesus ALREADY dealt with our sin through His death and resurrection.  He did all the work so we don’t have to.  Our job is to just mentally remain in God’s Kingdom because spiritually, by birth, we are already there.

Now let’s talk about dealing with sin through the earthly method.  That’s what a lot of us do because we have been conditioned by this system long before we came to exist in God’s Kingdom.  The rules of this world are that you must DO something to get better— to change.  That’s to be expected. Having been born into this world with a LIMITED nature, we learn right away through failure that we need to keep trying to get it right!  Trying just seems natural.

Unfortunately this line of thinking doesn’t transfer into the Kingdom of God.  In God’s Kingdom we don’t try, we REST.  Resting means that you accept the fact that Jesus paid for your sins past, present and future, and you rest in His forgiveness, there is nothing to do except confess your sin and RETURN to His Kingdom.  You don’t allow yourself to feel guilty about your sin, you just REST in His forgiveness.

In a practical sense, you may wonder how this seemingly passive acceptance of God’s grace actually changes us here in the present?  The way it changes us is that with each sin and each confession, God WASHES our mind, will and emotions to correspond to the sinless part of us (our spirit) living in God’s Kingdom.  Our mind, will and emotions on earth are being transformed to correspond with who we really are in heaven.  So while the temptation to DO something exists, you have to understand that when you were born into God’s Kingdom you were ALREADY changed (given a sinless nature).  God is just using TIME to bring your mind, will and emotions up to speed with your spirit already in heaven.

As you begin to bring your mind, will and emotions up to speed with your spirit, you will begin to experience POWER.  Your life will be rightly aligned with God’s Kingdom and HE will get the glory, bringing HEAVEN TO EARTH as He changes your life.

Practical Application

As stated above, we do NOTHING to fix our sin.  Our job is to simply REMAIN in the Kingdom.  However, sometimes the Holy Spirit will prompt us to go to people and apologize if our sin involves them.  These are actions that result from the prompting of the Holy Spirit, they originate from Him, not from our own desire to change or justify ourselves.

There are also preventative actions the Holy Spirit will prompt us to do to keep us IN the Kingdom.  An example of this might be to limit the type of movie or television shows you watch so you won’t be tempted to sin and leave the Kingdom.  But this has to come from the Holy Spirit and an honest desire from within, not from someone compelling you to meet their set of rules— that’s RELIGION.  Again these actions are prompted by a desire to stay in the Kingdom, not an attempt to justify ourselves through our actions.  While there are some actions that can mentally take us OUT of the Kingdom, there isn’t anything we can do to get back in the Kingdom, EXCEPT confess our sin and trust God’s promise to forgive us.

This can be very hard to do when you have a sin that keeps reoccurring again and again.  You think you are being insincere by going back to God every time you sin.  You are tempted to AVOID God and try to DO something about it yourself.  You tell yourself, “When I get my act together I will have a right to go to God and ask Him to forgive me”.  But this is earthly system thinking.  You can’t fix yourself. God says to come to Him EVERY TIME you fail. He will not judge you or condemn you.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1

He will do just one thing, WASH you.  This is really the only effectual way of getting rid of sin.  You will find that over time, as you are faithful to obey the Kingdom method for dealing with sin, God will FREE you from the most besetting of sins in your life.  He will have accomplished it from the inside by His grace, not from the outside by your ascetic efforts.

The Holy Spirit also convicts us of sin we may not be aware of.  We may be mentally OUT of the Kingdom and not be aware of it.  So the Holy Spirit makes us aware by convicting us. His conviction is not about punishment, like the earthly system.  He just wants us to come to Him, confess our sin and return to the Kingdom— that’s it.  Once we return to the Kingdom we are to absolve ourselves of any guilt and simply REST in His forgiveness.

When I talk about leaving and returning to God’s Kingdom I am referring to your mind, will and emotions or your soul (your soul is made up of three parts: mind, will and emotions).  It is our mind, will and emotions that God is cleansing having been corrupted by the earthly way of thinking for so long.  Man’s regenerated spirit (new nature) remains safe in God’s Kingdom, having been born there it does not leave heaven.  When we confess our sins to God we are simply restoring fellowship with Him, not our relationship.  Our relationship as sons and daughters is eternally secure with Him when we are born into His Kingdom. We do not stop being His sons and daughters when we sin, we just break fellowship.  Confession is about restoring fellowship not relationship.

In our next article we’ll discuss the second obstacle to sanctification— how we deal with Natural Information.

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