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Bible Study Have you ever gotten discouraged by persistent sinful habits in your life?

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#1
This is a quote from a 17th century French preacher, Jean Baptiste Saint Jure. His writings have transformed my life over the last 7 months and I hope you find this of comfort.

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With submission and conformity to the will of God we should bear the evil consequences of which falling into sin is often the cause. It may be some indisposition or some more serious effect on our health brought about by overindulgence; some sacrifice we have to make because of money spent foolishly for selfish ends; some bad turn in our affairs owing to impatient or imprudent conduct on our part; difficulty in resisting temptation and leading a good life because of a long habit of sin we have contracted - the situation fills us with worry and anxiety and we feel unable to cope with it. God certainly did not wish you to sin, but the sin having been committed, He wishes for your good that it should be followed by this punishment. Accept in then from his hand in the belief that there is nothing more suited to regaining his favor than your humble acceptance of it. Then, far from being prejudicial to you, your failures, insofar as they give you the opportunity of submitting to His Will, will be as it were a monument to your perseverance in God's service, and the more numerous they have been, the more glorious will be their witness to your perseverance.

Let us take a practical example. A man has to make a journey on foot. He must go across rough country, he is without food and almost exhausted, so he falls repeatedly. But he gets to his again each time, determined not to give in and, come what may, arrive at his destination. When he finally arrives, is it not true to say that his perseverance has been all the greater and more heroic in proportion to the number of obstacles he has had to overcome and the falls from which he has recovered?
 
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Papa Zoom

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#2
This is a quote from a 17th century French preacher, Jean Baptiste Saint Jure. His writings have transformed my life over the last 7 months and I hope you find this of comfort.

****************************

With submission and conformity to the will of God we should bear the evil consequences of which falling into sin is often the cause. It may be some indisposition or some more serious effect on our health brought about by overindulgence; some sacrifice we have to make because of money spent foolishly for selfish ends; some bad turn in our affairs owing to impatient or imprudent conduct on our part; difficulty in resisting temptation and leading a good life because of a long habit of sin we have contracted - the situation fills us with worry and anxiety and we feel unable to cope with it. God certainly did not wish you to sin, but the sin having been committed, He wishes for your good that it should be followed by this punishment. Accept in then from his hand in the belief that there is nothing more suited to regaining his favor than your humble acceptance of it. Then, far from being prejudicial to you, you failures, insofar as they give you the opportunity of submitting to His Will, will be as it were a monument to your perseverance in God's service, and the more numerous they have been, the more glorious will be their witness to your perseverance.

Let us take a practical example. A man has to make a journey on foot. He must go across rough country, he is without food and almost exhausted, so he falls repeatedly. But he gets to his again each time, determined not to give in and, come what may, arrive at his destination. When he finally arrives, is it not true to say that his perseverance has been all the greater and more heroic in proportion to the number of obstacles he has had to overcome and the falls from which he has recovered?
I hope people read the above. It's rich with truth and is MY story!!! Praise God for His faithfulness!
 
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#3
I happen to be reading the great (and modern - he's still alive) Russian Orthodox theologian and apologist Alexei Osipov. He makes the point that sins we seemingly cannot overcome, even despite sincere repentance and fervent prayer for deliverance, may be entirely consistent with God's purpose, that they may be necessary to constantly remind us of our flawed nature and prevent us from lapsing into spiritual pride. He takes this to such an extent that he is highly wary of exorcisms, believing that even demonic possession may sometimes serve these purposes. This is how he interprets 1 Corinthians 5:4-5 (NASB) ("In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.").

I actually have been plagued my entire life with a couple of sins that seemingly are not going to go away. This has been discouraging and puzzling. However, when I realize that I am inclined to otherwise regard myself as pretty wonderful, Osipov's analysis makes a lot of sense. Without these persistent thorns to remind me that I'm not entirely wonderful, I might never have become a Christian at all or have become completely insufferable once I did.
 

Eugene

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#4
Let us take a practical example. A man has to make a journey on foot. He must go across rough country, he is without food and almost exhausted, so he falls repeatedly. But he gets to his again each time, determined not to give in and, come what may, arrive at his destination. When he finally arrives, is it not true to say that his perseverance has been all the greater and more heroic in proportion to the number of obstacles he has had to overcome and the falls from which he has recovered?
Hi Brother gtrudeau, I differ in one part of the victory of perseverance your illustration presents in that it wasn't my effort, but God's unfailing work in my life. I praise God for His faithfulness, and can envision the painting of Jesus carrying a man when seemingly all failed him. Our best efforts, failures, and need of reaching out to Him who loves us most presents our greatest opportunity of fellowship.

Thank you for your contributions to this Christian forum in Jesus' name. :)
 
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#5
With submission and conformity to the will of God we should bear the evil consequences of which falling into sin
yes i will comment more on this when i get back from wed nigh service { submission and conformity to the will of God } our flesh does not like this . but you are right..
 
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#6
There are consequences for falling into sin as here on earth we will the price for whatever that sin brings about in our life. If we do not contain this sin nature within us it will fester and grow as it shuts out all the truth of the knowledge of God we have learned.

James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
If our mind is not on Christ then it is set to the temptations of the principalities that govern the evil in the world that will befall us at times.
 
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#7
Hi Brother gtrudeau, I differ in one part of the victory of perseverance your illustration presents in that it wasn't my effort, but God's unfailing work in my life. I praise God for His faithfulness, and can envision the painting of Jesus carrying a man when seemingly all failed him. Our best efforts, failures, and need of reaching out to Him who loves us most presents our greatest opportunity of fellowship.

Thank you for your contributions to this Christian forum in Jesus' name. :)
I differ from you in that while salvation is a gift from God and it is he who aids us to walk the Christian life, we cooperate with God in his plan for salvation by repentance and perseverance. The man on the journey in my original post chooses to sin (the falls) and it is he who chooses to get back up. God won't pick him up if he doesn't want to picked back up.
 

Eugene

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#8
The man on the journey in my original post chooses to sin (the falls) and it is he who chooses to get back up. God won't pick him up if he doesn't want to picked back up.
Fair enough. I suppose the times in my life I had fallen, and at times didn't realize the severity of it, it was God Who stood me up again as the good Samaritan, and established me on the solid Rock. The credit. at least in my life has to give God all the glory in that it is Him that worked in me to will, and to do of His good pleasure.
 

Papa Zoom

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#10
I differ from you in that while salvation is a gift from God and it is he who aids us to walk the Christian life, we cooperate with God in his plan for salvation by repentance and perseverance. The man on the journey in my original post chooses to sin (the falls) and it is he who chooses to get back up. God won't pick him up if he doesn't want to picked back up.
In many ways, you and Eugene sound like you are saying the same things. Just stating it differently.

I've often asked myself this same question. Do I cooperate with God or is it God who is doing the work? Hmmm. Well if I'm cooperating with God (apart from His Spirit) then it's synergistic. But in my experience, this is wrong thinking. Yes, we cooperate with God but we do so because the Spirit gives us the desire and the power to do so. Then we can cooperate, by His Grace.

We're to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. John Piper had a good article on this very thing. Here's a link to some highlights http://christianforums.net/Fellowship/index.php?threads/daily-verses.74191/post-1427621 but it's best to read the entire article and then tell us what you think. If Eugene has the time to read the article that would be nice too.

Piper never answers a question in a pithy way. This article is no exception. But he weaves in all his points to get to the heart of the question on what it means to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. I think it pertains to the points you and Eugene made here.

https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/i-act-the-miracle

There's a video and an audio and then below is the transcript. Blessings! ~Papa