The system of the world is enmity to the will of God and the reason for creation. Man’s perversion got to a height that the bible said, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Gen 6:5-6.
Waywardness has become rampant that it is now termed Normal. When an environment gets saturated with evil or corruption for so long, the phenomenon tends to become a norm or societal culture. We have been berth into this corruption, grew into it and live in the shade of the corruption that enveloped our life. When Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, in Ephesians 2:2 he said “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” Consciously or not, we all live in the vast Ocean of corruption and directed by the tide of its current on a daily basis. God saw this corruption from the beginning and schedule the death of Jesus in the eternity and placed it in the human timeline 2000 years ago to help man out of its misery by deleting every record of sin and giving man a nature that does not want to be part of the corruption, which is the nature of God himself. (The New Man) 2 Peter 1:4 says “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
The system and the corruption of the world are doomed already. The bible has records of how it will all end in destruction (Revelation 21:1), not just the structure alone but the constituent of its perversion (Human) will also end up in the lake of fire. Revelation 21:8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” That is why escape is quite crucial for every human. However this escape cannot be possible without having the new nature. The nature that comes with the fertilization of sperm and egg at the formation of a Foetus cannot please God. It’s eternally corrupted from the beginning via Adam and Eve. The human nature will be born corrupt and die corrupt if nothing is done. God told Adam in Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”.( KJV). The day Adam ate the fruit, he died a spiritual death. The nature of God in him died and the body became a subject to its environment. That is why a child will behave based on the environment he /she finds him/her self. The concept of band wagon or peer pressure is possible due to the acclimatization ability of the human nature to its environment. No wonder we behave like Romans when we find ourselves in Rome. The human nature become self aware of its environ only and no matter how interested in righteousness it is, man will always find himself in a quadrant of the ocean of corruption. Righteousness transcend the act of doing good, it is the sum total of God’s dictionary of good and right. This cannot be compared to man assertion of perfection in doing the right thing.
Therefore, the nature of man has to be substituted with the nature of God for us to have total freedom from the world system. This is what every Christian got at the point of salvation (2 Peter 1:4). At the point of salvation, the power of the Holy Spirit quickens the human nature to see its corruption in the mirror of God’s righteousness. One cannot regret wrong doing if there is no acknowledgement of it in the first place. This supernatural awareness leads to acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus to attain God’s righteousness seen by the human spirit in the divine mirror.
For all Christians that have given their life to Christ, the divine nature has been sealed in them by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13 “ In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise”. Then, how is it that some Christians find themselves in the corruption they just escaped? How can man have the nature of God and still exhibit the human nature in its sinful state?
A backslider is someone who (through the grace of God) has heard of His mercy, of His love, the work that Christ did on the cross, and had conviction as a sinner and eventually surrender to Jesus to become the Lord and Saviour of such life. At the point of conversion such person would have renounced his or her sins, and even some will affirm not to go back to such sinful life again.
Now, why will a man who has made this type of devotion and promise to his creator, eventually go outside the purview of that experience and find him/her self back in such renounced sins; or when a man after experiencing salvation goes back to the former sinful daily experiences? Even the bible says in 1 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. Why is this man that has promised never to go back from the Lord is found actively in the old ways?
What are the old ways? It refers to the perversion of this world, the sinfulness of this world and the corruption of the human nature .1 john 2:16 says “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world”( Nkjv).This same person who has surrendered to Christ found his/her self committing all forms of immorality while the bible says in I john 3:9 “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (KJV), No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God”. (ESV). Then, this will raise a question; does this mean there is false and genuine salvation? Can there be a false salvation experience? When a man come to Jesus with a remorse heart, pleading for forgiveness and asking Jesus to be the Saviour of his life; can we say there is a false and genuine experience of that? To answer that question, the best way to analyze is to ask a very important question. What makes a man to answer the call of salvation? What makes a man to acknowledge sin and decide to follow Jesus? What can inspire a man to say I am a sinner and I need Jesus in my life?, John 6:44 says “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day”.( Nkjv). John 16:8 “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”. (Esv). We are convicted by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is sealed with us as stated in Ephesians 1:13 “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise”.
So with all these verses, can we still believe in a false salvation? if the spirit of God is responsible for the salvation of man, then its right to say every conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit. Then, why will a man backslide if salvation is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit?
At the beginning of man’s existence, Adam and Eve sinned and fell out of grace with God. It was recorded that God told Adam that “the day you eat of the fruit, you will surely die. Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”(KJV). He eventually ate and his eyes were opened and had an experience of spiritual death. The spirit of God in him, the spirit that makes him to do the right thing, the spirit that gave him the will and instinct to always do right in him died. No wonder Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and not by the seed of the man (Mathew 1:20) so he can have both divinity mixed with seed of the woman. Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel”.( NKJV) to become a full fleshed human with the spirit of God. That was why he was able to live among men with no record of sin. (1 John 3:5 “But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin”.)
At the point of conversion, God makes alive the spirit of man, which is what Jesus did on the cross. The spirit is now alive with the righteousness of God. Romans 8:10 “But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness” (BSB). The Spirit of God is sealed with our new spirit (now alive) and bears witness. Romans 8:16 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (The NEW MAN). This means our new spirit is pure and without sin. It is the new man (New Creature) that gives us the continuous instinct to do the right thing and separate us from the world. So if the Spirit of God is sealed with our revived spirit, why will such person go back to sin?
Remember in that same man, there is a soul and a body .1 Thessalonians 5:2 “ Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”. This verse refers to man as a spirit with a soul that leaves in a Body. Also remember that the spirit has been dead all along before conversion and the soul only has the body to communicate with for a very long time. By the body we mean the corruption and perversion of this world in relation to the human flesh. So if the soul (your mind, will and emotions) has been in relationship with the body for that long, the new spirit surely is a stranger in this situation and it will take the soul time to acclimatize with it.
The soul of man is the will center or we can also refer to it as the decision core of man. Every decision made by this core will eventually determine who that man will be. The core decision made by the soul will be evident in speech and behavior. The new spirit of man has the nature of God, as we have earlier enumerated. It’s either that spirit is dead or alive; if dead, there will be no communication whatsoever from the spirit to the soul. The body is our container in this world and will evidently end up here. Our body communicates with our environment and forward to the soul the best decision based on the environmental condition. Since the environment is corrupt, the body is bound to transmit corrupt opinion to the soul for evaluation.
When the spirit of man (new man) comes alive at conversion, there will be a new personality in the block who is from God and it’s a full nature of God .The Soul will immediately switch to this new adviser whose advise is always righteous and Holy, obviously because it’s from God. Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. The new communication channel will continue as the soul is tuned to receiving information from the spirit. The experience will produce the following fruits : love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control Galatians 5:22. As long as the core (soul) is taking information from the spirit, this will continually be exhibited in the life of the man. However, there are cases where these behaviors gradually or suddenly stop and the person is seen behaving likes it’s used to. What happens is that the soul has shifted its gaze from the spirit and the information gathering is now coming from the body (who gets its information via the world .1 John 2:16). At this point the person is said to have backslided.
Now, what is the way out? Is that all to salvation? Or is the soul bound to keep switching from the body to the spirit in an unending circle?
THE WAY OUT
John 3: 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever BELIEVES in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. The word “believe” in this bible verse was intentionally capitalized to let you know how you got the salvation in the first place. Faith and believe is interchangeably used as noun and verb respectively to state the act of trust in the bible.
The Oxford dictionary state that Faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something .It also define believe as accepting that something is true, especially without proof. It’s quite interesting how the dictionary describes “believe” and it very similar to the “believes” found in that John 3:16. If any man believes and gives his or her life to Christ, that mean such a person is accepting what Christ did on the cross completely without any proof. Someone will say what about the bible? Then I will ask, does everyone believe in the Bible as the word of God? It’s obvious that the conversion of Christians and non Christians is not based on believe in the words found in the bible but the Holy Spirit empowering the words in the heart of the listener/reader. This reaffirms our previous position that conversion is the pure work of the Holy Spirit. John 16:8
Hebrews 11: 1 “Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see”.(BSB). As we can see, the bible definition of faith is somewhat similar to what we have from the dictionary as believe and trust in what we cannot see. Salvation is a result of our faith in Jesus, His death and resurrection on the cross. In Romans 6:14. Jesus saved us by delivering us from the bondage of sin (not just sin but the power it has over us) and gifting us with the righteousness and nature of God. Note that this is a gift, you can’t work for it, it is a free gift and that is why it’s called GRACE. Romans 5:17.
PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU CAN NOT HELP GOD BY TRYING TO BE HOLY OR RIGHTEOUS, HE HAS ALREADY GIVEN YOU THE NATURE AS A GIFT. That is the good news ( God concluding that man cannot be free from the bondage of sin , then decide to pay the ultimate blood sacrifice which will make man to be able to receive the Gift of righteousness) Gal 3: 22, Ephesians 4:22-24, Col 3:10
The main focus is on the new you. If you don’t believe you are a new person entirely, then it will be difficult to understand who you are and what your expected behavior should look like. Roman 6:11. These are the major things that happened to you at conversion.
- Death to the power of the flesh. Gal 5:24, Romans 8:10
- You have the nature of God. 2 Peter 1:4
- God sealed your spirit with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13
- Christ is now dwelling in you. Col 1:27,
- You are now the ambassador of God on earth. 2 Corinthians 5:20
- You are now a light to the world. Mathew 5:14
- Your nature cannot commit sin. 1 John 3:9
- You are now a carrier of the righteousness of God. Romans 5:17
The above is the reality (Every preacher should always make that known from the onset) and the false information is that “nothing has changed” and you are the same person.
The resulting effect is the fight on your faith as to what is the reality, are you really changed or still the same person? You can only stop producing the fruit of the spirit when you stop believing and start doubting you have changed. If you believe you have really changed and a new man is in you, the old man will start to die and the result will be obvious everywhere you go. Romans 11:20
Devil’s Plan B
Devil’s plan “A” is for people not to hear about the good news. He understand the power at work when anyone listens to the word of salvation and how the Holy Spirit moves into action to deliver the hearers. This is evident in the way the word is hindered today in our societies. Act 13:6 -12
However, when God eventually have His way to get the word out, the devil moves into his plan “B” which is to rob the young believers of the reality of salvation. The Holy Spirit has done the initial work which makes man believe and the package of salvation has been deposited, but the devil will work tooth and nail to convince you that there is no renewal in your spirit and that nothing has happened. Revelation 12:9. At this point, the focus of the soul gradually shift from the spirit to the body (flesh) and status quo is maintained despite the fact that the supernatural Job is fully done.
If eventually the person overcome the lies and really believe the conversion, the devil will start to make a demand for personal righteousness and holiness which will build a huge pressure in the new believer and will eventually get frustrated when he or she cannot meet up with do’s and don’ts of the law as preached in some quarters. This will lead to unbelief in his or her capacity to live the new life and its ways and total lack of faith in salvation. Galatians 3:2-3
Please note this: YOU CANNOT GET BORN AGAIN TWICE. It’s a one time job, and when it’s done it’s done.
The only thing the devil can do is to convince you that you are not what you say you are especially after practicing an act of sin.
THE WORK OF FAITH
The power of any true believer is their faith in the work of salvation and the reality that Jesus is with them at all times. Matthew 28:20 (It is the reality; you just have to come to terms with it). What you need is to believe the work of salvation and the fact that Jesus is in you and the Holy Spirit is your permanent companion no matter the case, then the power of salvation will start to work in you to produce the fruit of the Spirit (It’s a supernatural process by God Himself). Roman 8:11. (All the same, if you doubt and die in that state of unbelief, you have lost your faith in Him which will be the major determinant on the Judgment day). A backslider is just someone who has lost faith in the work of salvation.
Galatians 5:16 “so I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh”. (NIV). For you to be able to produce the fruit of the spirit, your soul must only align with the spirit. You cannot align with the spirit (new man) if you are not sure of its presence. Your faith must cling to the fact that you are really a different person and that the new you does not listen to the flesh but the spirit in you. Immediately you start having this new mindset (meaning of repentance), the power of God in salvation will begin to automatically help you to achieve the fruit of the spirit effortlessly. The devil will not send sin your way to make you fall, but will only use the weapon of “doubt in the new man” to sway you from the power of salvation.
FAITH THROUGH CONTENT
How do I strengthen my faith? Romans 10:17 “So then faith commeth by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. Col 3:10,Ephesians 4:22-24
What you can do is to keep your faith alive by hearing the word of God. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. The devil is constantly attacking that area even in mature Christians (The strength of their faith in their new personality starts to diminish and the works of the flesh will gradually creep in) and that it’s why Jesus told the church in Ephesus that they have neglected their first love. “Revelation 2:1-5”. The world is filled with whole lot of ungodly content to keep the unbelievers at bay and to keep fighting the faith of the believers. However, don’t be discouraged as God has been using His servants to chunk out materials in print, audio and videos to help His children to attain maturity, so that the fullness of Christ will come alive in them.
My dear friend, kindly stop all those “harsh or mild” worldly contents, your effort in all this is to keep your faith alive. Go to YouTube, you will find lots of sermons and worship music to praise your new Father. Check around the internet for messages on the grace of God in salvation and your new personality in Christ .You can as well check Christian stores around you for more resources. Ultimately, we have been ordered not to neglect the gathering of believers “Romans 10:25”.Try and find a bible and grace believing gathering around you and attend their services especially the bible study services which is a super faith booster.1 peter 2:2
If you are born again and you find yourself in sin, do not doubt the fact that you been saved, go back to Jesus and pray for more help from God. Don’t condemn yourself and don’t let anyone condemn you. Move on telling yourself you are a new man and that the righteousness of God is in you and you don’t have to conform to the old man (your old man is dead). You will gradually see victory over any form of besetting sin or addiction, and the righteousness of God in you will start to develop you to the fullness and stature of Christ.
Dear reader, you are no more a child of just an earthly father, but a child of God.