Sin, our sin nature, our flesh will be with us until the day we die. We inherited it from Adam when he sinned in the Garden of Eden and it has been passed down to us today through our ancestral line. In fact, at certain times in our life, our sin nature becomes our very best friend. Doesn’t it? The only problem is, this is not what God desires of us. In Galatians 5:16, the Apostle Paul writes, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
Walking in the Spirit is not an easy thing to do all the time. If you’ve ever read through the Old Testament, it gives a historical account of how often the children of Israel failed to follow God and chose instead to pursue their own lusts and desires. Time and time again, the Israelites turned from following the Living God to worship idols, sometimes of the most base and heinous sort. And all this despite the fact that God performed some of the most remarkable miracles recorded in Scripture on the Israelites’ behalf. It got so bad for the Israelites that God says in Ezekiel 39:21-23:
And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward. And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword.
Can you really imagine what this verse is saying? God was so angry with the Israelites for their sin that He turned His face from them and handed them over to their enemies for destruction. These are God’s chosen people and the ones whom God had used to bring us and preserve His Holy Word. Now if God can turn His face from His chosen people because of their sin, what makes us think that He wouldn’t do the same to us. Even Paul in 1 Timothy 1:19-20 turned his face from a pair of first century believers who had blasphemed God.
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
We don’t have a greater enemy than Satan. Yet, the world around us would have us believe he doesn’t exist or is just a myth. It’s a big mistake to believe this. And it’s a bigger mistake for anyone who calls himself a Christian to get caught up in presumptuous sins. Presumptuous sins are the sins that people actually plan out. For example, someone with a weakness for alcohol, might wait until no one is around to sneak a few drinks. Or someone with a penchant for pornography will wait until their spouse and family are asleep to begin surfing the net for their latest empty thrill.
Don’t be deceived, God will only be so patient with some people. He will not be mocked. He will turn His face from us if we abandon Him long enough. And in many cases, it could result in the premature death of the believer. 1 Corinthians 11:27–30 discusses the result of taking communion unworthily. In other words, with unconfessed or presumptuous sin in a person’s life.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
The word “sleep” in verse 30 literally means dead. The answer to presumptuous sin is walking in the Spirit. But as I said earlier, walking in the Spirit all the time is not easy. In this series of Bible lessons, we’re going to take a look at three behaviors that God expects of us as Christians that will help us to maintain our walk in the Spirit. In Getting on the Fast Track—Part 2, we’ll examine the strength of the threefold cord.