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Choice
by Linda Bunting

Dear Linda,

I have something else on my mind and wonder if you ever answer questions for people seeking the truth? I'll plunge ahead hoping that you do.

I've known and believed in Gal. 2:20 for sometime now. "I" have died in Christ and it is no longer "I" who live, but it is Christ who lives in me (in my container, body of flesh.)

I keep hearing about the "choice" we, as God's children have to make whether to choose sin or not when temptation comes. We are told that God provides a way out which is through His Holy Spirit. Yes, I believe that.

If I am being tempted to sin in an area (which keeps assaulting me) I can sometimes recognize immediately that the temptation is coming at me trying to make me believe there is still an "I" living, but yet I know it is only the Holy Spirit who is able to handle it.

At times temptation overwhelms me and I fall. My question is this - If (since) "I" have died and it is no longer "I" who do the sin but 'sin that dwelleth in me' WHO/what is it that makes the CHOICE as to whether it will be Christ or satan working out through me?

When temptation is louder than the Spirit's realization in me I can still seem to acknowledge the truth of who I am, but yet the power does not seem to be in me to stop the sin. At other times the Spirit takes over and effectively changes my mind.

And when I do fall to sin, I hear the accusation that I made the wrong choice! Needless to say, it is satan accusing me and though there is a ME identity. I know there is error here somewhere in my thinking. Perhaps you can shed some light???

In the love of Christ,
__________________________________________________________________

Good to hear from you _______________,

To answer your question I must say right from the start; I don't delve into that question. If you are constantly observing yourself by appearances, you will continually wonder who you are: Christ or Satan.

In my school days of faith 40 yrs. ago, I lived tempted about myself. I moment by moment lived with a temper I could not control.... and my only release was to know that the blood of Jesus had cleansed me and made me right with God and that I must keep my eyes on Him and not on myself to see how the positive God was connected to my negative humanity.

Satan was out and Christ was in .... I had taken him and that meant He had taken me...\

It was, now, up to Him to keep me from falling into sin and to cause me to walk in His way.

I think you are confusing temptation with actual sinning. I don't believe you are acting out the sin of James..... I believe that we are so kept by the keeper that it is nearly impossible for you to actually pull away and purpose to go into sin.

Temptation is perfect for us. In the beginning it is the single thing that fixes us in Christ.....that is why we count it all joy as James 1 says. The rest of our walk is spent tempted for the intercessory part we play in the lives of others.

I strongly suggest you join us the 2nd week-end in Sept. We are going to discuss this very subject matter: "And the life I now live in the flesh"....................................

It will be well worth your time. Your questions are taking you down a path that will forever keep you double minded. You are a form of Christ. You are fixed in Spirit and that is where you are meant to live and walk.

Please do try to come and be with us. I've just heard from a man who for 30 yrs. thought the way to live was to answer your question and since he is very analytical he never came into the person of Christ thereby fixing him in his identity.

Come be with us,

Lovingly,

Linda
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Dear Linda,

Thank you so much for your response! You are right, of course. My very problem was the fact that the only way of making a "choice" involved me separating from who I really am. And I knew that couldn't be right.

I do want to see all with a single eye. Since we are exhorted to have sinful behavior controlled we are ever aware that our behavior affects other people and can easily be pulled back under Law. In my Spirit I don't want to sin but in my flesh I will always want to. Pastors and ministers are always talking about our "running the race" and other exhortations to better behavior.

I liked your second paragraph about yourself for your realization is one I sometimes have when attacks of guilt try and come at me.

Unfortunately I do have an analytical mind which I'm sure can be a barrier. What do I do with the analytical part of me? If I have questions about interpretation should I just ignore them? I don't want to end up like the man you refer to in your email who never was freed from double mindedness.

I am still confused though, by your sentence, "I think you are confusing temptation with actual sinning. I don't believe you are acting out of the sin of James.....I believe that we are so kept by the keeper that it is nearly impossible for you to actually pull away and purpose to go into sin."

For example: let's take any pleasureable sin. I could be tempted by a huge pan of marvelous sweet rolls and then fall into sin by eating them all - thus producing the sin of gluttony. How do you mean that it is nearly impossible for me to fall into sin?

I do wish that I could attend the upcoming event you mention and it sounds like what I need to hear, but I have no way to get there. I do not do much driving except locally and I don't have anyone who would take me. Do you think you will have any excerpts from the event? Will you record any of the speakers so that tapes could be purchased?

Thank you dear Linda for your speedy response! You've placed me on the edge of something I do long to know!

Your sister in Christ,

__________________________________________________________________

____________,

Appreciate your analytical mind. It is the one God gave you as a sorting house for tremendous ways to look at alternatives... Our mind is the first thing that makes us awaken to ourselves and in turn to who we are in and as Christ. But never forget our HEART IS FIXED..... That's the great news and it is with our hearts that we believe unto righteousness. First and foremost know this; "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, OLD things have passed away, behold ALL things have become new. That means you are the very same person now that you were when Satan lived as you. But now that Satan is out and Christ is in there are now new redeemed purposes for you.

Christ has now come to live in your redeemed flesh, a flesh who can be in touch with the world in which it lives.... and identify with the very people you love.

Just imagine Jesus eating and drinking with sinners.... and the Pharisees hating it. Just imagine how Jesus brought the sword when he healed on the Sabbath and went into the temple tearing it apart and telling the Rabbi's they were 'of their father the devil.' I don't think he looked very loving and Godlike.

As far as pleasure goes, what do you mean? All things are new and that includes pleasure.

What if you did eat a whole pan of sweet rolls? Is that a sin?. It may be to one yet not to another.

Leave the conviction of what sin is to the one whose office it is to convict of sin............. THE HOLY SPIRIT> You need not be your Holy Spirit nor anyone else’s.


Write soon, and lets don't give up on you being with us. Open it to the Lord. Lets see what He says.