Will Our Suffering Forbidden Lusts Ever Go Away?

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Hi R____,

Thank you for your question, and thank you for this very informative bit of information you have given us about the root meaning of the word ‘lust’. This is a very instructive opportunity you have given us all with your honest and open question concerning your own struggles against “the lust of the flesh”.

You ask:

Being 64 years old and having been a slave to my own lusts for the better part of these 64 years, I am happy to be able to inform you that I have been exactly where you are and that I too, came to my “wits’ end” (Psa 119:21-31) before being granted domination over those ‘suffering’ lusts.

You ask, ‘Do they go away?’ The short answer is that as long as you and I are in bodies of “corruptible flesh [ which] cannot inherit the kingdom of God”, those lusts will be ever present. But I can honestly and joyfully also report to you that the spirit of Christ is growing within you, and that spirit will continue to grow until the very thought of succumbing to those lusts and committing those “trespasses and sins” will literally nauseate you to the point of rejecting that evil spirit before it can bring forth that evil fruit.

But I must be as honest with you as you have been with me, and I must also tell you that ‘falling seven times’ and coming to see our own helplessness against our inward beast is a life- long process that is all necessary and essential to bring us to cry out to our Lord:

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

It is obvious that Paul had the same passions and lusts with which you and I suffer. But for this very reason our Lord tells us this:

Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

This is a life- long struggle, but is not unique to you or me. It is “common to [ all] men”

Act 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We [ Paul and Barnabas] also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
Jas 5:17 Elias [ Elijah] was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

While we are crying out “O wretched man that I am!”, Christ is still faithful and is still there within those in whom He has placed a desire to please Him over all other desires. We will fail “seven times” until we realize that we have nothing to do with our deliverance. But we have this incredible promise to those who are granted to understand that they are but “common” men called out of this world by a very uncommon and loving heavenly Father:

1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

“That ye may be able to bear it” does not say ‘that you may be able to avoid it’. As you have heard me say so many times, that “way of escape” is not through a ‘rapture’ away from God’s wrath upon that suffering “old man… [ that] first man Adam” but it is rather through his destruction, through the Red Sea, through the fiery furnace, through the lion’s den, through the death of the cross and through being “crucified with Christ” that we escape “the body of this death” (Rom 7:24).

As hard as it is for us to believe, Christ identifies with us ‘while we are yet in our sins’ to the point that He comes into us in these bodies of sinful flesh, and ‘while we were yet in sins’ He died for us, so that we, with Him in our flesh, can fill up what is behind of his afflictions as the trespass offering which He, as our “without sin… sin offering”, could not fulfill until He came in our sinful flesh. That is why we are told that we are now “of His flesh, and of His bones”. Now He is dying in us and “filling up what was behind of His afflictions”.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

A savior ‘suffers for’ and ‘dies for’ those He loves. You and I are to be ‘saviors’, so we too, must ‘suffer in our flesh, for His body’s sake, which is the church.

Oba 1:21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.

We cannot deny that He is living within us even as we are “dying daily” to our passions and lusts. It is through Him living within us that we are able to “die daily” (1Co 15:31). “We are of His flesh and of His bones” (Eph 5:30):

1Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

The orthodox Christian world denies that Christ came in a body of sinful flesh “the same… as the children” of Abraham.

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of [ sinful] flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Christ came in a body of sinful flesh, yet He never sinned. He never committed a single trespass. Now, as “His body… the church”, He has come in the flesh of that body, and it is through these bodies of sinful flesh that we fill up His afflictions as the trespass offering of “Jesus of Nazareth” which we are.

Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Act 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

“We are… His flesh”. Yes, of course Christ came in a body of flesh which was “the same [ as] the children” but He has also come “a second time without [ a body of] sin, unto salvation” into these bodies of sinful flesh which are you and I, as “Jesus of Nazareth”, now able to be a ‘trespass offering” as well as a ‘sin offering’ “which knew no sin.”

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

If Christ’s second appearing is “without sin” and “to them that look for Him”, then how did He come the first time but in a body which was “the same [ as] the children, corruptible flesh”, which did not see corruption only because it was raised from the dead before it could decay?

The work Christ is performing is a two- stage work involving His literal death on the cross as well as our ‘dying daily’ death in these bodies of sinful flesh and blood. This two- stage work is twice revealed to us in the offering of the scapegoat and in the offering of the two birds for the cleansing of the leper.

Lev 14:50 And he shall kill the one of the birds in an earthen vessel [ Christ in an earthly, Adamic body of flesh] over running water:
Lev 14:51 And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, [ you and me, if we are “in Christ”] and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times:
Lev 14:52 And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet:
Lev 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD [ Christ], and the other lot for the scapegoat “His Christ].
Lev 16:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
Lev 16:10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. [ We too, as the trespass offering, must die. But as Christ’s scapegoat, we must “die daily, [ and] fill up in our bodies what is behind of the afflictions of the Christ, for His body’s sake which is the church” (Col 1:24).

The cleansing and the atonement are not made with only one bird or one goat, but both “the living bird” and the scapegoat “make an atonement with” our Lord, as “His Christ”.

Rom 4 makes this clear when we know that the word translated as ‘for’ in this verse is the Greek word ‘dia’ meaning ‘through’. Christ and His Father work by and through His body which is the church.

Rom 4:25 Who was delivered for [ Greek, dia, ‘through’] our offences [ our trespasses], and was raised again for [ Greek – dia, ‘through’] our justification.
Act 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

I will close with Paul’s own answer to the question he posed earlier. Here is how you will overcome lust and all the sins in your life. You, yourself will first be brought to know beyond any shadow of a doubt that you cannot “make war with the beast”. But after that lesson is learned by experience, then you too, can say with the apostle Paul:

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

It is “through Jesus Christ our Lord” that you will one day be make physically sick at the very thought of giving in to the lusts and passions that once gave you flesh such momentary and deadly pleasures, and “through” Him “sin shall no long have dominion over you”, but you will have dominion over that sin.

Be patient, that day is coming. When it gets here, you will know peace of mind like you have never known before:

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

Those two verses work together for our good.

Your brother in your struggles,

Mike

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