Dr. C. S. Lovett’s
MARANATHA FAMILY NEWSLETTER
STEPPING UP TO MATURITY
Many years ago I appeared as a guest on a Christian television program. I took an obvious truth and presented it in a little different way, and the host was shocked:
“Did I hear you correctly, Dr. Lovett? Did you just say it was NORMAL for Christians to sin?”
You should have seen the look on his face. He forgot all about his audience, so intent was he on discovering if I had made a slip or not. But if you are one who reads my books, you’re used to the way I say things. I don’t purposely try to be shocking. That’s just the way the Holy Spirit processes truths through my mind. The truths aren’t different, they just sound different.
We were discussing why believers sin so often. We all fall short of being what we should be, but to have it stated as NORMAL—may be shocking. Yet the apostle John comes right out and says, "lf we say we don't sin, WE LIE..." (1 John 1:10). Somehow, we don't mind if John speaks bluntly. But when we apply the word NORMAL, it's shocking!
LOOK AT IT THIS WAY
Here are a mother and father teaching their little one to walk. Daddy squats down holding out his hands. "Come to daddy,” he says. Mommy steadies the child for a moment and then let’s go. He balances himself for a moment. His foot moves forward and then, "boom," down he goes. Now let me ask, "Is anyone shocked at that?" No. Daddy simply picks him up and they try again. Then down he goes once more. That's normal. A lot of falls are yet to come.
What would be abnormal is for the little child to walk perfectly across the room. That would shock everyone. Yet that seems to be what we expect of Christians. We want them to walk the moment they're born again. And at that stage, they are nothing more than infants—spiritual infants.
But back to the dad. When his toddler tumbles, does he run and grab a notebook to write down all those falls? Is he keeping a record of his son’s failures? Of course not. All that matters is that his child finally learns to walk. And so it is with God.
SO IT IS WITH THE CHRISTIAN
The new believer is a spiritual baby. He's going to sin OFTEN before he comes to a level of maturity. God knows it. Of course, He hates sin, but He uses it. He dislikes the devil too, but He uses him. The truth is, God has purposely provided us with an enemy skilled in leading us into error and making us sin. Why? He knows our greatest lessons come through our failures. So it is no shock to God when we sin. He knows our strength builds as we resist Satan's assaults.
Sin is as much a part of our growth process as falling down is a part of learning to walk. Therefore, God has provided for confession and constant cleansing by the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7,9). Those who think sin is abnormal for the believer simply don't understand God's program for bringing His sons to maturity.
When I entered high school years ago, I somehow made an enemy of a bully. He delighted in taunting me. He would wait for me after school. I was either too stupid or too stubborn, but I took a lot of beatings from him. A neighbor down the street was a professional boxer. He showed me a few things about bobbing and weaving and slipping punches. I began to practice with his techniques to see if I could learn to defend myself. Fortunately, I was able to avoid the bully for a few weeks before he caught up with me. When he did, I whipped him. That was the turning point. From then on, he bothered me less and less.
THAT DAY AWAITS US
God doesn't want us cringing before the devil. At the same time, He knows we're no match for him in the baby stage of our Christian life. We live in a situation that guarantees we will sin. But God expects us to mature in this situation and turn into first-class fighters of evil. He expects us to learn how to overcome Satan's suggestions and reach the place where we start winning more battles than we're losing. When that day comes, we make a dramatic turn toward the likeness of the Lord.
WHY IS IT LIKE THIS?
Christians sin because they have two natures. The unbeliever has one nature. When we are born to our parents, we receive the carnal nature which Paul calls the "old man" (Eph. 4:22). When we are saved, we receive a new nature from God which is called the "new man" (Eph. 4:24). However, having the new nature does not make one an adult in Christ. That new nature has to grow and develop (Heb 5:12-14).
Consider the "old man." He's been around for years. Even if a person is saved at 12 years old, his old nature enjoys a 12-year head start. That gives him an advantage over the baby "new man." He is accustomed to dominating the believer's life and that tends to make him a bully. He won't give up that powerful influence without a fight (1 Cor. 10:13). Christ’s indwelling presence in us does not give automatic victory over the old nature, because we don't know how to use the power that's in us. So until the "new man" gains strength, that "old man" continues to dominate the believer's life.
Though they have Jesus and the new nature, they still find money, sex, family, and fame alluring, because of the old nature's powerful influence. Therefore, Christians get angry, worry, become jealous, bitter and resentful, and permit evil scenes in their imaginations.
THE TRAGEDY OF CHRISTIANITY
Now it's true that when people are newly saved, there is a brief "honeymoon" period when they seemingly make progress. There is a flash of growth, but it doesn't last long. The tragedy of Christianity is that the bulk of God's people never seem to grow beyond the first flush of salvation. Yes, they may get the church habit, going once or twice a week, but their lives don't change.
It's probably safe to say that 80% of God's people do not grow after the bloom of salvation has faded. They remain the same year after year because they haven't learned to battle the old nature. They will be sorry. For unless a believer gets serious and goes to work to build up the "new man" and learns how to stand up to Satan's bully, he will not change into the likeness of the Lord. And that's the whole point of our being here as far as God is concerned (Eph 4:13).
THE FUN OF VICTORY!
For those who say in their hearts, "I want to be like Jesus," and then go to work to equip themselves for battle—a great day awaits. Then comes the time when they finally put the devil to flight and put down the "old man." It's glorious to be an overcomer. And the prize—reigning with Christ—is worth having (Rev. 3:21). But the Christian life is not for sissies. It's a fight against sin all the way. And those who want to win must learn how to deliver a knockout punch to that "old man" and begin breaking his hold on their lives. That's when their lives start to change.
Which nature dominates your life? Think back over the past year and check. Do you have more patience, worry less? Are you sweeter to your spouse, pay your bills quicker, serve your employer more diligently, get angry a lot less, discipline your children more consistently, drive your car more considerately, and spend more time in God's Word? If you see little change in those areas, you can be sure your "new man" isn't growing.
You can change all that. However, you've got to fight. The very word "victory" means to win a battle. You learn how to subdue that old nature and that takes WEAPONS and the STRENGTH to USE them. It takes some knowledge to use them successfully.
HERE’S SOME HELP
My book, DEALING WITH THE DEVIL, offers powerful insights into our two natures and gives you the strategy needed to build your "new man," right up to the place where he can defeat that "old man" through Christ day after day. This is a badly neglected truth. I want you ready for the BIG EXAM; the final judgment. Besides, why should you allow Satan to ruin your future with Jesus!
The greater blessing comes when you equip yourself with these weapons and learn to use them. Think of the FUN it will be to turn the tables on Satan. When that happens, you’ll be on the way to. . .
VICTORY IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE!
C. S. Lovett
A PLAN FOR VICTORY: “Just spent some time reading DEALING WITH THE DEVIL. I’ve read it before, but I needed to read it again. Thank you for writing the book. It has an important message necessary for a victorious Christian life.” (T.L.—Canada)
WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE: “The book (DEALING WITH THE DEVIL) met my expectations and was a wealth of knowledge. Many modern-day Christians do not acknowledge the devil’s existence; therefore they are unable to war effectively with him. This book provided the necessary resources to deal effectively with the devil!!!!!” –online review by D. Thomas
YOUR MATERIALS WORK: “My wife and I would like to thank you for what your ministry has done in our lives. We have really come out of our shells as we have watched the Holy Spirit confirm our WITNESSING to others. This is what I have to say about your materials—they work! I used to spend months trying to argue with people but when I started using your ‘EASY’ methods, I saw results, because the Lord did the work.” (T.W.—AK)
WITNESSING MADE EASY: “This book is amazing. Lovett's writing style makes for easy reading—like you're listening to your dad explain something to you. This book is moving me and equipping me to really make a go of impacting God's kingdom as I go about my regular life.” –online review by S. St. Onge
Dr. Lovett’s best-selling book, DEALING WITH THE DEVIL, has been updated and revised for today’s readers. It is available on Amazon.com and sells for $14.99. Click HERE for more information.
WITNESSING MADE EASY has been newly revised in the 2019 edition and also contains suggestions for using your computer as a witnessing tool. It is available for purchase on Amazon.com for $14.99. Click HERE for information.
THE PREPARED LIFE book is a valuable resource for you and your family that can help you be prepared to deal with today's problems and end-times events. This book is available on Amazon.com and sells for $13.99 and is also available in Kindle form for $7.99 (new lower price). Click HERE for more information. You can also check with your bookstore to see if they can order these books for you.
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