Striving to Bridle The Tongue and Striving to Live Sinlessly


Source: unknown

Your word I have hidden in my heart,
that I might not sin against You.”
– Psalm 119:11 (NKJV)

“Let the Holy Spirit wash out your mouth with soap!”
– advice to a group by Dean – Dionysius, a Greek Pentecostal preacher

“There is nothing you have to fear more, hate more and avoid more, than your vices and sins. They should displease you more than whatever other injury you suffer.”
– Thomas A Kempis, The Imitation of Christ,
Book III: Internal Consolation
, Chapter IV: We Must Walk Before God in Humility and Truth

Source: translation of “De Navolging van Christus“, translated to Dutch by Dr. J.W. Schulte Nordholt (Amsterdam, De Arbeiderspers, 1954)


(Picture credits: fhm)


(Picture credits: outoftheoverflow)

Last night (31/01/2015) I was strongly convinced of sinning (especially with the tongue, which seems to be the easiest for me to sin with). It seemed as if God made clear to me, through His Holy Spirit, how people made in His image and He Himself get hurt by our filthy words (This is also the case for other sins.).

A bit in this way:

‘So I said:
“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.”
– Isaiah 6:5

God convinced me of some very strong Bible verses (some where added later to this list):

If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless

– James 1:26

With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.”
– James 3:9-10
(emphasis mine)

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
– 1 Corinthians 10:13 (emphasis mine)

‘Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
– James 1:13-15 (emphasis mine)

A clear example on the previous is the following:

(In my post on “Open Theism” I already wrote the following:)

(Context: in the previous part, the offer of Abel was accepted but Cain’s was not. That is why Cain is furious. He is jealous and wants to kill his brother.)

‘The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why ·do you look so unhappy [L has your face/countenance fallen]If you do things ·well [correctly; appropriately], ·I will [L will I not…?] accept you, but if you do not do them ·well [correctly; appropriately], sin is ·ready to attack you [L crouching at the door]. Sin ·wants [desires to control] you, but you must rule over it.”
Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out into the field.” While they were out in the field, Cain ·attacked [L rose up against] his brother Abel and killed him.
Later, the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
Cain answered, “I don’t know. ·Is it my job to take care of my brother [T Am I my brother’s keeper]?”
Then the Lord said, “What have you done? Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground’
– Genesis 4:6-10 (EXB, removed references to other Scripture passages, emphasis added)

Conclusion: The Bible does NOT teach Cain was destined to kill his brother! God WARNED him! The text seems to clearly indicate that there was another option!

For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
– 1 John 3:11-12 (emphasis mine)

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
– Matthew 5:21-24 (emphasis mine)

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
– James 1:19-20 (emphasis mine)

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
– Ephesians 4:29-31 (emphasis mine)


As Christians, we should not be at peace with our sins and let them conquer our thoughts, words and deeds. As Spirit-filled believers, sinning is not what we want.

For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
– Galatians 5:17 (emphasis mine)

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
– Galatians 6:7-8 (emphasis mine)


The previous verses are indeed strict passages. Remember that there is always a way back to God, by truly feeling sorry and true repentance, as it is written:

“Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
– 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 (emphasis mine)

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
– James 4:7-10 (emphasis mine)

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
– Ephesians 1:7 (emphasis mine)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
– 1 John 1:9 (emphasis mine)

Confess* your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
– James 5:16

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
– Romans 6:23 (emphasis mine)


So the battle against sin goes on! The next time you fail:
1. Feel sorry in a godly way** (2 Corinthians 7:9)
2. Have Godly repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9-11, Matthew 26:75)
2. Confess your sins to God (1 John 1:9).
3. Confess your sins to a brother in Christ* (James 5:16, Galatians 6:26).
4. Try to conquer that specific sin by submitting to God and walking in the Spirit, instead of your sinful habbit. (James 4:7-10, Isaiah 1:16, Galatians 5:16-18,22-25)
5. If you fail, go back to step 1, under the conviction of the Bible (Hebrews 4:12) and the Holy Spirit. (John 16:8-11)


I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another*.”
– Galatians 5:16-26 (emphasis mine)


* Accountability (best from two sides) to a brother, pastor, priest you trust can help you conquer sin! 🙂

The NKJV Extreme Study Bible (Copyright: Thomass Nelson Publishers)
includes a comment on James 5:16:
“Accountability can help you conquer areas you’ve been stuggling with.
People who have real accountability in their lives seem to grow faster than people who don’t. They work as a team and as a family to become more like Jesus. The Lord is pleased with relationships like that. (See for yourself: Proverbs 27:6,17; Romans 14:12; Hebrews 4:13)”


** Examples of sorrow in an ungodly way (all examples on that page are good)
Examples of sorrow in a godly way (the first example is not a good example here and Luke 5:8 was a form of true repentance but asking Jesus to leave is not a wise thing to do. Although we all do deserve that. I guess that’s called grace 🙂 )


“True saints will make it manifest that saintliness is their character, by their carefulness in avoiding sin. They will show that they hate sin in themselves, and that they hate it in others… They will not justify it in themselves, and they will not justify it in others… In short they aim at perfect holiness. I do not mean to say,” he adds, “that every true friend of God is perfect but if he is an affectionate and obedient child, his aim is to obey always.”
– Charles Finney, Lectures to Professing Christians (emphasis mine)



“But because my love is as yet weak and my virtue imperfect, I must be strengthened and comforted by You. Visit me often, therefore, and teach me Your holy discipline. Free me from evil passions and cleanse my heart of all disorderly affection so that, healed and purified within, I may be fit to love, strong to suffer, and firm to persevere.
– Thomas A Kempis, The Imitation of Christ,
Book III: Internal Consolation
, Chapter V: The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love (emphasis mine)

Source: “Imitation of Christ” on Christian Classics Ethereal Library.


Q & A:

What is sin? “Sin is lawlessness.” – 1 John 3:4b

What is temptation (1) and does it come from God (2)? Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. (1) But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. (2) Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
– James 1:13-15 (split and emphasis mine)

Is sinless living possible? I believe so, BY THE HELP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT though I have not reached it (yet) personally.
Some claim to have reached it already, “soli deo gloria” (glory to God alone) if what they say is true. Because they could not have reached it by themselfs.
Only BY THE HELP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, I believe, it is possible. (Matthew 19:26, Galatians 5:22-23)

Should a Christian try to live without sin or doesn’t it matter? We should always try to live without sin and try to obey the Holy Spirit. This wish should normally come automatically, if we see what Jesus has done for us.
Hardening is a process. Due to the deceitfulness of sin, our hearts can eventually get entirely hardened and we can even lose our salvation by hardening our consciences. (Hebrews 3:12-13) Sin is like a boa constrictor squeezing the (eternal) life out of you.
Repentance of sin is necessary to keep salvation. (Philippians 2:12-13) We should therefore not harden our hearts to the voice of the Holy Spirit (Read hebrews 3-4). It might even be that some who think they reached perfect sinlessness have hardened their hearts to the voice of the Holy Spirit and became so proud that they think they do not sin anymore. However, as I said before, may God bless those who have reached living sinless and may they remember that it was only possible because of what the Trinity has done (Soli Deo Gloria).

Are there consequences for our sins? Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” – Galatians 6:7-8 (emphasis mine)

Justin Martyr said: “If they repent, all who wish for it can obtain mercy from God: and the Scripture foretells that they shall be blessed, saying, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not sin “; that is, having repented of his sins, that he may receive remission of them from God; and not as you deceive yourselves, and some others who resemble you in this, who say, that even though they be sinners, but know God, the Lord will not impute sin to them. We have as proof of this the one fall of David, which happened through his boasting, which was forgiven then when he so mourned and wept, as it is written.”
– Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter CXLI [Read the story in 2 Samuel 2:12]

But Jesus sacrifice on the cross enough right…? Yes it is. He paid once and for all (Hebrews 10:10 and Hebrews 7:27). This does not mean we can do what we want. If we keep the faith, we will be saved (Hebrews 4:14-16). Giving up our faith and crucifying the Son again, won’t keep us inside of his salvation. (Read Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:29!). Scriptural faith is not merely a head knowledge, it includes obedience (See also Sola Fides, Synergism and Sola Deo Gloria). Wanting to obey is normal for a Christian. We should not get our hearts hardened (See question above the question above) by sinning. Receiving mercy (not having to go to the lake of fire,…) and grace (having a relationship with God through the sacrifice of Christ and through His Holy Spirit,..) does not mean the consequences of our sins don’t remain. See the above point and “Righteousness“. The biggest danger is keeping on hardening our hearts (See the next point).

What is the unforgivable/unpardonable sin?
I think this video might explain it well. (The only thing I’m not in favor of in this video, is replacing the Name Jesus for the name Yeshua.)


The preacher makes it clear that forgiveness of our sins requires repentance (Hebrews 4:14-16). The unforgivable sin comes from a continually unrepentant and continually hardened heart. Deceiving yourself in the Once Saved Always Saved lie (I don’t want to claim that all who believe in that false doctrine are lost), living without the fear of the Lord. But if you and I have godly sorrow unto repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9-11), “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:14-16 (emphasis mine)


It is worth repeating:

“True saints will make it manifest that saintliness is their character, by their carefulness in avoiding sin. They will show that they hate sin in themselves, and that they hate it in others… They will not justify it in themselves, and they will not justify it in others… In short they aim at perfect holiness. I do not mean to say,” he adds, “that every true friend of God is perfect but if he is an affectionate and obedient child, his aim is to obey always.”
– Charles Finney, Lectures to Professing Christians (emphasis mine)

“But because my love is as yet weak and my virtue imperfect, I must be strengthened and comforted by You. Visit me often, therefore, and teach me Your holy discipline. Free me from evil passions and cleanse my heart of all disorderly affection so that, healed and purified within, I may be fit to love, strong to suffer, and firm to persevere.
– Thomas A Kempis, The Imitation of Christ,
Book III: Internal Consolation
, Chapter V: The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love (emphasis mine)

Source: “Imitation of Christ” on Christian Classics Ethereal Library.


If you honestly feel like your aim is not to obey, you might be becoming hardened… I urge you to read the bottom of this article!

If you believe you cannot fall away from the faith, please read this article.


Read also the article “Christian Perfection“. Otherwise chances are great you will misunderstand me!

You can also misunderstand me if you don’t read “Anyone Form of Sin Persisted In is Fatal to The Soul” by Charles G. Finney!

Read also “The Nobody is Perfect Myth“!

Scripture version used: NKJV, copyright Thomas Nelson Publishers

Picture source Thomas A Kempis: Thomasakempiszwolle

Read also: “Will You resist Temptation?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s