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How a revolutionary gospel changed my life: part II

A personal decision to believe in the gospel of victory over sin makes life exciting. Every single day has an effect. Every single day brings progress.

At the same time that Phil was receiving personal revelations into this new gospel, he was continuing his education and was by this time a student-pastor. He tried to share what he was learning with others there, but it was not well-received. He discovered that most people were comfortable and secure in their gospel of “Jesus did it for us” and were not looking for anything beyond the forgiveness of sins and good deeds. But that was not good enough for Phil.

“The idea that ‘we are all sinners; there’s not much we can do about that, but God is forgiving and He sees us through Jesus as if we hadn’t sinned’ never sat well with me. As a child I understood that the way to keep a connection with Jesus was through a good conscience, and when I sinned, I felt condemnation. I never found peace and joy and a good conscience in forgiveness for sins alone.”

Learning how to be a true disciple

“For example, now for the first time I was hearing verses such as these read in a church: ‘I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?’ Job 31:1. And: ‘But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her had already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sinTo commit sin is to consciously do something that you know goes against God’s will. This can be in word, deed, or even thought. (James 1:14-15)... More, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.’ Matthew 5:28-29. These are Jesus’ own words, and the zeal in them is a far cry from being resigned to not being able to do anything about it and resting in the laziness of forgiveness without even trying not to give in to sinTo commit sin is to consciously do something that you know goes against God’s will. This can be in word, deed, or even thought. (James 1:14-15)... More because that was not possible. Yet, this was all that I had been taught up to then.

“But now I was learning that it was possible to take that lust and, by the strength of God, fightAlmost all talk of battles and wars when concerning a Christian life refers to the inner battle that arises when a sinful thought tempts you. God’s Spirit and the flesh are at odds. When you have decided to only do God’s will and are being led by the Spirit, a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit arises: there is... More against it and never give in until victory was won. Just as Jesus did when He was a young person, and thereby follow in His footsteps and become an actual discipleA disciple is another word for a follower of Christ, one who is learning to be like his Master. As a disciple you follow Jesus Christ, who is the Master and by living like Him you become more like Him. (Matthew 16:24; 1 Peter 2:21-22)... More of Jesus. (Matthew 16:24) Not just a so-called believer and follower, but a disciple, meaning one who wants to be like Him. I learned that to do so I had to take up my cross and suffer daily, in order for sin not to be allowed to live. (Luke 9:23-24) But this sufferingThe Bible often mentions suffering. Though this can refer to outward, physical suffering, in the New Covenant it mostly applies to the suffering that occurs when you deny your own sinful lusts and desires and put them to death. It is an inner suffering that occurs because your lusts are not being satisfied, rather than a physical, outward one –... More leads to life and to joy, and this doctrine went into my heart. It made all the difference in the world to me. That I could believe the Bible, the Word of God, just as it’s written, and that I could do the Word of God, and that I could become as the Word of God. This was something entirely new! This was the great mystery of Christ manifested in the fleshThe “flesh” is all of the sinful desires/temptations/lusts, etc. that dwell in human nature. It is the source of temptation, and nothing good dwells there. (Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 7:18; Galatians 5:24; Romans 8:5) Other phrases meaning the same as the flesh include: the body of sin, sinful human nature, fallen human nature, sinful nature, fallen nature The term “flesh” can... More.”

Phil’s testimony

“It has been many years since I first heard this revolutionary gospel, that victory over sin“Victory over sin” means that you do not commit conscious sin – that which you know would be sin at that time when you are tempted. It doesn’t mean that you are without sin, but that temptation is overcome before it can become sin. (Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Revelation 2:7)... More is not only true, but that it is possible, and it changes the lives of those who choose to believe in it and give up everything to become a true disciple of Jesus. It has had a tremendous impact on my life.

“I’m happy to report that I made the decision to believe in the gospel of victory over sin in my youth, and looking back now, I’m only tremendously thankful that I made that decision. I can look back over many years and see that my life has been transformed. When I look back it is exciting, because I can see that there has been a development! This is a life that changes you daily. Every single day has an effect, because every day sin – the lusts of the fleshThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More – is dying; it’s put to deathIs to overcome the temptations to sin that arise when our lusts and desires draw us to react in ways we know to be evil (i.e. pride, hatred, evil-speaking, envy etc.) It is the act of denying those thoughts and refusing to agree with them. The lust to sin is not only suppressed, but it actually dies. (Romans 8:13; Colossians... More on the crossWhen the cross is mentioned in the Bible, it most often does not refer to a physical wooden cross, except when specifically describing Jesus’ crucifixion on Calvary. “Taking up your cross” refers to the metaphorical cross that Jesus’ speaks about in Luke 9:23. “Taking up your cross” is the act of denying the sinful thoughts that come up in you... More. And that’s not the end of the story; that’s only the beginning!

“The good part is that now there is room in this vessel that we have, our flesh and blood, for the virtues of Christ! We partake of those more and more, day by day, and so it grows in us. The Bible speaks about the height and width and depth and knowledge of Christ, and instead of being a theory, and something to discuss, I can say that I have experienced that. There is rest and peace in my life that wasn’t there before.

“Even when the situation itself is not restful and not peaceful, I, by the grace of God and use of the gospel, can remain in rest and peace! I can feel that tangibly in many areas of my life. For example, honor of man, love of money, lust of the eyes. I can see a huge difference from even ten years ago. And every day that rest increases.

“One place I have really noticed a change is that the empathy and love that I have for mankind in general have grown dramatically. I see how sad it is when people have everything that they need materially, but do not have joy and peace inside. The spirit of fear and anxiety seems to have gripped this generation; they are fearful and anxious of everything! I have to say that because I have practiced the Word of God and believed in this gospel, fear and anxiety have no power over me.

“I thank and praise God that this gospel is real. It’s been tested and tried, and I can say that it works. It’s worth it to give up everything for this calling. But it doesn’t work if you do not give up everything. If you just go to church and do good deeds, but that’s all you do. It’s when you give your own life as a complete sacrifice to God and are willing to put your own will, your own ego, your own lustsThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More to death, and let God do a new work in you, that you experience a tremendous yield from that. Then you partake of a tremendous blessing. Use the death of ChristThis most often refers not to the physical death Christ died on the cross of Calvary, but to the death of the lust to sin in His human nature, which task He fulfilled while He lived on earth as a human being. (2 Timothy 2:11; 2 Corinthians 4:10; Philippians 3:10; Romans 8:3)... More to put all your lusts to death, believe in the gospel, and follow His footsteps. Your yearning to have more patience, more goodness, more love, more care, more longsuffering, will be fulfilled. You will sense those virtues are part of your very body. You’ll partake of His divine nature, so that it becomes your nature also.

“My prayer is that this grows day by day, until the last day when we become like the Savior of our soul. That’s what we want. Those of us who have that yearning, we want to be like Jesus. We don’t just want to be good people: just church-goers. We want to be like Jesus. And we have found the way to life and happiness.”

Read part 1 of Phil’s journey to the truth here.

Key teachings

Explore how God’s Word challenges and empowers us to live 100% according to His will, so we no longer need to fall in sin, but can come to a life of victory.

I am crucified with Christ
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I Am Crucified With Christ

This booklet is based on Paul’s words in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me …” Here Elias Aslaksen explains what this means and how the reader can have the same testimony as Paul in their own life.

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