22 Nov 2012

Obsessed With Sin

Submitted by theshovel
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Christians everywhere have been begging for relief from their obsession with sin. Why, if we have been set free in Christ, are we still plagued with the same repeating cycle of sin? Does it mean we are not really saved? Does it mean we haven’t truly dedicated ourselves to Christ? Does it mean we simply haven’t found the needed Biblical principle to overcome our sin? Then again, what if our attempts at trying to fix our sin problems have been the very thing that keeps it going? Whoa! Is it possible?

ShovelAudio: Obsessed With Sin

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Sidebar: Warming up

Download: Warming up


”..yet in Paul's example, or in his crying out.., well that was the reality of God working in him..' - Adam


theshovel's picture

Yes, that is powerful!! :)

Thanks Jim and Adam, my vision has been very covered up lately and this helped me see again tonight. :)

theshovel's picture

Nathaniel, I am so gladdened to hear of this effect our audio is having! Thanks.


Wonderful.  It's strange: every time I hear you guy speak about the life of Christ it feels brand new.  It's like an oasis I come across every week or two.  Many thanks for taking the time, guys.


theshovel's picture

This is wonderfully encouraging! There is indeed a newness to the message of Christ's life, for it is constantly renewing itself in us. :)


All the time I was listening to this audio I kept thinking about the beginning when God said every thing was good. And at the time He said this He was fully aware of the serpent waiting to challenge what He had told Adam and Eve. Not only was He aware it was and is part of what He said was Good. I know this dosent go along with church doctrine that says God cant quite keep things togeather. Never the less it is true any way. Nothing has ever taken God unawares or blind sided Him. Christ Gods word is the answer to all things that may ever happen. I to have also listened to the many who say that is just to simple how could it work? I always say i dont always have an answer to that I only kmow it does. And as always you guys bring this out in your audios. Where two or three are gathered in my name I am there. For all with ears to hear the simplicity of the gospel or good news it is just the grace of God that is in Christ and you two brothers bring this out wonderfully. Thanks.

Thank you David!! Adam

'..God said every thing was good. And at the time He said this He was fully aware of the serpent waiting to challenge what He had told Adam and Eve. Not only was He aware it was and is part of what He said was Good.'

Wow, you blew my mind away.

I understand about a believer who makes the mistake in fighting against sin in their life by trying to follow more rules to get better. Staying true to follow more rules to stop a sin will cause more frustration, the sin will not really go away as you are just holding yourself back from sinning with rules. Soon you will sin again. That is understandable and its what you and Adam talk about. And its only through seeing your life in Christ is when you really see that you are died to sin and alive in him. However, me and other believers I hang out with see in a more common problem that relates to your Obsessed with Sin discussion. What about the Christian who has sin in their life, there is no doubt about it, and the sin is obvious to her friends in school and youth class at church, but that christian person says, ‘I don’t feel guilty about what you call as sin, its not sin to me, and if it seems sinful to you then you got a problem with legalism, and besides what you call sin, well, God took those so called sins away when I accepted Christ as my Savior. You got a problem with legalism, and you guys need to be set free.’ Geezz, I just cannot believe that much freedom my friend has could continue and she feels okay about it. I seems something is not right but she seems to go about her life okay. I must have a lot of law in my life because I just can’t believe that much grace could be for real. I am not jealous of her or bitter. We still talk. I just don’t see how she can continue as she does. I know I am free in Christ too, and I don’t go around condemned when I sin. But when something doesn’t feel right I just desire to move away from that heavy sinful restless, feeling. Its my desire to change not a rule to follow. And then, I wonder if I am just missing out? (Lets just say my friend is attractive and she likes to date around a lot.) - Confused about too much grace, I think

“What about the Christian who has sin in their life..?”

What you seem to be tackling here regarding your friend is nothing more than appearances, but the heart is what is fundamental.

Considering the experience of Paul I found the same to be true for myself. For in the midst of my apparently sinful, or fleshly, behaviour I realised that I am not the one performing those deeds, and that I am not at all dependent or related to my flesh. I am not my behaviour. For I was made able to recognize the fleshly mind that only appeared to control me through the law and also to HATE that same mind, thus coming to know that I am both outside of and unlike that mind. This realisation set me free, in a real way, to in fact be able to relate to the things of the flesh in peace, for I came to realised that since I am not in the flesh I can never be overcome, or controlled, by my flesh, though it may appear so to the eyes of others.

Even if that same said person is in fact doing fleshly things are we to conclude on the basis of their appearance that they have sin in their life? No, I am not saying that life in Christ is about pretending that people aren't appearing to do what they do, but neither it is about identifying them with that appearance, but rather about proclaiming the freedom from that same appearance. But when we say 'too much grace' we most probably imagine grace to be some sort of a concept or a perception, but grace is neither and it cannot be measured. Grace is the living motions of God in the inner being, or heart, of a person that lives through Jesus. It is therefore impossible that grace should promote the fleshly mind, for grace is the absence of the flesh. It is grace that allows for us to even recognize the fleshly mind and recognizing it to HATE IT, thus declaring that we are OUTSIDE of it and UNLIKE it. Those that have not received grace can neither recognize the fleshly mind nor hate it, for they are it and controlled by it. Grace, or the life of God in us, is not dependant upon appearance or perceptions, and it is in motion in the midst and in spite of all these things, consuming all things into itself and transforming all things according to itself, so that neither the things of the flesh, nor any other thing, can be said to be able to overcome it, for it lies outside of their spectrum and works them for its and ours own benefit. Even where the flesh abounds, grace abounds all the more.

The knowledge of sin comes through the law by which we recognize the deeds of someone as transgressing against what we assume ourselves to be. For if we identify ourselves with a particular rule, say 'you should not date, for you are supposed to be pure', then we are obligated by that identification to point out and condemn any seeming transgression, for those deeds that transgress against us are what cause us to become conscious of our own death and condemnation. We only end up projecting it upon others and blaming them for it, but through that judgement we judge ourselves, too.

You are obviously upset by your friend because her behaviour UNDERMINES something in your own mind. Freedom in Christ is not about words, as when saying “I know I am free”, but about the reality testified by those words. The law and the knowledge of sin are so interconnected that one is impossible without the other. You say ” I know I am free in Christ too, and I don't go around condemned when I sin.”, and yet these are contradictory things. For in Christ there is no knowledge of sin. You see it is in this declaration of the impossibility of sin that the fleshly mind would say 'What then? Are we to do whatever we want? ' or “What then? Are we to sin as we please?” but these questions can come only from that mind wherein the law is embedded, they cannot come from the mind of the absence of the possibility of transgression.

- georgi

theshovel's picture

My friend Georgi, this is an amazing testimony to the truth of the grace of God in Christ!  I am so encouraged to read what you've written. My desire is that our friend who had written and asked about "too much grace" will hear these words of life and freedom, for it is powerful.

Jim :)

Indeed Jim, these words are full of insight. Georgi I want you to be encouraged brother. Jim and I were speaking about you today and are very encouraged by your growing confidence int he Lord. I say “growing” and yet it was there all the time, it just needed to be confirmed in you! Stand firm.



Thanks for your sharing!




Oh my!!! Thank you Georgi and Jim for your reply. I read your responses this morning and I do not have time now to comment or ask questions but I will later. Thank you.

I wanted to clarify that when the appearance of the behavior of someone undermines something in my mind it is most certain that my mindset at that moment is founded upon appearances, too. Meaning also that the law is embedded into my mind at that time, for the law is proceeding from the appearances of the flesh, because therein are embedded boundaries originating from the possibility of dying.

I don't say that your friend may not be having issues with the flesh in her own mind, for from what she has said I believe that she does. But that from the mindset that concerns itself with appearances we cannot relate to anyone in a manner that would free them from the fleshly mind and give them life, but quite the contrary we will furthermore be caused to seek to bind them to that same mind and thus seek to kill them.  So, if we concern ourselves rather with the knowledge of ourselves as we are outside of appearances then surely no one would  transgress against us and cause us to become conscious of our death through stepping over a given boundary because of that one's actions. From within that freedom we are able to most sincerely relate to anyone and everything in a manner that gives life, though we may in fact be having to relate to dead things in our daily life. Rather than seeking to CHANGE the behavior of others and the circumstances of our own flesh in order to arrive at some sense of rightness and fleshly peace, we are able to abound in the peace of the absence of death in the midst of all these dead things, knowing Christ as our own inability to transgress and be caused to transgress, and our inability of becoming un-pure. We are free from the law precisely because we are by nature the fulfillment of the law in him. And it isn't that we don't already know that freedom, for it is obvious to us even now in the midst of a seeming bondage to perceptions originating from appearances. What else do we think causes us to experience such conflicts and confusion and doubt all the time in regards to such perceptions? For He interprets all things in us according to Himself, making us to know what the true difference is between living and dead things, between the holy and the profane, between the reality of power and the mere appearance of such; which is what wisdom is.

And if Christ sounds super-spiritual think again, for he appears to be anything but spiritual. For we live with doubts, with shame, with extreme confusion, with anger, with bitterness, with lack, with pain, with fatigue, with great weaknesses, with fears within and dangers without, in nervousness, in afflictions, in bondage, in exploitation, in destruction, in loneliness, in shivering at night, in the sweat of the day, in labor and toil, in strife, in introspection, in conflicts, in desperation, in depression, in war, in pollution, in hunger, in thirst, in dirt, in failure, in rejection, in necessities, in misunderstandings, in hopelessness, in grief, in isolation, in misery, without feelings of well-being and belonging, without comfort, without approval, without anything to set us up as examples of glory, of power, of success, of having worth, of knowledge, of love, of kindness, of humility, of joyfulness, of good behavior and good intentions, of purity, of sober mindedness, of responsibility. We are considered weak in him because he undermines in us the very basis upon which the world around pursues the appearance of significance.

I question whether we are upset chiefly by external things or whether in fact our beings are upset by the recognition of the hateful attempts of the fleshly mind to cause us to assume the untruth of faithlessness. Faith is not about perceptions and choices at all, it is the motions of the life of a new being in the midst of all things and all choices, which is Christ the origin of life of every thing that has life. For in the midst of the mind of the perceptions of appearances the testimony of the faith of him is made clear. So that we cannot not believe and we cannot make wrong choices.

Also I initially directed my writing towards you, though you posed questions about someone else. For the questions we pose about others reveal our own situation rather than that of those we appear to be questioning. The reason being that God designed us to be like him in that we relate to everything based upon the knowledge of ourselves, for we are the ones experiencing things according to what we understand ourselves to be, so that the power over us and our behaviors may not lie with created things or perceptions (for perceptions are part of the things relating to us), but with us in Christ our life in the midst of everything we may relate to. He is that power over dead things that consumes death and feeds life to us through it so that though we may be walking in the midst of death-dealing things we can never be stained by them.

theshovel's picture

Wow ... this post continues to grow! I love it! Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences, Georgi. :)


Still reading your comment. I am slow to understand but remaining objective as I read your comments over and over. What do you mean by “possibility of dying” (1st paragraph) and “seek to kill them” in paragraph 2. Do they refer to if you (I) relate to someone in the flesh as they are expressing themselves in the flesh then the outcome I project to them result in the flesh and this leads to death (law of sin and death}? Not sure?!?!!? - the confused one.
theshovel's picture

I would suggest that you — aka, "the confused one" — may be seeing much more that you imagine. :)

I also look forward to Georgi's answers.


The possibility of dying proceeds from the consciousness of being able to step over a boundary, the result of which is the expectation of having to die or be punished. It is this coming of face to face with your non-being through transgression. It is that expectation of torment or punishment referred to by John (1 John 4:18). The concept of hell and damnation proceed from this same consciousness. It is this same mind that holds in bondage the whole world. From it proceed also the universal understanding of God, Jesus, and everything else according to the flesh. This whole mindset is based upon the flesh, because in the flesh death is present. Consider how sin entered the world. Adam was given the law 'Do not eat'. Then he transgressed through that forbidden action and became conscious of the expectation of non-being that to this day defines the personality of his offspring. Listen to what people speak of and you cannot but notice that all they refer to all the time every day is this expectation of hopelessness; they have nothing else.

We end up destroying people if we proceed towards them on the basis of appearances because we inevitably proceed towards them according to the law. And so binding them to the law the desires of sin in the flesh are stirred up and these people inevitably end up transgressing the given law and thus become once more conscious of death through guilt, shame, fear, etc. We ourselves became conscious of the same, for they transgress against our minds, too. And so the law results in wrath, for we end up desiring in our minds the punishment of those who became the source of our expectation of death. Honest relationships are IMPOSSIBLE under the law. Hell sprang up from this mindset. Divisions, conflicts, strife, comparisons, vain boasting, flattery, hypocrisy, and every evil thing springs forth from this same mind.

But in Christ we can freely relate to anyone and anything without becoming conscious of death, for we know that he is the fulfillment of the law in us and we cannot sin or transgress or make wrong choices. We are no longer obliged to seek to change circumstances and the behaviour of those around us, for whatever they may be and do, - and I don't say we are obliged to pretend we like what they do either - they cannot cause us to transgress or become unclean. And I can testify that relating to people in this manner actually results in change for the better, whereas relating to them according to the law resulted for the worse, for not only did I deepen their relationship to the knowledge of the sin that dominated their behaviour, but divisions and hypocrisy were so prevalent that we ended up splitting up without remedy. Apart from the law I don't approve of the majority of the things people do. For being free from the law does not blind us to the reality of all things, it is what in fact allows for us to see clearly. Yet we don't go about imposing restrictions, though we can do that if we want and when necessary, but are now able to bear ALL burdens. And by burdens I mean the weaknesses of the fleshly minds of those infants of which the world around consists. For those that are in the flesh are infants since they are incapable of giving, but only of wanting. But giving is characteristic of those that have come to maturity, being able to give life and bear weaknesses, being forbearing and patient in all things and all sufferings, both ours and theirs. And we have come to maturity, for we are unable to die and can therefore relate to death without becoming stained, thus being able to impart life.

We are now free to listen, to care, to give, to share, to love, to be gentle, to show hospitality, for we have nothing more to find, nothing that we don't have. And the revelation of the things that have been freely given to us comes in us through what those in the flesh consider as unprofitable weakness. For what appears as loss is only gain to us, for Christ relates in us in such a life-revealing manner to our seeming necessities and weaknesses. The wantonness of these infants of the world always leads to abuse, so that they are unable to love. But where they think they gain, they lose, and where they think they take from us we only end up in the knowledge of the riches of the eternal glory of God that is reserved in its fullness for us.


man brother you said a mouthful and I for one enjoyed every word.thank you.


Thank you, Dave. I regret that I oftentimes speak in a hurry, for I wish to spend more quality time on reading and writing in regards to our life, making use also of simpler language as opposed to my current way of expression that is confusing even to me.

I forgot to say, I believe your friend is also entangled in the law, despite saying things such as ‘You got a problem with legalism, and you guys need to be set free.’, for those words do in fact reveal the law as present, rather than testifying to its absence. Instead of engaging yourselves in fruitless discussions by attempting to justify that mindset of the knowledge of transgressions that can only result in division, recognise rather the freedom from that same mind which freedom is in fact revealed in the midst of the seeming bondage to the law. That with which we are in conflict is what we are fundamentally differing from.
theshovel's picture

I believe your friend is also entangled in the law, despite saying things such as 'You got a problem with legalism, and you guys need to be set free.', for those words do in fact reveal the law as present, rather than testifying to its absence.

This is also what I sense when I read the post, and I love how you picked up on it. A heart that is recognizing the freedom of Christ simply doesn't speak with such arrogance. I'm not necessarily questioning whether this person has been given new life, merely that her words come across as self-justifying and defensive. Whatever is going on with her, I suspect that her own sense of guilt (yes, guilt) has driven her to find an easy way to dismiss any dialog. Don't be fooled by the claims people make, but instead listen with the ears of life.


Yea, at the very least we are all  of us very well acquainted with the mind from which such words may proceed, for at the very least most of us have spent many years in it.  I myself have used the same words to justify my fleshly mind in light of the guilt I experienced by trying to live according to a fleshly perception of what freedom in Christ is. It only made me aware of that fleshly self-righteousness that comes through the attempts of appearing 'free' or 'alive' or 'Christ-like' or 'right'.
And when someone questioned my justification and my behavior I immediately pointed out my fleshly concepts that I used to back up the things I seemingly was moving in accordance to. Basically, it revolved around words and learned biblically sounding terminology, none of which I even understood at the time in light of the truth that is living and active in Christ. So, I believe for this reason that the same said person is entangled in the same mindset. But in view of what was written above, so also are those around her who supposedly are offering 'solutions' that are all proceeding from the mind of the knowledge of transgressions.

I was released from the bondage to this mind in the very midst of that bondage, so that 'through the law I died to the law so that I might live to God'. So that rather than seeking freedom, recognize that freedom is already self-evident in the midst of its seeming absence.

theshovel's picture

I was released from the bondage to this mind in the very midst of that bondage, so that 'through the law I died to the law so that I might live to God'. So that rather than seeking freedom, recognize that freedom is already self-evident in the midst of its seeming absence.

Georgi, God's wisdom shows through this! The fleshly mind recoils at the idea that freedom is found in the midst, but this is how we have learned Christ. big smile


Another fine job editing these audio's my friend!




PS: I hear a rumor that a Shovel Video program may be in the works! I will be looking out for it in the next few months! wink



theshovel's picture

I am working at it as we speak ... though I'm having to do some geeky setup that's causing me a bit of a problem. boom Be looking for it, though.


theshovel's picture

Progress is going well on the upcoming Shovel-Video recording setup. So far, what I've had to do is to purchase a copy of — heaven forbid lol — Windows 7 in order to utilize one of the numerous video programs made to work with Microsoft's operating systems. [For those who don't know, I've been running versions of Ubuntu (Linux) since 2006. Unfortunately, while I've been using an excellent audio recording program, I've found no decent solution for recording video under Linux. So I've been forced to install Windows on a separate hard drive in hopes that one of the many Skype video recording programs might produce a decent file.

Yesterday, I downloaded and installed a 4th program ... and I think I finally hit gold. Now, I've only been able to experiment and produce one recording with this program so far, and it was on my own network with my granddaughter on her laptop (Adam wasn't available at the time), but it came out amazingly clear, and more importantly, the audio was totally in sync with the video!! clap Right now, I only have the trial version, as the full version runs about $100, but it's the only one that's produced anywhere near a good recording. BTW, the program is called VODBurner.

Anyhow, after Adam and I do some more testing, I should have a much better idea as to whether this will be the start of the Shovel-Video files on YouTube! :)


Jim or whoever it is, Thank you for typing out the audios. It's great to read what I have heard. - Nergo

theshovel's picture

You are welcome, my dear friend Nergo. Yes, I am the one who is typing all of these notes. I am glad you are finding them beneficial. I still have quite a few more of the earlier audio scripts to add. At the same time, I also realized that I needed to go back and add in some helpful keywords and tags that cause the related links to show up in various categories.


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