Tag : sin

What is Freedom? by Mayada Naami

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh]; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

(Galatians 5:13, NIV)

In Galatians 5:13, we are told to use our freedom to love and humbly serve one another, rather than indulge in the flesh. In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit of God called Satan. Eve indulged in the flesh thinking she would get more than what God already provided for her. That is how the enemy deceives us still today. He tells us we are missing out on something that God is withholding from us. That’s a lie Satan wants us to believe and if we believe it, we will never have peace. We will always pursue things to satisfy our flesh, and those who are living in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.  

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

(Romans 8:5-8, NIV)

We were bound by sin and now we are called to freedom. We are freed by Christ. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will not leave you nor forsake you, but He will let us go if we choose to sin (separate ourselves from God) like Adam and Eve chose to do. God allows us to choose. He does not control us. He gave Adam and Eve His own authority over all things when He created the world. I believe that if we are in a deep relationship with Him and go to Him for every conflict and every lie the enemy tries to tell us, we can walk in confidence knowing that the father of lies has no power or authority over our lives. That was God’s will from the beginning, and He never changes. We were created in His image, and He is consistent and does not participate in evil.

Before the fall, Adam and Eve were in perfect relationship with God. They had no fear, no depression, and no anxiety. There were no murders, no sickness, no jealousy, and no envy until Eve doubted God’s Word and she chose to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She also gave the apple to someone else, in this case, Adam. Adam was influenced by Eve, who was deceived by Satan. Still today, we see this pattern in many of our modern-day relationships. We were created by God for relationship—first to be in relationship with Him—and then to one another. Satan wants to come between us and our Creator. He wants us to turn away from God and turn toward him. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God delegated back to man his God-given authority that Adam and Eve had yielded to Satan in the Garden of Eden. Jesus authorized His disciples and all believers to go out in the world in His name and use His power—His love—to defeat the enemy. Our authority and dominion have been restored in Jesus. We are free from bondage when we do not indulge the “flesh” and serve one another humbly in love.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

(Galatians 5: 16-21, NIV)

Categories: Blog

Are You Saved? By Mayada Naami

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NIV).

What does it mean to be saved? I never understood that term until I experienced the power of the Holy Spirit for the first time at 42 years old. For the first time, in my brokenness, I surrendered control and submitted my will to His. It was then He spoke to me, not audibly, yet I distinctly heard His voice. In John 10:27, Jesus says His sheep will know His voice and follow Him. That day I started following Him.

It was the beginning of my relationship with Jesus, and because of Him, I was set free from condemnation. When He spoke, He created my new life, a life where I am freed from the penalty of sin and in death, free from the presence of sin. As Christians, contrary to what some people believe, being “saved” does not give us permission to sin. For me it means I am committed to staying near my Shepherd, and when I wander away, I will listen for His voice and find my way back. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Whoever is committed to sin, commits sin. Whoever makes allowances for sin is a slave to sin and is in bondage. The good news is that Jesus came to set us free. We don’t need to be enslaved by guilt or shame; we can repent—change our mind—about our commitment to sin and rejoice in our salvation.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

(John 10:27-30, NIV)

Soon after Peter was empowered, he preached his first gospel message saying “repent” (which means to change your mind), be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit. It is that simple. As believers, the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each of us for some benefit. We are all parts of one body, the body of Christ. We are all baptized into one body and made to drink of one Spirit. This faith preserves the life of God in our souls. In Acts 1:8, Jesus says you will receive power when (not if) the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be His witnesses to all the ends of the earth, We are called to witness and rejoice in the power of the Holy Spirit, and to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When a person repents of their sin and believes in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit enters their heart, and the believer is spiritually united with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They become part of the body of Christ and Christ lives in them. What a beautiful gift available to us all!

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.

(1 Corinthians 12:12-18, NIV)

Categories: Blog

The Fall by Mayada Naami

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.”

(1 Timothy 2:11-15, ESV).

We live in a world full of lies and deceit. Our sinful human nature makes it too easy to succumb to the lies of the enemy. Eve, in the garden of Eden, was the first person to fall prey to the lies, and unfortunately Adam did not do his part in protecting his woman. He was not strong, watchful or stand firm in the faith. He did not act like the man God created him to be. Adam’s role was to provide, protect and lead. He allowed Eve to take control of the situation. We find this to be very common in today’s relationships.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong(1 Corinthians 16:13, NIV).

Both men and women have difficulty understanding their role. It takes commitment and surrender to God’s order to come to a place of true understanding. The godly man understands and sees the woman as a weaker vessel to honor, respect and cherish. The word “weaker” can cause great offense in our modern world. As Christians, we understand the dynamics at work which are totally at odds with worldly viewpoints. It simply means the man has the greater responsibility to set the tone for the relationship and to put her first before all but God. The woman will respond positively to a man that protects her from any imminent danger. The harmonious relationship that God created between the first man and woman was broken by sin. If Adam would have protected Eve and forbid her from eating the apple, as God had directly commanded him, we would not be living in a fallen world. According to Romans 5, verse 12-14, it was Adam who bore the primary responsibility to obey, and it was his disobedience that brought sin and death into the world.

My prayer today is for all men and women to submit their will to God, live in harmony and be obedient to God, the Father.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned–To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come(Romans 5:12-14, NIV).

Categories: Blog