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Counseling Victims to Freedom - Lesson 7

by Dr. Ray Self



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For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law but grace (Romans 6:14).

I. The issue of grace

  1. Joy, peace, rest, and victory are elements of grace
  2. Difficulty, defeat, and frustration are elements of a lack of grace
    1. If we would continue walking in the same way that we came in none of these problems will occur
    2. As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him (Colossians 2:6)
  3. The greatest change in life came at salvation
    1. This change came by simply believing
    2. If the big change came by believing why not continue the same way
  4. Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect in the flesh?(Galatians 3:3)
    1. When we were saved the Spirit of God did a work in us
    2. Do we so foolishly think that we can finish in our own ability
    3. Just as we cannot save ourselves, we cannot change by our own determination
  5. The need is not for us to become righteous but for that which is already in our spirits to manifest in our lives
II. The heart is where change happens
  1. When we were given a new spirit we were given a new heart
  2. Our heart is the center of our being
  3. Our heart is who we really are. It is our identity
  4. The heart is the place where who we are in the Spirit and who we are in the soul come together
  5. Our Spirit man can only be changed by God, but our heart can be changed by our thinking
  6. Our thinking must come into alignment with the Spirit of God
  7. Our heart was made new at salvation but our thinking and beliefs have corrupted our heart
    1. What we think and expose our selves to affects our heart
    2. As a man thinks in his heart so is he (Proverbs)
  8. The heart is the channel through which the life of the Holy Spirit reaches and affects our entire being
  9. When we get defeated it is not a condition of the Spirit but a condition of the heart
  10. The Spirit never looses its power, but our heart can feel defeated
III. We are destined to change
  1. Trying harder is not the answer
  2. Romans 8:29 - For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    1. If God predestined us then God will see to it that His plan for us will happen
    2. It is His plan not ours, His might not ours
    3. We have a inner need to be transformed & this need will always remain
  3. Inability masks
    1. When people are frustrated and unable to affect a change in their lives they will mask (hide or cover it) in many ways
      1. Suppression - stuffing, packing it away
      2. Self justification - excuses, explanations
      3. Criticism - pointing at others
      4. Legalism - rules, rigidity, structure, laws
      5. Depression - anger and frustration suppressed
    2. A mask hides the true self and offers temporary relief at best
  4. Unless believers receive the grace to change, their lives will be full of frustration
  5. Most Christians want to change but they fight a lifelong battle with the flesh
    1. This usually leads to a “works” mentality
    2. Remember it is by “Grace and not by works”
  6. Real victory beyond behavior and performance
    1. Right behavior does not work for long if the craving to act another way is still around
    2. Real victory is not walking away from sin and at the same time longing to give in to it
  7. It is not God’s will for the Christian walk to be difficult
    1. He wants us to change. 2 Corinthians 3:18 - But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
    2. We already are being changed…..and we are not doing it. The change is by the Spirit
  8. If your walk has been hard it is time to come to Jesus
    1. Matthew 11:28 - Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest
    2. You may say that you have already come to Him, but now it is time to learn of Him. Matthew 11:29 - Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
      1. When we learn of Jesus (really getting to know Him) then we can enter into His rest
      2. The children of Israel did not enter into His rest because they did not really know or truly understand God
      3. God told them He would drive out their enemies but they did not trust Him. Hebrews 3:19 - So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
      4. They died in the wilderness because they did not trust His grace to overcome. They did not trust God to do what He said
      5. Entering into His rest (grace) prevents us from dying in our own emotional wilderness

Study Questions:

  1. Why are joy, peace, rest and victory elements of grace?
  2. If we cannot change by our own determination how can we be changed?
  3. Explain how the heart can be corrupted.
  4. Explain the term “inability mask.”

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