1. When God said, … Let us make man IN OUR IMAGE, AFTER OUR LIKENESS…”, He knew Satan would interfere and divided the work of CREATION into two MODELS [Genesis 1:26] The FIRST MODEL was Adam, who God formed out “… OF THE DUST OF THE GROUND, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL” [Genesis 2:7] The LIVING SOUL was the IMAGE of God, but not His LIKENESS, as it is written: “… GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them… “ [Genesis 1:27-28] God reserved His LIKENESS for the SECOND MODEL, made PERFECT “… in the UNITY OF THE FAITH, and of the KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD, UNTO A PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of the FULNESS OF CHRIST” [Ephesians 4:13]
2. Adam was a LIVING SOUL, but the SPIRIT in him was “A LITTLE LOWER THAN ANGELS, as the Psalmist wrote: “… For THOU HAST MADE HIM A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS, …” [Psalms 8:4-5] The FIRST MODEL, being a LITTLE LOWER THAN ANGELS, fell to the wiles of his angelic ADVERSARY, as it is written: “… while men slept, his ENEMY CAME AND SOWED TARES among the WHEAT, and went his way… THE ENEMY THAT SOWED THEM IS THE DEVIL… ” [Matthew 13:25&39] God sowed His WORD, which is God, as clearly stated in Genesis 2:16-17 [See also John 1:1] When the Serpent said: “…YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then YOUR EYES SHALL BE OPENED, and YE SHALL BE AS GODS, knowing good and evil”, the ENEMY sowed LUST, his DNA, in man [Genesis 3:4-5] LUST is THE ENEMY WITHIN, enticing us to “THINK”, “SEE”, “SPEAK” and “ACT” contrary to the WORD of God. No sooner LUST was embedded in her FLESH, Eve began to “THINK”, “SPEAK” and “DESIRE” contrary to the WORD of God; the forbidden FRUIT became “GOOD FOR FOOD”, “PLEASANT TO THE EYES” and “DESIRED TO MAKE ONE WISE” [Genesis 3:6] Through Eve, the present world was infested with the three-headed monster of LUST, “For all that is in the world, the LUST OF THE FLESH, and the LUST OF THE EYES, and the PRIDE OF LIFE, is not of the Father, but is of the world” [1John 2:16]
3. LUST OF THE FLESH is Satan working in man to transform NEEDS to insatiable WANTS. Beloved, God acknowledges our NEEDS but “WANTS” come from the ENEMY WITHIN, enticing us to CRASS MATERIALISM [Matthew 6:32] Remember, “… WE BROUGHT NOTHING INTO THIS WORLD, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And HAVING FOOD AND RAIMENT LET US BE THEREWITH CONTENT” [1Timothy 6:7-8] LUST of the FLESH, if unchecked, degenerates into LUST of the EYES. LUST OF THE EYES is DISCONTENT with what God “SEES” in you and WISH you would become, kindling untamed PASSION to become what you SEE”” and “WISH” to be. Those who go down that road ENTANGLE themselves with “AFFAIRS OF THIS LIFE” and do not please God and never made PERFECT in His LIKENESS, for “NO MAN THAT WARRETH ENTANGLETH HIMSELF WITH THE AFFAIRS OF THIS LIFE; that he may PLEASE HIM WHO HATH CHOSEN HIM to be a soldier” [2 Timothy 2:4] The END-GAME of LUST is PRIDE OF LIFE, fueled by STRONG DELUSION in those who FALL AWAY from Christ, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,… PARTAKERS OF THE HOLY GHOST, … IF THEY SHALL FALL AWAY, TO RENEW THEM…” [Hebrews 6:4-6] PRIDE OF LIFE is total DERAILMENT from FAITH, with no hope of REPENTANCE, in the LIKENESS of Satan.
4. When we come to God through Jesus Christ our SINS are forgiven and we are RE-CREATED, but not yet PERFECT in His LIKENESS. The Bible says: ”Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is A NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW” [2 Corinthians 5:17] Listen closely, the “NEW CREATURE” retains the OLD BODY, riddled with LUST; as long as we are in this BODY, the Pastor as well as his congregation must Contend with LUST. PERFECTION in this mortal BODY is a continuous BATTLE to MORTIFY LUST and live by FAITH in the WORD of God. This is easier said than done, even as Apostle Paul admitted: “… to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the GOOD THAT I WOULD I DO NOT: but the EVIL WHICH I WOULD NOT, I DO” [Romans 7:18-19] Beloved, let us humble ourselves before God as Paul did and acknowledge the pockets of LUST in us, “… for GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, and GIVETH GRACE TO THE HUMBLE” [1 Peter 5:5] The ANTIDOTE to LUST is the SWORD of the SPIRIT, which is the WORD of God, cutting deep “… to the DIVIDING ASUNDER OF SOUL AND SPIRIT, and of the joints and marrow, and is a DISCERNER OF THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART” [Hebrews 4:12] The FIRST MODEL was weakened by DISOBEDIENCE, the SECOND MODEL shall be made PERFECT in strict OBEDIENCE to the WORD of God.
5. Brethren, let us give room to the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT to cut and purge us of every SPOT and WRINKLE of LUST as we look forward to the coming of the Lord to receive for himself, “… a GLORIOUS CHURCH, NOT HAVING SPOT OR WRINKLE, …” [Ephesians 5:27] If you are not BORN AGAIN, do so TODAY and be purged of LUST in readiness for His glorious appearance, amen