No. Not really…but bear with me. There are some striking similarities believe it or not!
Firemen understand everything about fire. They know the processes that create fires and they reverse engineer those processes to put fires out.
Firemen know that you need three things for a fire to happen: fuel, oxygen and heat. If you take away just one of those three things, the fire goes out.
So if you have a wood or paper fire, they spray water on it to remove the heat. If there is a chemical or oil fire they spray foam on it to smother the fire by removing oxygen. And if they have fire from a gas or fuel line, say on an oilrig, they cap the line or turn it off to remove the fuel.
The net effect of each of these actions is that the fire goes out.
But how is Jesus like a fireman?
Just as a fireman understands the process for a fire, Jesus understands the process of sin. Like a fireman, Jesus came to break the process or the cycle of sin so that we could be saved. And in a way we are being saved from fire: the fires of life and the lake of fire awaiting those who reject Jesus.
Sin is a process, just like fire is a process. The scriptures define the process of sin like this:
“…each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin” (James chapter 1, verses 14-15)
We also see Paul add this little twist:
“…sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, wrought in me all kinds of covetousness.” (Romans chapter 7, verse 8)
Think of a child. When they are told they are not allowed to do something, what is it they want to do? The very thing that you tell them NOT to do.
And that is what happens with the law. Sin finds opportunity in the law to make us want to do all manner of wrong things.
The process of sin
So the process of sin is:
1. Law (fuelling) –> 2. Desire –> 3. Temptation –> 4. Succumb to Temptation –> 5. Sin –> 6. Condemnation
Like a fireman, Jesus had to break the cycle to remove sin.
But it is a little harder than a fire because a fireman only has to remove one part of the fire cycle for the fire to go out. We however, have been called in Christ to be PERFECT as it says in Matthew chapter 5, verse 48. And to be perfect God has to remove sin and all the things that cause it.
How did God break the sin cycle?
Fortunately for us, God has provided all we need to break the sin cycle and lead us to perfection.
First He sent Jesus who died for our sins and set us free from the law. In doing that God removed steps 1, 5 and 6 from the cycle of sin. But people still do bad things even though their sins have been taken away and the law has been removed to take away condemnation.
Just doing those things alone will not make us perfect, and the scriptures tell us we MUST be perfect.
“You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew chapter 5, verse 48)
And that is why God then gave us the Holy Spirit.
The work of the Holy Spirit is to transform us into the image of Jesus Christ, who is in the image of the Father and is thus perfect. The Holy Spirit helps us by removing our human desires and gives us strength to resist temptation until the process of transformation is complete.
Walking in the Spirit
When the Holy Spirit leads us and we set our minds on the things of the Spirit, we do not gratify the desires of the flesh and so we can resist temptation, not by our power but by the power of God.
Put simply, we walk in the Spirit by praying, reading the scriptures, listening to uplifting music, singing gospel songs, or anything that takes our mind off the desires or temptations that are before us. Instead we focus our minds on the things of God and so the temptation or desire is replaced by what is good.
We replace the sin cycle with the walking in the Spirit cycle. And that cycle looks like this:
Desire -> Temptation -> Walk in the Spirit -> Resist temptation -> Victory over the flesh
So whenever you are feeling low, tempted, attacked by the devil and so on, walk in the Spirit and overcome so that you gain the victory over your fleshly passions and desires. Put the fire of sin out by allowing Christ to break the cycle of sin and replace it with the process of walking in the Spirit.
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his website: freegiftfromgod.com/ or listen to his podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-free-gift-from-god-podcast/id1440682375