Historical Revisionism Is An Assault On God
We have focused on this one phrase in Revelation 2:5 because there are some things we need to talk about in terms of application. The challenge to the Ephesian church in this short epistle is to change their life. They have deteriorated and regressed in their spiritual life and there are going to be consequences unless they recover spiritually through confession of sin and a change in the way they are orienting to the doctrine that they have been taught in terms of application. That is the thrust of the mandates to remember and repent. We have been analyzing the implications of this one statement, that Jesus will come back and he will remove the lampstand. The point of this is that the triune God of the Bible, the Trinity, intervenes in human history. He intervenes on behalf of the believer but He also interferes in our life. By using those terms interfere and intervene we think intervention as something positive but we think of interference as something we don't want, it has a negative connotation. We use that word because that is the perception of the unbeliever and that is the perception of the believer. To be sure, that was David's perception at first when Nathan the prophet came in to confront him with his sin; that God was just interfering in his life. That is how we are when God often intervenes in our life in terms of divine discipline. There is a resistance because we just want God to leave us alone and to let us live life the way we want to live it. That is when divine discipline comes our way because God is reorienting our thinking—a little attitude adjustment.
The fact that Jesus warns this congregation that he will come and remove their lampstand unless they repent tells us that there are consequences not only in the personal life of the believer for negative volition and extended carnality but also in the congregation. This is demonstrated in Romans 1:18. This is the mentality we are trying to illustrate through an extended series of two or three Bible classes. This verse gives us a dynamic at work in the mentality of fallen man. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." The context is setting up the fact that God is involved in the affairs of men, and when various cultures and civilizations in human history operate on extended negative volition then God judges those cultures and those peoples. God is interfering in history as He is overseeing history and controlling history. So the wrath of God referred to in Romans 1:18 is not a term that refers to future judgment but it is a description of God's judgment in human history against civilizations that have been on negative volition and have rejected Him. The object of the wrath of God is a group of men who are engaged in the activity of suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.
What does that word "suppress" mean? It is the Greek word KATECHO [katexw]. It is a present active participle and has an article with it which indicates it is going to function like a substantive, like a noun. Thus it is describing a group of people. It should be translated as a relative clause, "who suppress." The action of suppression is described in the dictionary as causing something to be ineffective, to prevent something, to hinder something, or to restrain something. So the normal modus operandi of the carnal mind operating under sin or human good is to restrain truth, to prevent truth, to hinder truth. That is the object of the verbal action here. It has the idea also of holding truth down. The normal modus operandi of man is to redefine the truth. If God is the source of truth, and truth is the active representation of reality, then what we see here is that the focus of the sin nature is to cause man to live outside the bounds of reality, to redefine reality according to his own premises, according to his own presuppositions, and according to his own agenda. That is what lies at the bottom of all cosmic thinking. It has an agenda to redefine and reshape reality in a way that excludes God. They may admit at some level the presence of God but they don't really want God to be talked about—don't let that become a vital, real element in the culture. It is the idea that God is irrelevant, that if you want to talk about that it is your business.
We were talking last time about the judiciary and the role of religion in American history and using that as an illustration of this. The issue here for them is that they just want to marginalize any talk about God to the fringes of culture so that we can just live life the way we want to without an admission of accountability. That is the ultimate doctrine we are dealing with here in Revelation 2:5—the doctrine of accountability. It is a correlation to the first divine institution, human responsibility. Under the divine institutions every human being is responsible for their actions to God. We will be held accountable for those actions. Man in his carnality, in his resistance to God, his rejection of truth, doesn't want to be held accountable to God. We want to live life the way we want to live it and say, God leave me alone and let me do it the way I want to do it. To do that man has to go through some incredibly sophisticated mental gymnastics in order to restructure reality and explain everything in reality according to the premise that God doesn't exist and that everything operates according to the principles of time plus chance.
We have used the diagram of a circle to indicate the boundaries of creation. Everything that God created is in that boundary. What man wants to do in carnality is to try to explain everything inside the circle on the basis of something else that is inside that circle. When it comes to religion what man has done is to generate ideas about God. For example, you have pantheistic notions of God in the ancient world—storm gods, nature gods, gods of war, gods of love—and they were all parts of creation, so they don't stand outside of creation, they don't provide an ultimate reference point. They are just as susceptible to fluctuation and variables as anything else; there are no universals. Without universals you can't have any kind of stability. So the attempt is to explain everything in the circle by something else within the circle.
History is the foundation of almost all other mental disciplines because you are plugging everything else into a timeline of some sort of development, and that is history. How we understand man's purpose and role and what he is doing here is history. So when we talk about anything else—science, law, politics, economics, literature, whatever it is—at some point it impinges on our view of history. In the ancient world history was just a disconnected series of facts that could be manipulated by the government. There was no objective basis in history. What we should see from this is that there is always a theological element to our understanding of history. History is used often in a way to either relate to God or to exclude God. We have seen examples from law, politics, and economics, and all are built on a foundation of history. The attempt, then, is to try to explain the origin of law, the origin of politics, and the origin of economics from inside the circle. So this is simply using something inside the circle as the reference point.
What the Bible teaches is that there is an absolute creator and there is a radical distinction between the creation and the creator—what we call the creator-creation distinction. It is the in the creator and in the mind of the creator that we have the ultimate frame of reference which gives meaning to the details that are inside the circle. So we can't talk about history as a Christian without thinking about it in terms of His story, or the outworking of the plan of God.
The problem that we are addressing is that Romans 1:18 wants to remove the creator from being a reality in terms of giving any ultimate meaning to law, politics, economics, science, ethics, whatever it may be, inside the circle. So there is a suppression of the truth. Let's get that out of there. There is no ultimate reference point. Everything in law is generated from within the creation; it is self-generating. Once we make the ultimate reference point for law something inside the circle then every human being becomes the ultimate reference point. This is exactly what happened in the period of the judges. In the book of the Judges there is a verse that is repeated twice, and that is the key to understanding history and politics: "There was no king in the land; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." That is exactly where we are today. Everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes. The arrogance of people has rejected absolutes. Once you reject an external source for values then the only place where values can be found or determined is inside the circle of the created order. So that man then becomes the ultimate reference point for law. If law doesn't develop from the absolute standards of perfect righteousness and justice in the creator then it can only come from some place inside the circle. Law then becomes whatever person A wants it to be or person B wants it to be, and it is then just a matter of power and who is going to be able to put himself in the position of power over the other person.
This kind of thing has always happened in history, but what we are seeing in a relativistic culture is that nobody has any source for value so everybody becomes a source for values, and once everybody becomes a source for values and you have a thousand different competing ethical systems, then you are just in a state of anarchy. This always leads to the destruction of a culture.
What is right at the forefront of American jurisprudence right now is the decision related to the presence of the Ten Commandments in the courtroom, and the focal point is on the First Amendment and the meaning of the First Amendment, and the establishment clause. The focal point here is that Jesus Christ says that if we do not obey Him then He will interfere in history in discipline. That happens in three arenas. The first is a personal level. As fallen sinners God is going to intervene in our life when we continue to reject Him—Romans 1. As believers God is going to intervene in divine discipline in order to bring us to a point of spiritual recovery, to quit walking according to the flesh and start walking by means of the Holy Spirit. That is the personal application. We fall into the same trap in a microcosm every time we sin, because what we want to do is go through this mental gymnastic of rewriting our own history in our mind. We become historical revisionists in order to justify and rationalize sin and the reason we won't go through divine consequences that are spelled out in Scripture. We do it at a personal level, and all that we are seeing at a national level is what happens when you have a vast number of people living in carnality rejecting any kind of establishment truth, rejecting the Scriptures, and they are all wanting to follow this same level of relativism and rationalism at a national level.
So we have a personal level where we have application; we have a church level which is specifically happening in Revelation 2:5. That is, that a congregation takes on certain characteristics. Any business, any corporation, any work place, any group of people, develop certain characteristics. Every family has its own culture; every family does things differently. The same thing is true of a congregation. Every congregation has certain characteristics that are the combination of the spiritual lives of all the people in that congregation. This is what the background is for these epistles where Jesus Christ is evaluating them. He is warning this congregation at Ephesus that they are falling apart because they have regressed in their spiritual life since their former times when Paul wrote to them in Ephesians 1 and they are no longer manifesting that same mature personal love for God the Father, which is then manifested in their personal love for one another. They had been praised in Ephesians 1 for their love for all the saints. That is no longer true. They are not as mature as a congregation as they once were. So there is a warning here.
Then the third realm where we are going in terms of application is in the broader culture in terms of the nation. In this area we are looking at it in terms of our understanding of how a culture operates and what our beliefs are. We are analyzing the premises, presuppositions and the assumptions that characterize postmodern American pagan culture. We see the implications of this shift in our culture as it is displayed in this particular study of the role of Christianity in the public life and in the realm of ideas in the nation. We have to remember some principles whenever we get into this. The heart is deceitful and wicked above all things. Every nation is made up of people who are sinners. They are under the control of the sin nature and because of that there has to be some level of control to restrain the sin nature. Where is that going to come from? In terms of the government it comes from law enforcement. But as we have noted with the quotation from John Adams, the second president of the United States, that if there is not something else that is informing the moral character of the individual then there is no state strong enough to provide a restriction on the sin nature. That is basically what he said.
The founding fathers recognized at the very core of a successful society there had to be the teaching of religion. The point is that today we live in a world that wants to see a separation of church and state. They want to remove God from the scene. They want God talk to have no influence or relevance to anything that takes place on a day-to-day basis.
We will go through some more quotes looking at how the founding fathers understood the role of religion. This shows right away that we are in conflict with the trend of modern history because the way modern man looks at this is that it doesn't matter what the original intent was of the founding fathers: "They might have thought one thing, we think something else, and so the Constitution is just a fluid living document and all we need to do is look at it and interpret it for ourselves." If we were to apply that to the Bible we would end up with religious liberalism, which is where we see a connection between religious liberal thought and political liberal thought. There is ultimately a distancing from God who informs as the source of absolutes.
Patrick Henry: "It cannot be emphasized to strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the gospel of Jesus Christ." It wasn't just secularist, there was a frame of reference for their political views, and that really rested on a whole tradition that went back to the puritans. One of the things that the puritans were convinced of was that the Bible gave us a foundation of thought for every area of life. They pushed that as far as they could push it, and they gave us a foundation in understanding government as they looked at reality from a biblical viewpoint.
Benjamin Franklin understood this. He stated: "If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it?" So there was a recognition that there had to be s source of values to control the sin of man.
John Jay, another founding father, stated" "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers and it is the duty as well as the privilege and intent of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." We have to look at that phrase that he uses there: "Christian nation." A nation can't be Christian in the sense that an individual cane because a nation isn't fallen or saved or regenerated as a nation; it doesn't have a soul. What he meant by this in the context was that this was a nation that was founded on principles that had their ultimate source in the Bible as opposed to Roman or Greek precedence, or just straight rationalism, empiricism or enlightened thought. It had its source in the Bible.
We concluded last time after we ran through various statements made by the founding fathers and those who were involved in crafting the wording of the First Amendment that they understood that the Bible should be taught in public schools, and that the Bible would be the source of character and values for the nation, without which the nation could not survive, could not be stable. We ended by looking at the few statements that George Washington made in his farewell address. He stated: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity religion and morality arte indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars." In other words, according to Washington there was an understanding that religion—and by religion they meant Christianity—and morality are indispensable. You can't separate the two. If you cut God out of the picture you are left with a morality that has no support, and then everything comes crumbling down. Furthermore, he said: "Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined educational minds, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles." What he did there was ground his argument on reason and experience. The founding fathers were susceptible, just as we are to the culture of our day, and this reflects the influence of the Enlightenment, that you can arrive at eternal truth apart from revelation. Within a decade this was eating up American culture. In fact, there were many of the founding fathers who were bemoaning the spiritual darkness of America by 1802-1803. In conclusion, from Washington: "Where is the security for life, for reputation, for property, if the sense of religious obligation deserts." He understood that without Christianity there could be no secure basis for property, life, or freedom. In fact, in his farewell address four of his warnings related to losing a proper orientation to religion/Christianity.
In that same generation, Robert Winthrop, an early member of the House of Representatives, stated" "Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet." A crystal clear analysis. We are either going to be controlled by an inner virtue or integrity that has to be grounded in an eternal source of absolutes or we are going to be controlled by the state which puts itself in the place of God.
Jefferson understood this as well by the way he wrote his opening remarks in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights." Both Winthrop and Jefferson recognized that if those rights and freedoms do not come from the creator then they come from somewhere inside the creation circle. Freedom either has its source in God, and government is simply supporting what is already given, or of you exclude God and God is not the source of value and truth and absolutes, then value and truth and freedom come from somewhere inside the circle. Then it is up to whoever has the power to grant or take away that freedom. Once you remove eternal absolutes from the market place of ideas then man is no longer answerable to God, man just becomes answerable to other men and other men become the source of values and truth. That takes us right back to tyranny.
John Adams recognized this, and said: "Let the pulpit resound with the doctrine and the sentiments of religious liberty. Let us hear the dignity of man's nature and the noble rank he holds among the works of God. Let it be known that liberties are not the grants of princes and parliaments."
All of what we see going on today is the product of trends that have been taking place for the last 200 years. The core issue in the debate today is the phrase that has been taken out of context, "the wall of separation of church and state." The original source of that came in 1801. Jefferson as the anti-Federalist, a Democrat, was elected to the presidency. There was a situation in Connecticut that really aggravated all the Baptists up there, and there weren't a lot of Baptists up there in 1801 because according to the state constitution of Connecticut the constitutionally established religion or denomination was the Congregationalists. The Congregationalists were the established denomination, which meant that when you paid your property taxes a certain percentage of those taxes went to support the Congregational church. That was true in a number of different colonies at that time. They did not view that as being in conflict with the First Amendment because the First Amendment simply prohibited the federal Government from establishing a religion or denomination. But one of the key elements of the Baptists was that they believed in the separation of church and state, a distinction between church and state and freedom for the individual to practice his spiritual life according to the dictates of his own conscience. So the Baptists really chafed at the fact that the Congregationalists were in charge and they had a Federalist Party which dominated in Hartford. There was a way around it, and if you went through all the bureaucratic red tape then some of the tax money could be rerouted back to one's local Baptist church, but they didn't get a lot of their money back. It was in that context and the election of 1801 when an anti-federalist Jefferson becomes elected that they want to use him to influence the federalist state government in Hartford. But they know that he can't do anything more than use his position as the chief magistrate of the US, because according to the Constitution he has no influence as a legislator. But they thought if they could get him on their side he could at least do something. They wanted to disestablish the Congregational church. That didn't happen for another 20-25 years.
Jefferson responded to their letter. They were congratulating him on his election to president. They were appealing to him to use his influence to change things. In their letter they said: "Sir, We are sensible that the President of the United States is not the national legislator, and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the laws of each state, but our hopes are strong that the sentiments of our beloved president which have had genial effects already, like the radiant beams of the sun, will shine and prevail through all these states and all the world until hierarchy and tyranny be destroyed from the earth." So basically they were after him to have some kind of influence from his office to encourage the state governments to disestablish their religion. In his response Jefferson wrote: "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declare that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.'" He is not arguing for the removal of religion or Christianity from the market place of ideas or from the schools or from government. We know this because two days later after writing to the Danbury Baptists Jefferson attended church services that were held in the House of Representatives and he continued to be a regular attendee of those services throughout his presidency. If he thought there should be a wall of separation then he wouldn't attend. Furthermore, throughout the 19th century the Federal Government provided direct funding to numerous organizations. At the very beginning the government understood that it had a vested interest in supporting religious education, and they paid for it out of tax dollars.
In 1878 there was a case called Reynolds vs. the United States. This was the first case that went in and referred to the wall of separation. They quoted from the entire context of Jefferson's original letter, and then they summed up their decision. "Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere religious opinions, but was left free to reach only those religious actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order." In other words, they understood that the only place that the government had to remove anything religious was if it was promoting polygamy or human sacrifice or something of that nature. So throughout the 19th century and early part of the 20th century no government entity understood that there should be this radical distinction between the teaching of Christianity or the use of Christian symbols in public places. It wasn't until after the Second World War that this changed. The change occurred in the minority opinion written by Judge Hugo Black in the 1947 case, Everson vs. the Board of Education. In that case Hugo Black wrote: "The First Amendment was erected as a wall of separation between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable."
The interesting thing is to know the rest of the story in Hugo Black. (This information is taken from a new book called "Men in Black" by Mark Levin) It is a study of judicial activism down through the history of the US. In it her writes: "According to his biographer Black wrote: 'The majority opinion of holding the use of public funds to transport children to Catholic schools' Notice, it was an issue related to Catholic schools and he did so for the purpose of undercutting the true meaning of the religion clause. It was a very subtle attack and he did it in such a way as to set up the failure. His biographer, Roger Newman, writes: "Blacks opinion in Everson vs. the Board of Education drew criticism from all quarters. Black's rhetoric contrasted too sharply with his conclusion and holding to satisfy anyone. If he had not written it as he did, he later said, Supreme Court Justice Jackson would have." So he writes it in such a way as to create this extreme position. Levin goes on to point out that there was a hidden agenda going on, a dark motive behind Hugo Black's agenda. He was appointed by President Roosevelt but he had earlier in his life been a member of the Klu Klux Klan. His father was also a member of the Klan. The Klan is not only known because of its racist views but they hated Catholics. The case in point had to do with reimbursing parents who sent their children to a Catholic school for the cost of the bus fare to get to school. So it had to do with supporting Catholic children, so his latent anti-Catholicism comes to the surface and in that he reinterprets the use of this wall metaphor in order to remove any kind of relationship between church and state.
This whole situation became worse in subsequent decisions as, for example, the June 6th, 1962 Ingle vs. Vitalli, which is where the court redefined the meaning of church in Jefferson's letter so that it now means any kind of religious education as opposed to a specific denomination. Then in Stone vs. Brown in 1980 the following was written: "If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all it will be to induce the school children, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey the Commandments, which is not a permissible objective." See the shift that is taking place: From the founding fathers who wanted Christianity taught because this is the source of virtue and integrity so that there could be a stable society to where the courts are now saying they don't want anything there because it might encourage somebody to read the Bible and they might learn something.
All of this reflects that for the past fifty years there has been a shift of power in Washington from the legislative body, which represents people, to a judicial activism. Concerning this. Thomas Sowell writes: "While people in various countries in the Middle east are beginning to stir as they see democracy start to take root in Iraq, our own political system is moving steadily in the opposite direction, toward rule by unelected judicial ayatollahs acting like ayatollahs in Iran." This is the same thing Jefferson noted years ago: "The Constitution is mere thing of wax in then hands of a judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please." What they are doing at the very core is rewriting history. That is not unique either.
One of the first examples of historical revisionism to justify a theological shift takes place in 1 Kings chapter twelve. The situation is that the northern kingdom which becomes known as Israel separates out from the southern kingdom of Judah. God has actually pronounced this as an act of divine discipline on the house of David because of Solomon's sin. He had warned Solomon earlier in chapter eleven that because of the evil that he did in the sight of the Lord, because he married so many wives and introduced all of their foreign idolatry into Israel, He was going to take the kingdom from the house of David. But He wouldn't do it completely and He couldn't do it completely because God had promised David that he would have an eternal dynasty. So God said He would rip ten of the tribes from him. This comes to pass in chapter twelve. In chapter eleven from v. 26ff Jeroboam is singled out by God and Ahijah the prophet comes to Jeroboam to tell him that God has chosen him to lead the ten nations in the north, and in v. 38 God makes a remarkable promise to Jeroboam: "Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, and walk in my ways, and do what is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with you, and build you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto you."
But look at what Jeroboam does. When he takes over in the north he rebuilds Shechem as his capital. 1 Kings 12:26, "And Jeroboam said in his heart…" He is thinking. He looks at his political situation and he thinks that if he does what God says he has to implement this law back in Deuteronomy and recognize there is only one central place of worship, and that is in Jerusalem. He thinks to himself that if all his people trek down there six times a year to the feasts they are going to see all the glory of the temple, all the gold, the glory of the house of David, and my power base is going to be threatened. So rather than trust God to fulfill His promise he is going to reject God, he is going to suppress the truth in unrighteousness, and to do that he has to rewrite history. As soon as you start rejecting God you have to rewrite history or to write God out of history. This is what happens in v. 27 and 28:
"If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me, and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah. Therefore the king asked advice, and made two calves of gold, and said to the people, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt." See, it is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that brought you up from the land of Egypt, we are going to do a little revision of the whole Exodus story and now it is these golden calves. Where did he get the idea for the golden calves? After Ahijah told him that he was going to get the ten tribes in the north Solomon sought to kill him, so he evacuated from Israel and headed to Egypt. While he was in Egypt he imbibed human viewpoint religion. He picked up religious ideas. This idea of calf gods, literally bull gods, is going back to what Aaron did, and when he redefines history he is also making a religious statement. History and truth in terms of Christianity are interconnected. So the first thing he does is restructure history. It wasn't the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who did it, it was these calves.
The next thing he did was set up competing religious sites. He introduces ecumenical religion. One was in Bethel in the south. So if you were heading south to go to Jerusalem you would go through Bethel and, why go all the way to Jerusalem when there was a temple right there in Bethel. Or for those living way up north he made one convenient for them too in Dan. Verse 30, "And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, as far as Dan." They also made shrines, v. 31, on the "high places, and made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi." So he sets up a competitive priesthood. In fact, Chronicles tells us that he ran all of the Levites out of the northern kingdom. Anyone could be a priest, including himself. Vv. 32, "And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar [acting like a priest but he is not a Levite]. The foundation of all of this, of course, is the historical revision. This is the orientation of the carnal mind to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. It is not just everybody else, it is also us. Every time we sin and get into self-justification we want to rewrite out own history. We want to suppress the truth in unrighteousness so that we can get away with sin in our own life. We can extrapolate that to the larger group of the congregation, and that is why Jesus Christ warns the Ephesian church that they need to remember the former things. That's history. "Repent and do the things that you did at first." That is why history is important. History is the outworking of God's plan. Then we see it in the macrocosm of national history or the history of the world, that what happens when nations want to reject God and operate on their own autonomy what they do is they rewrite history to write God out of the picture. So that we are not accountable to God for our laws, we are not accountable to God for our values, and the consequence for that is always going to be divine judgment on that culture.
That is exactly where we are, and we see this so clearly today in this battle over whether or not to have the Ten Commandments even displayed in a local court. Because what is being said symbolically is that the source of law isn't in an objective God but the source of law is in the government. Once that shift is made then we are on the slippery slope to tyranny and the loss of freedom. It doesn't just happen in the national life, because when we in our own spiritual lives get involved in that same slippery slope of not remembering in terms of our own Christian life, and we get on that slippery slope of historical revisionism where it leads in our life to the tyranny of the sin nature.