BONUS | A Conversation About the Holy Spirit with Matt Jacobson

Christian Life & Theology, Podcast Episodes

This bonus episode may sound a little different because it is a conversation that Phylicia had with Matthew Jacobson live on Instagram.

To watch this interview (and others) head over to Phylicia’s instagram channel: @PhyliciaMasonheimer

Can I Really Say No to Sin? // The Every Woman a Theologian LAUNCH Series talks about sanctification and the Spirit with @faithfulman

 This one is FULL of amazing truth. We talk about:

  • how our identity changes in Christ
  • why temptation has no real power over us
  • why we are responsible to dress ourselves for battle
  • how to obey the Spirit
  • why “sinner saved by grace” isn’t a truly biblical view of our identity in Christ – and more!


Listen Now



Phylicia Masonheimer: Welcome to Verity podcast. I’m your host, Phylicia Masonheimer. I’m here to teach you how to know what you believe, to live it boldly, and to communicate it graciously to the world around you. I believe that women are ready to go deeper in their faith than ever before and they don’t have to go to seminary to do it. I am so glad you’re here and I hope you’ll join me on this journey, because every woman is a theologian. 

Hello, friends. Phylicia Masonheimer here and this is part of our week-long series for the Every Woman a Theologian book launch. I’m interviewing some amazing people this week. We’re talking about different types of theology as we go through each day of the week leading up to the launch of my book, Every Woman a Theologian on Tuesday, the 28th. To celebrate the launch of the book, I am talking with some amazing people about different types of theology. We’ve talked about soteriology, we’ve talked about cosmology and anthropology, theology in general and today we’re talking about pneumatology or theology of the Holy Spirit with my friend Matt Jacobson. He is going to be talking to us about the role of the spirit as sanctifier and what it means to actually overcome sin. Because I get so many questions about what it means to walk by the spirit and what it means to say no to sin. And Matt, is really good at explaining this in an accessible way and so I’m excited to hear his thoughts on it. 

In the chapter of the book, for those of you who are coming in, are joining us, we’re talking about saying no to sin, walking by the spirit, pneumatology, and I have a whole chapter on pneumatology in Every Woman of Theologian, which comes out on Tuesday, the 28th. It’s one of my favorite topics because so often, depending on the church that you grow up in or your past experiences, you can end up having a very limited understanding of how the Holy Spirit works, who he is, what he does. That is why we’re talking about it today. Thanks for coming on and joining me for this. 

Matt Jacobson: Absolutely. It’s awesome to be with you and with the people that you serve. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Thank you. Well, before we get started, let’s start with who you are and what you do? Because I know that I’ve kind of narrowed you in on a very specific topic here, but you do a lot of work that’s way beyond just talking about the Holy Spirit. So, why don’t you tell everybody what you do and who you are? 

Matt Jacobson: Well, very good. Okay, so, yeah, Matt Jacobson. I have an online presence called FAITHFUL MAN, and so that is a website,, as well as an Instagram page. I’m also the pastor of a small church up here in the Northwest, Kleinfall’s Bible Fellowship, that’s been on for about I think we’ve been going for about 20 years, something like that. And then also just relative to ministry beyond the church, but really that grew out of working with the church. I have a ministry to couples. I do marriage coaching. I call it biblical marriage coaching. I work with couples from really everywhere and mostly online. I also have a ministry teaching men how to get completely free from pornography. This is such a ubiquitous problem tragically from the pulpit right on down to the youngest ages. It’s just a horrible scourge in the church and God has a real specific plan for how we can walk. So that’s what my course as we can take a look at the course on pornography, so that’s in a nutshell. We also have some books, maybe people have bumped into a book or two. We have a Marriage Devotional out. Loving Your Husband Well, Loving Your Wife Well, my wife and I so anyway, I don’t know that’s in a nutshell, kind of all crunched up and put in the coffee blender.

Phylicia Masonheimer: [laughs] No, I love that you have a lot going on but what is consistent, I think, in everything that you write and teach is you talk about, I think, the Holy Spirit’s role in a very unique way that a lot of people in Christianity need to hear. Especially, when you’re talking about pornography, you’re talking about the fact that you actually are able to overcome it. I think that is something that’s really unique sometimes in American Christianity as we kind of talk about sin as something that we just constantly tolerate and we never actually can be free from. That’s why I wanted to have you on to talk about this because pneumatology, theology of the Holy Spirit, He has a lot of different things He does, but His primary role is sanctifier and I think you talked about that really well, so my question for you is, when you’re teaching someone on the Holy Spirit or trying to explain you’re a Christian, you have the indwelling Holy Spirit, what now? Like, what would you say to somebody if they’re like, “Okay, I have the Holy Spirit, but I still struggle with sin, what do I do now?” 

Matt Jacobson: Sure. Well, we live in a culture that really, I think, diminishes the presence of the Word in our lives, just the written Word, what it says. One of the reasons I appreciate your ministry so much is because you want people to dig in and look at and consider and allow to affect their lives what the Word says. The real beginning place in all of this is, am I going to be a Biblical Christian? Now, everybody’s going to check that box. I mean, everybody within the finds of evangelical Christianity in. Yeah, there’s only one right answer [unintelligible [00:05:37] school Jesus. That’s the answer, right. The thing is, though, what does that actually mean? Because the Word is a book. There are things written in it that call me to accept what it says and so often our lives are disconnected in terms of the way we live from what the Word says.

There’re a couple of reasons for that. One is our feelings are powerful. This is how I feel when it comes to sin. I feel like I can’t battle, I can’t overcome, I can’t actually say no to this and there’s a theology out there that that kind of thing, right? Hey, fallen world, fallen body, praise the Lord. We’re going to get sanctified one of these days and we’re going to have bodies it’s all going to be great. But knowing the Word is critical because what does Satan do with the Word? What has he done with the Word from the very beginning? He twists it. He uses the Word, twists a little bit and gets you to think something that isn’t true. That’s what he did with Eve. He deceived her. We’ve got to settle for– If we’re going to embark on a journey that says I’m going to live a victorious Christian life, I’ve got to decide what it is I’m going to allow to be the authority for what’s true in my thinking. We got to start with the Word, right? 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Right.


Matt Jacobson: What does the Word say? And so that’s the very beginning. I’ve got to settle in my mind. If the Word says it, it’s the truth. Not how I feel about it, not what I was taught somewhere else, but what the Word actually says. That’s number one for anybody who wants to live a victorious Christian life. You’re going to settle it in your mind, “I’m a biblical Christian and I’m going to conform my life to what the Word says.” 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah. So, say somebody’s like, “Okay, Matt, I am a biblical Christian. I really do believe the Word has authority in my life but there’s this disconnect between what I know the Bible says that I’m to do and me actually doing it,” [laughs] which is what I hear a lot. 

Matt Jacobson: Right.

Phylicia Masonheimer: I feel like probably all felt that way at some point. 

Matt Jacobson: Sure.

Phylicia Masonheimer: What do we say then? 

Matt Jacobson: Well, we say then I have to take how I’m feeling and I have to take it to the Word and say what’s true. Okay, so let’s just talk about this business. I just feel like I can’t conquer, I can’t win. What does the Bible say? Well, first of all, the Bible is very clear in Romans 8, you the royal, you everybody listening should look at these verses. In Romans 8 it says that, “If you are indwelled by the spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.” Now in verse 11, now it’s not really saying, “Hey, if this is true, but rather it’s forming a question, the answer of which it’s really just making a declarative statement in the form of a question.” You are indwelt by the spirit we are talking to believers. This is the truth. You’re indwelt. Well, I don’t feel like I’m indwelt, I feel the Holy Spirit bounced around in there. Your feelings do not affect the truth of the Word. If you have received Jesus Christ, His offer of grace to every person, if you have received His offer of grace, you’ve repented from your sins, you’re indwelled by the Holy Spirit. That’s what the Bible says.

Now I have to look at my feelings and I’ve got to go, “Wait a minute, you’re not in charge.” How you feel about this isn’t the standard for what is right or wrong. God is in charge. God decides what’s true and he says you’re indwelt by the Holy Spirit. But the Bible is so much more dramatic than that. In those verses it says, “You are indwelt by the spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.” Oh, a corpse to a living being. That’s the power that’s in you. Now all of a sudden, I go, “Oh, wait a minute, I’m not on my own, I’m not by myself. I’ve got this Holy Spirit power in me.” That’s the truth, so I have to walk in the truth of what the Bible says. Now, following on to that, [unintelligible [00:10:00] everybody. I call this mild post verses in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 10:13. “We have to believe God, says what He means, and He means what He says.” So here I am facing temptation and it’s not always sexual temptation. Some people are gluttons that’s their besetting sin. Some people are not honest, they just have a natural inclination to change the a little bit. And Satan is a patient incrementalist. He doesn’t mind if you just do this little bit? Every sin takes us further and further away from the heart of God. So relative to sexual sin, relative to pornography, which is where I’ve spent a lot of time in teaching men, what is true is what the Bible says is true, not what you feel. 

So, I feel I’m in a corner. I just can’t stop myself from clicking or looking or lusting or [unintelligible [00:10:48] out of control, I don’t know what to do. Well, we have to believe what the Bible says. If we believe what’s wrong that is the power in my life affecting how I live. If we believe what’s true that is the power in my life affecting how I live. So, we get to 1 Corinthians 10:13 what does it say? By the way you guys all have one of these, see this thing? A lot of people think a cell phone is a Bible, but it’s not. This is a Bible. You got to learn the geography of the Bible, [Phylicia laughs] get a hard copy all right, open it up. 1 Corinthians 10:13 and it’s such an incredibly powerful, powerful verse. It goes like this, “There hath no temptation taken you such as is common to man.” By the way, do you want me to just keep going? Because I can just keep going.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah, sure, keep going. [laughter] 

Matt Jacobson: There’s no temptation taken. We think our temptations are so special to us and so powerful and so individual. Hey, I know Bob, he struggles a little bit, but I really struggle. My temptations are bigger, are harder, are more difficult or worse. Bible doesn’t know your temptation [unintelligible [00:12:01]. There’s no temptation taking you but such as is common to man. So, number one, stop giving so much power to your temptation. It’s just common. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah.

Matt Jacobson: It is normal. You don’t struggle more than the other guy. Your temptations are common to man, number one, but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able. Okay, just a minute. Like my temptations, I’ve got to stop giving my temptation so much power because it’s like, this is common, and God will not allow me ever to be in a situation that’s beyond what I’m able to handle. But will, with that temptation, also make a way of escape that you may be able to bear. Okay, so that’s the truth. The truth is you’re never in a corner, your back is never against the wall without a way out all right. That’s the truth, so guess what, you’ve got power all of a sudden. This is the truth. You can actually resist this temptation. You got to believe what’s true-

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah.

Matt Jacobson: -and what’s true is you’re indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and God says, “You’re never going to be innocent.” God is faithful. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah. 

Matt Jacobson: He will never allow you in a situation that you cannot say no to. That’s the truth. What does that automatically do when it comes to sin, “Oh, I guess I’m not a victim, I’m somebody who’s making a decision each time.” Right?

Phylicia Masonheimer: Right. 

Matt Jacobson: That is what I say to the person who believes, I don’t feel the Holy Spirit, and I don’t feel like I can overcome. That’s the truth. That being a Biblical Christian, this is.

Phylicia Masonheimer: You put it so simply and so clearly, and I think it’s just so helpful to hear that straight from scripture, straight from the Bible that A, I have the power to overcome this and B, I will always have a way of escape. I don’t have to do this. We had a situation with one of our kids where she would say, “I didn’t hit my sister, my body hit my sister.” [laughter]

Matt Jacobson: Hey, that’s perfect. This woman you gave me, that’s like, Adam right there. Right? 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Like, my body did it and he had to tell her, no you have a chance to say no to this. When you are deciding to hit your sister, your body is just not robotic. Like, you can actually have a role in choosing this or not choosing it. I think as adults, we have to be reminded of that, too, because we think, in the moment, I’m a victim of this impulse instead of the power of the spirit. So, say you are in that moment. You’re there whether it’s pornography or anger. You want to yell at somebody or worry and fear and just like getting in a spiral in your head. In that moment, what could you describe, what that kind of looks like? You kind of did but for those who need an extra visual.

Matt Jacobson: Absolutely. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: I’m in the moment of temptation and how do I discern the voice of God? How do I go through this process?

Matt Jacobson: Well. Here’s the thing, you don’t have to discern the voice of God. He’s already spoken. There’s no discerning needed. We just have to know the Bible. We have to know what he says about this situation and that’s why we should all right now imagine that we’re in Ukraine right now. The war is going on, all right, we’re on the battlefield. The Russians are invading. We are fighting for our lives, okay. Now, in the summertime, not in the winter, but in the summertime and they say this war is going to go right through the summer. In the summertime, Ukraine is a great place for a sun tan, did you know that? Yeah, that’s where they grow all the wheat over there and just a great place. Here you are on the battlefield, and you’re a soldier and you’ve got your gun and you got everything, your pack and everything, some explosives and everything. Yeah, but that stuff is all sitting over there in the corner because you want a sun tan, right, like, how stupid is that soldier. He’s ignoring or she is ignoring the reality of his existence because he’s a soldier. What has God told you about your existence? Know the Word, believe the Word, live in the Word. God has told you to get dressed for battle. God has said, “I’m giving you this armor, all right, the armor of God passage.” Hey, do you all know where that is?

Phylicia Masonheimer: I was like, don’t ask me, Matt. I’m really bad with addresses. [laughs]

Matt Jacobson: No, I’m not putting anybody on the spot. I’m just saying, wait a minute, I don’t know what God said about armor. I don’t know what he’s talking about. I don’t know anything. Like, do you think Satan’s going to use that lack of knowledge about getting prepared for battle? Do you think Satan is going to twist it a little bit and make you relax on the battlefield? The context of your existence is spiritual warfare. The Bible says, “We are surrounded by spiritual entities.” Right?

Phylicia Masonheimer: Right.

Matt Jacobson: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, always say them together and you can remember where they are. [Phylicia, laughs] Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, we’re going to go to Ephesians 6 and we’re going to talk about this business of what do I do in the midst of warfare? What do I do? Because I feel it in the moment, but I don’t feel it in the great moment. So, in the great moments am I just that dude getting a sun tan and ignoring that I’ve got a gun or a sword as the case may be, is what we’re going to see. Our existence is the battlefield. That is the context of our existence. In Ephesians 6:10, it says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord.” Now, don’t you love that? I’m feeling weak right now, I’m getting attacked and the Bible says, “Be strong in the Lord.” What does it mean to be strong in the Lord? It means to be in fellowship with Him, to know what he says and to believe what he says. That’s how you be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Well, what is the power of God’s might? That sounds pretty powerful to me. Does that sound like, “Hey, if you get into that place where I’m strong in the Lord and I’m strong in the power of His might.” Does that sound like weakness? 

This is the great lie of Satan when it comes to your temptation, when you’re weak. You just can’t be okay because you’re weak. But God says, “Oh, no, you’re not weak, you’re strong.” Remember that Holy Spirit passage from Romans 8. You’re indwelt by the spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. Stop telling yourself you’re weak. If you tell yourself I’m weak, you’re going to walk in weakness because you will walk in whatever you tell yourself as the truth, as the context of your existence. The Bible goes, “No, no, no. God decides what the context of your existence is.” You’re not weak, you’re indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and the Bible goes on here in Ephesians, “Be strong in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God.” Now, that’s interesting for the believer, right? 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Right.

Matt Jacobson: Because it says, “You get dressed. Put it on.”

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah. 

Matt Jacobson: Why? So, you can withstand Satan’s attacks. That’s essentially what the Word is saying.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah.

Matt Jacobson: But see God won’t dress you for battle. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah. [crosstalk]

Matt Jacobson: God will not treat you like a toddler. He treats you like, what, a warrior? How do you think it would work out. This is the Roman warrior getting dressed for battle. That’s what all these elements are within this description. How do you think it would work out for the commanding officer to go to one of his big tough warriors, frontline dude,] say, “Hey, buddy, I’m going to help you get dressed this morning?” I’m not saying that. I don’t think that’s not going to go really well. He’s a man, get dressed for battle and in this case, you’re a woman as well. Get dressed for battle. It’s for men and women. Get dressed. God says, get dressed. Why? Because if you don’t get dressed, you can’t withstand Satan’s attacks. That’s what this says.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Right.

Matt Jacobson: For we wrestle not and here’s where we have to accept what the Bible says about the context of our existence. We might be having a great summer day at the lake. We might be having an awesome date with our spouse. We might be having a triumph at work but here’s the reality of every situation. I might be alone and tempted to click on something that God says is unworthy in every situation, whether it’s a great moment mountaintop experience in life or the depth of the valley, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. All right, so where do I live? I live on the globe. I live on earth. I happen to live in the western hemisphere of earth. I happen to live in North America. I happen to live in the United States. I happen to live on the west coast of the United States. I happen to live in the state of Oregon. I happen to live in Crook County.

Okay. Those are all jurisdictions. Well, that’s what’s being described here. There are principalities and powers. There’re jurisdictions of evil everywhere that’s why you need to get dressed for battle, because that’s the context of your existence. It doesn’t mean we’re not joyful warriors, but that’s the reality of everything around us and then it continues on wherefore because Satan is going to attack you and you’re surrounded. Take unto you the whole armor of God. Whoa, whoa, whoa, in the space of three verses, I’m told twice to get dressed. Get dressed, God is not going to dress you. He’s equipped you. He’s made provision. He’s given you all this armor.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah. 

Matt Jacobson: He’s given you power, He has indwelt you with the Holy Spirit, He’s equipped you, he’s given you provision, power, and protection. He’s given you the power, you’re indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He’s given you the provision, the armor of God. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah.

Matt Jacobson: And He’s given you protection. The promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13. I will never allow because I’m a faithful God, I will never allow you to be in a situation, cannot try that’s the truth. Now if I’m struggling with pornography and all of a sudden, I realize, “Whoa, I’m not weak. I’m strong.” I have provision, I was told to get dressed, I got to get dressed for battle and the rules of engagement are already fixed. I cannot lose. I cannot be made to lose.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah.

Matt Jacobson: I can choose, but I cannot be made to lose because He has given me provision, power, and protection. That’s the beautiful truth of the Christian life. So, if you’re walking in the opposite, I’m weak, I’m not protected, and I don’t have any power, and I don’t have anything to fight with. Well, if you believe that that’s exactly the reality that you’re going to live in. That’s I think what’s happening with a lot of Christians. They don’t believe the truth. They don’t believe what the Bible says. The Bible talks about the washing of regeneration, the washing of the minds– we need our minds washed. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah.

Matt Jacobson: It’s washed with the truth. Oh, go ahead.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Well, I wanted to ask you as someone asked a question in the comments and I can see this as like the kind of devil’s advocate question. 

Matt Jacobson: Sure. Absolutely. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Well, what about the passages that say “When I am weak, I am strong,” or God has glorified in my weakness? What is that referring to if we are indeed provided for and protected and given this power, what’s the relationship there between that weakness and God’s strength?

Matt Jacobson: That is not talking about your standing as a believer before God. That is talking about the flesh, when I’m weak. That passage is speaking of Paul where God gave Paul something, we don’t know what, but something that even Paul looked at as a weakness in his flesh, something that he felt inhibited him from the full expression of what he wanted to do for the Lord. That was not talking about spiritual warfare. That’s not speaking about laying down and doing nothing because I’m weak. God’s strong because I’m weak. What did the Lord do with the children of Israel? He elected the people of Israel. They were chosen. They were all elect. The chosen people of Israel and then all those elect people died in the desert. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: We’re actually studying that right now in Bible in a year club with my ladies. We’re right at that point where they are about to enter the promised land. They reject what God offers them, refuse to obey Him and walk in the strength that He gave them to conquer the promised Land and because of their decision, they end up wandering until they die.

Matt Jacobson: Yeah.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Here they were, the whole nation was elect and all of them were rejected and were not allowed to go into the promised land. That’s interesting. We need to understand election really carefully and clearly. So, the thing is that the ones who actually were obedient and did go into the promised land, they believed and they walked in faith those people. God said, “I’m giving you the land.” And then what did he say? “Go take it.” They had to go and find. They had to go and clear out the wickedness out of the land. It’s not just a matter of “Yo, I’m saved and I’m done.” 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah. 

Matt Jacobson: God says get dressed for battle. The person in the weakness of our flesh that’s talking about how weak we are apart from the power, the provision, and the protection that God has given us. You’re right, we’re weak in and of ourselves.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Right. 

Matt Jacobson: But in that weakness, God gives the power, the provision, the armor of God for battle, and he gives us protection. By the way, when it comes to the armor of God for battle, what’s the sword for? Like you got a sword from the battlefield. What are you going to do with that sword, you’re going to stick it in the guts of your enemy. And you’re going to move it from side to side and hope his bowels gush out on the ground or maybe cut his head off. I will do graphic. [Phylicia, laughs] That’s what a sword is for. The Bible says, “The sword of the spirit is the Word of God.” This is an offensive battle tool. This is a weapon to use in battle and that’s what you do with the sword. It’s exactly why we think we can take Satan on, we think we can stand because we sang a worship song on Sunday and we had a great feeling as we all gathered and praised the Lord. Well, that’s not using your sword. You see, in battle, a sword is an offensive weapon, which is why Jesus used the sword when he went head-to-head with Satan. Why do we think we can be victorious Christians without knowing how to handle our sword? All right, so what did Jesus do? He stuck the sword in the guts of Satan’s arguments, right? 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah.

Matt Jacobson: Satan comes and makes his case here and Jesus says, “It is written, Satan makes his case here.” Satan was saying some things that were marginally true, like he did with Eve. He took the truth and he twisted, see that’s what he does. The Lord goes, no, this is what the Word says, “Stick the sword in.” This is what the Word says, “Stick the sword.” Jesus used the sword in battle, you’ve got to do the same thing. So, when your feelings tell you I’m weak and I just not protected in this moment, wrong. You’re not weak. You’re strong because you’re indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. You personally are not strong. You’re weak in the flesh, –

Phylicia Masonheimer: Right.

Matt Jacobson: -but you’ve been indwelt by the power of the Holy Spirit and if you continue on with those verses in Romans, chapter 8, it says, “He will quicken your mortal body. He will literally make you even strong in your present mortal body because you are not a debtor to sin.” Right.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Right.

Matt Jacobson: We’ve got this theology, I’m a debtor to sin. I got to do what sin says. No, you don’t. You’re not a debtor of sin, you’re a debtor to the spirit. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: I love that you pointed this out, this distinction that our identity is no longer with the flesh, in the flesh, of the flesh, any of that. He says, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” He’s not saying like, “Oh, I’m constantly weak.” He’s actually emphasizing that he’s strong. Like he’s saying, “I have the strength of God to overcome this.” That verse can’t be used to argue that we are constantly weak because he’s literally saying the opposite. [laughs] 

Matt Jacobson: Despite the weakness of my flesh, I am an overcomer, powerful and strong. That’s what he’s saying in the Lord, that’s what he’s saying.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah. 

Matt Jacobson: Despite that weakness. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah. So, what do you say to people who are– they have sinned or they have been struggling with sin. I’ve talked a good deal about repentance and what that looks like, but can you summarize if they’re like, “Okay, I want to be strong and I want to walk in this.” But historically, up to this point, I haven’t. So, what do I do to reset basically and start walking this way?

Matt Jacobson: Sure. The truth is the Christian life is a constant coming back to the heart of God, you know whether it’s a small thing or large thing, nobody walks on water as Jesus did. 1 John is so interesting, these things I have written that you might know that you have eternal life and then a few chapters later it goes, “He who is born of God does not sin.” Okay, does not make a practice of or walk in sin is really what he’s saying there. There’s this dynamic tension between the two. You can absolutely have assurance that you’re saved, but God calls you to walk with Him. What the person should do. Again, this is one of those things where feelings and thoughts and history is powerful, right. Satan loves using this to define who you are in the present, right? Okay, I want to talk about two things. I want to talk about who you are and then I want to talk about his use of temptation. First of all, again, this is believe what God says, when I come to the Lord, 1 John 1, when we confess our sins, he is faithful and just that’s a fascinating juxtaposition, he’s faithful and justice is served. Right.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Mm-hmm.

Matt Jacobson: He’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Okay, so now, if my sins have been forgiven and I’m cleansed from all unrighteousness, what’s the truth? My sins have been forgiven and I’ve been cleansed from all unrighteousness. I see that’s the truth. It doesn’t matter if Satan constantly goes, “Yeah, but you’re still kind of mad.” Oh, yeah, because remember that bad thought that [unintelligible [00:32:11] your mind, see that’s who you are. Satan, wants to define you by your temptations. Now, let’s think about that in the terms of Christ, if Christ was defined by His temptations wait, what were the temptations of Christ? What did the Bible actually say? He was tempted in all points as we are yet without sin. Theologians love to spiritualize that. You think Jesus wasn’t tempted sexually. Of course, He was because He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. Jesus is not defined by His temptations. He’s defined by His identity who He is. You are not defined by your temptations. Satan wants you to think that you’re the one person that has sordid thoughts pop into your head randomly. If you really know the icky stuff that ran through my head, that’s not who you are, some weird dreams that you had, that’s not who you are. Satan wants to define you by that. Satan’s trick is to define you by two things; your past and your ongoing temptations because if I’m defined by that, I’m living in defeat.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Right 

Matt Jacobson: Now, we have to war a good warfare, I want to talk about how to do that in a minute, but you’re not defined by what Satan wants to say you’re defined by. You’ve got to reject his twisting, his lies. He’s a deceiver. He’s a discourager. That’s not what you’re defined by. Jesus wasn’t defined by His temptation and he was tempted in every way. You’re not defined by your temptations. That’s the truth. You’re defined by what God says. And what does he say? First of all, when you become safe, you’re a new creation in Christ. That’s the truth. Secondly, he says, “When you confess your sins, you’re totally clean.” That’s the truth. What does God say he does with our sin? He doesn’t remember them. He doesn’t remember anymore, they’re done. He just puts them away. That’s the truth. Now, Satan never forgets. He’s casting this stuff up to you all the time. But you’ve got to war a good warfare in your mind. No, I believe what God says about me, not what you do. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah.

Matt Jacobson: Not what you say. Now, what do I do when I’ve got this temptation? It’s an incoming missile and that’s the thing about temptations. Call it what it is. It’s incoming ordinance on the field of battle designed to blow your head up like a watermelon that just got shot with the thirty-aught-six. That’s what the temptation is. It’s incoming attacks from the enemy. I’ve got to war a good warfare. This thought comes into my mind and people listening. You’ve got no corner on wicked sort of things. Stuff that pops into my head that I would be embarrassed to even describe. What do we do at that moment? We just read that we’re surrounded by principalities and powers. They can hear what we say. They can’t read your thoughts, but they can hear what we say. So, what we do? Go on the offensive. I reject that thought, say that loud. I’ve been driving down the road and I know somebody’s looking at my car and then, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. What’s he doing?” [Phylicia laughs] [unintelligible [00:35:41] because I’m just going on, I am in high battle mode and I say, “I reject that thought in the name of Jesus. I am a son of the most high God. I am defined by God’s declaration of me as a new creation and I am clean before my Lord.” And then I’m going to sing a song because I want every demon to go. You know what? We need to stop tempting, we need to stop attacking, because this is only turning this dude into praising the Lord. That’s a backfire of our efforts. Right.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Right.

Matt Jacobson: So that’s how I think of it. You are not weak, you’re not a victim. Take that thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. Speak boldly who you are and believe what’s true. I am not defined by my temptations. I am defined by what God says I am and I have the power. He’s given power, he’s given me the protection. Made provision for the battle and I can say no to this temptation. I can walk in victory. Now, you might have to do that 150 times a day especially if you’ve been walking in sin and defeat and walking Satan’s way, Satan’s path. You might have to do that a lot but and I’ve certainly had days in my walk with the Lord. I had many times I just get, no, no I take that thought captive, don’t give Satan free rent in your brain, because that’s what he wants you to do with a temptation, to dwell on it, to think about.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah.

Matt Jacobson: Because we tell ourselves, “Well, I’m really not going to go there, but we entertain a little bit.” No, don’t do that. Battle, go head-to-head, and say, “No, this is who I am and I reject that in the name of Jesus.” 

Phylicia Masonheimer: That’s so practical and helpful, Matt. I really appreciate you coming on and sharing just how this is scripture, but we’ve just gone so far from what scripture actually says when it comes to overcoming sin. I think, too, there’s that phrase, “Oh, I’m just a sinner saved by grace that even affects our mentality towards ourselves,” which is why I don’t love that phrase because I think it constantly affirms to us that I am as an identity, a sinner. We emphasize sinner over saved by grace even without meaning to and that’s not how scripture describes us. It describes us as a [crosstalk].

Matt Jacobson: That is one of the most unbiblical phrases in all of Christendom. You are not a sinner saved by grace. You were a sinner who has been saved and is now

.Phylicia Masonheimer: Yes.

Matt Jacobson: A sinner must sin. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah, because you’re being identified by what you do-

Matt Jacobson: 100%.

Phylicia Masonheimer: -which is so ironic to me that we use that phrase because it literally identifies us by what we used to do, who we used to be, and then says, “Oh, now I’ve been saved by grace.” I think it was used maybe as a way to make unbelievers feel more welcome or something like that. But I think it’s really worked to a disadvantage because in the end, what it’s done is, at least with the people I work with is it really has become like a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Matt Jacobson: 100%

Phylicia Masonheimer: I am a sinner. I think of myself as a sinner and-

Matt Jacobson: What can you do? 

Phylicia Masonheimer: -therefore I sin. 

Matt Jacobson: Sinners do what sinners do. So, what can you do? 

Phylicia Masonheimer: [laughs] Which is so sad because that’s what you set us free from.

Matt Jacobson: I don’t want to run over, but do I have a little time? Can I just talk about a couple of things.

Phylicia Masonheimer: Yes. Yeah, we can conclude on this topic.

Matt Jacobson: All right. So, two things, when we go to 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, it says, “This is the will of God.” Before I even speak that verse, what does the word abstain mean? Does that mean like 90%? Does that mean like an 80-20? What’s abstain?-

Phylicia Masonheimer: Have no part in.

Matt Jacobson: -100:0. This is the will of God that you abstain from fornication, abstain. Just because you cut down your pornography habit by 80%, you’re 100% out of step with what God teaches about that. Abstain from fornication, no fornication, zero, this is the standard that God provides in His Word. Here’s where this and you’ll probably get a little response on this. Here’s where people get this idea that I can keep sinning, I could just keep my lifestyle and walk with God. Here’s where they get it from. They get it from Romans chapter 7, where Paul goes, “Hey, what can I do?” I know it’s right, but I don’t do it, and I want to do what’s right. I don’t do that. I do the wrong thing, so what can I do? But what they don’t understand and I believe that this is really a big mistake in interpreting that passage.

First of all, Paul establishes who he’s talking about in 7 by the first verse, “I’m speaking to Jews, those who know the law. I’m speaking to my brethren, the Jews, those who know the law.” That’s the context for what he’s talking about. Paul isn’t just some pathetic Christian who’s going to be saved one of these days, but just can’t walk in righteousness, spends his whole life breaking the law every moment, just can’t do it. It sound like Paul. That’s not Paul. We get Paul’s description of himself a little later in the epistles where he goes, you want to talk about somebody who’s qualified, it’s ranking his standing, and it’s all just perfect. That’s Paul’s description of himself as pharisee. He’s talking about in Romans 7. He’s not talking about a Christian. He’s talking about an unregenerate Jew, somebody who knows the law but can’t walk in it. Don’t use Roman 7 as an excuse for your life of walking in sin because that’s not what that’s teaching. That’s, I think, where theology comes from. The truth is, you have been saved, you have a new identity, what God says is true, he’s made provision; he’s given you the power, and you can go forward in victory. You absolutely can.


Phylicia Masonheimer: That’s such an encouraging message. I think too, without getting into the weeds on Romans 7, a lot of this too, is when we take one passage and we lift it out and we say like, “This is our entire theology of skin and victory and holiness.” We end up with a pretty skewed theology because we’re not actually fitting that into A, the whole context of Romans and who he’s talking to, which is a whole other conversation for another day, but also the whole theology of sin that we see across the whole of scripture and over and over and over in the Old Testament. Like, for example, when we talked about numbers and where they’re standing at the brink of the promised land and God gave them a choice in whether they trusted Him to walk into the promised land or not-


Matt Jacobson: Absolutely.


Phylicia Masonheimer: -and they then invited that failure upon themselves. So, it’s so interesting, then you move to Joshua who was there to watch that happen and Joshua says, “Choose today whom you will serve.” Are you going to serve God or are you going to serve your fear and be a slave, basically, to your past wanting to go back to Egypt where it was easier.


Matt Jacobson: Absolutely.


Phylicia Masonheimer: I just appreciate that you take this whole Bible theological approach to sin and overcoming it for those who are still watching and who weren’t here at the beginning, can you tell everyone again where to find you?

Matt Jacobson: Absolutely. Well, if you’re interested just specifically about freedom from pornography, you can find the course online. It’s called So, you just spell that out, I’ve taken a little break from the Instagram, but my handle is @faithfulman so you can find me there. And then also, we have a podcast. We’ve taken a little break from that, too. It’s called FAITHFUL LIFE Podcast. Those are a few places where you can find us. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: You have a lot of episodes on FAITHFUL LIFE Podcast that they can still listen.

Matt Jacobson: For maybe 90, something like that. 


Phylicia Masonheimer: Yeah. They can backlist until you have new episodes coming out, which hopefully eventually you do but you’re very busy right now. 

Matt Jacobson: Well, it’s our plan. Yeah, we’re going to do it. But, yeah, I’m busy. You’re looking at the bedroom of the Airbnb [unintelligible [00:44:22].

Phylicia Masonheimer: Oh, yes. If you want to visit Matt and Lisa in Oregon, you can rent their beautiful Airbnb too. You’ve got all sorts of fun stuff going on. [laughs] Well, thank you so much, Matt. This was so helpful. I can tell by the comments that people are just, like their minds are blown. They’re just really blessed by this. Thank you for coming on and sharing this with us. 

Matt Jacobson: Awesome. God bless, everybody. So good to be with you. 

Phylicia Masonheimer: See you Matt.


Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode of Verity podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, would you take the time to leave us a review? It helps so many other women around the world find out about Verity and about Every Woman a Theologian, as a ministry and a shop. We appreciate you and I hope you’ll be back next week as we continue to go deeper into God’s Word and the heart of Jesus Christ.

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