A young person asked me the other day a simple yet fundamental question that I feel needs to be addressed, the question was: How do I fight sin?
Every true believer battles “sin” on a daily basis; from our actions, to our words, even to our thoughts. As a true follower of Christ our greatest desire is to please the Father, and losing battles to sin can really burden the believer. Yes, we are saved by grace through faith (Galatians 2:8) but in truth because of our salvation we aspire to honor God with our lives. So in order to battle sin, we must understand that sin is acting upon temptation and this is the first element of the battle. To overcome sin we must fight or avoid temptation at all cost.
Looking through scripture and being led by the Spirit, the beauty and glory of this battle belongs to the Spirit of God. Amen to that, in that our victories over temptation are not of our doing but of the workings of the Holy Spirit within us. We boast not in ourselves, as if we were strong enough or devote enough to overcome sin, but we boast in the work that the Holy Spirit has done within us. Glory to God!
1 John 3:24b
“And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know by the Spirit he gave us. (NIV)
Every child of God is born-again, which means that they are a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). Being born of God, a child of God is given God’s seed as we see in 1 John 3:9 “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. (NIV).” We see from this text that it is God’s seed (The Holy Spirit) that enables us to refrain from sinning. It is the Spirit of God within us that fights our battles of temptation and allows us victory from sin.
It is important to note here, that just in case we have forgotten, Jesus Christ has justified us before God the Father by his blood being poured out on the cross for our sins. The battle of sin that is being expressed here is for a regenerated man, who is in Christ Jesus. This process of the Spirit in our life is fighting and overcoming sin to conform us to the image of Christ and allowing us to be more like Christ in how we act, talk and think. So, if you see that sin is not being over come in your life it is essential to go to the source, which is, believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Where do we come in? Am I to sit around and just live life as before? Using the words of Paul, by all means No! It is essential to feed the Spirit of the Lord, to allow for proper and healthy growth. How is it that we, as believers in Christ, can do that? I will give three ways that should be expected and desired in every Christian’s life.
- Read the Word of God: Hebrews 4:12 reads, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (NIV)” The Word, will bring an awareness and understanding to the convictions that the Holy Spirit is pressing upon you. It will allow you to discern the workings of the Spirit and help you see the path of righteousness that the Spirit is setting you upon.
- Pray: The Lords prayer has a line that we should pay special attention to on the subject of overcoming temptation. Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (NIV).” It is God that will deliver us! The line does not read… so I can overcome the evil one, so I can defeat the evil one, so I can avoid the evil one. It reads God, you lead us away from temptation and God, and you deliver us away from the evil one. Why? Because I do not possess the strength on my own to do so.
- Fellowship: James 5:19-20 “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over love. This is the second greatest commandment according to Jesus “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The body of Christ can walk with you, love you, help you grow in knowledge of Jesus and his commands and allow the Spirit of God to flourish in your life.
My prayer is that we will allow the Spirit to consume our lives, that sin will be overcome in many areas that may seem difficult right now and that Christ be glorified through all of it.
Amen. Grace and peace to all of you.
1 John 5:3-4
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.