Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Battling Sin

What are you tempted by?  

Which of these do you bring into your marriage?  Which of these do you bring into your home?  Is your spouse safe?  Are your children safe?

Hebrews 13:4
Let marriage be held in honor among all,
and let the marriage bed be undefiled.

None of us are exempt from sin.  We all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.  It's true.  We just need to look in a mirror and see it for ourselves.

The other side of that coin is just as true.  For those of us who are in Christ, we are new creation, the old has gone away, the new has come.  We have been justified by faith through Christ.  Just as if we never sinned.

So how do we go through this life as a sinner/saint?  How do we walk with Christ, dealing with sin?  Many books have been written on this subject alone.  Seminars, CDs, DVDs, you name it, it's out there.  Below are some steps that I have found to be good in battling sin.  Please when you read this, don't think that I don't struggle with sin. I certainly do struggle with it, but I am learning where the true battle lies.

Regardless, I hope these help.

I know you don't feel like this, but you are a good man.  God has created something in your heart that is good.  He is moving you in a new direction.  The battle is sure (Romans 7 reminds us of that), but the grace of God, through the Spirit, is shaping you to be more like Christ.  That is a promise.

A few things to ponder:
  • Recognize what temptation is and how it works.
    • The devil will not just tempt us not with sins to just bring us down, but also with sins to help us boast of our self righteousness.  
    • Remember not to give into the temptation to boast of your sinlessness.
    • We walk by the Spirit - in humbleness, both the good days and the bad days.
Galations 5:25
If we live by the Spirit,
let us also walk by the Spirit.
  • Remember not to listen to the devil.
    • he is a liar. 
    • he is a thief.  
    • he wants to destroy you.  
    • he would love for you to listen to him tell you how horrible you are.
James 4:7
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal
and kill and destoy
  • Remember your depravity. 
    • As long as we are on this earth, we will never know how deep our sin is.  How horrible our sin is.  How base our sin is.
    • Jack Miller used to say "Cheer up.  You are a whole lot worse than you are.  God's grace is a whole lot bigger than you can imagine."  We will never know the depth of our sin, nor the richness of God's mercy.  I praise God for the one and increased knowledge of the other.
Romans 7:24
Wretched man that I am!
Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Revelation 3:17
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered,
and I need nothing,
not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable,
poor, blind and naked.
  • Confess your sin.  Repent.
    • This is not a little thing.  Confession is good for the soul for a reason - it ushers in a promise, a response from a loving and forgiving Father.
    • Repenting from our sin sets us straight again.  It realigns our sanity.  
Psalm 32:5
I acknowledged my sin to You,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,"
and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
  • Serve Christ.
    • Nothing helps to get your mind of off sin like submitting yourself to the service of Christ.  Commit yourself to get out of your comfort zone.  
      • Spend time with someone who does know Christ.
      • Serve at a food pantry.
      • Give stuff away.
      • Give your time away.
    • Don't do this out of guilt, do these acts of service as true acts of worship.
2 Corinthians 5:20
Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ,
making His appeal through us.
  • Worship Christ alone.
    • Submit yourself to God and His glory.  Commit yourself to worshipping Him.
      • In song
      • In reading the Word
Psalm 95:6
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker!
  • Find someone who will disciple you.
    • I have had the privilege of having many men speak into my life. 
    • Contact your pastor, elder, friend or me.
    • Walk with someone else in your journey.
 Hebrews 10:24-25
Let us consider how to stir up
one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together,
as is the habit of some,
but encourage one another,
and all the more as you see
the Day drawing near.
  • Put on Christ today.
    • The Gospel calls us to war.  War with the devil and war with our sin.  When Paul instructs his followers to put on the armor of God, he is not merely suggesting it to them as a good idea.  This is a command, for we are at war.
Ephesians 6:13
Therefore take up the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all,
to stand firm.
  • Remember to rest in the active work of Christ.
Ephesians 1:7-8
In Him we have redemption through His blood,
the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of His grace,
which He lavished upon us.

He has delivered us from the
domain of darkness and transferred us to
the Kingdom of His beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption,
the forgiveness of sins.

Forgiveness is found at the cross and empty tomb.