How can I overcome a habitual sin?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The first thing to consider in how to overcome habitual sin is to note the change, or transformation, that takes place when a person is saved. The Bible describes the natural man as "dead in sin an...

July 01 2013 11 responses Vote Up Share Report

David goliath victory hg clr Jim Tumlinson One beggar leading others to where the bread is
This is a question that many a Christian has asked since Jesus time I'm sure. None of us want to sin and we do feel bad when we do. Paul tells us in Romans that it is the sin in my flesh that does it. It may also be a generational thing, someone in the family generations had the same issue but no one knew about it or talked about it and so it continues trying to destroy. One may never stop the habitual sin. There are some things we can do to help either stop or get through it.
1. Get an accountability partner you can trust
2. Get a mentor who will help you grow through it.
3. Read your bible, just to read, not to necessarily deal with the sin
4. Ask God to reveal His grace to you

Now the good news! Your sin were forgiven before you were born. I'm not saying it is okay to sin. What I am saying is that your sin was dealt with already. Let's look at this verse; Heb 10:2 For if it were otherwise, would [these sacrifices] not have stopped being offered? Since the worshipers had once for all been cleansed, they would no longer have any guilt or consciousness of sin. AMP

Heb 9:14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! NIV

Phil 2:12-13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him. NLT

1 Peter 5:8-11 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. NIV

The point of these is to help you in your struggle. We are the righteousness of God in Christ. That means we are always in right standing with God. NO MATTER WHAT We must remember we are a spirit (that is sinless) we live in a body (which sins) we have a soul, our mind will and emotions (which sin). 
God does not want us to focus on our sin because it was dealt with long before we were born, unless we don't receive the gift of eternal life in Jesus. If we continue to let it get to us then we will walk around feeling guilty for something that was paid for on the cross. Then we won't work in the kingdom because we don't feel worthy.

Our job is to do good works no matter what our flesh does. Sin is what we do but not who we are. We are the righteousness of God, Holy, acceptable, apple of His eye no matter what. I'm not saying it is okay to sin but take the focus off the sin and put it on your right standing with God. As long as you try not to sin you will sin. As long as you focus on doing good you will do good.

Romans 8:1 says there is no condemnation for those in Christ. We are always in Christ because we are born again and thus there is no condemnation no matter what. The devil may accuse you or try to get you to condemn yourself but stick to the scriptures.

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. NIV

As you rest in the above scriptures and ask God to reveal His grace, you will find yourself doing more for the kingdom and feeling less and less condemned and more and more free. <:)

December 24 2013 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Cbrowne Chris Browne Bible Teacher, Author, Speaker
The bottom line truth is that "you" can't. 

Jesus is pretty clear in John 15:5 when He says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

Nothing means that no matter how hard you and I "try", we simply cannot. We are not capable of it on our own strength or our own merit. 

Some people may tell you that, once you have become a Christian, then it is possible to simply "try harder" but that flies in the face of Romans 5:1-2 where Paul writes: "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand."

The key to understanding and applying that passages are the words, "which we now stand."

The wording in the original greek language implies that the standing that we are doing, is "continuous", "active" and "present". 

In other words, the grace that saved you (Ephesians 2:8-9) is the grace that transforms you. 

Don't miss that!

Now, one may say, "great... so I may as well go on sinning and simply blame God." 

To that line of thinking, the Apostle Paul writes the words, May it Never Be! (Romans 9). 

Transformation begins with "repentance". To repent simply means to change our heart or our mind. Jesus invites people to continually change their mind about who He is and who we are so that we can become reflections of His. 

The first question that I would ask myself regarding habitual sin would be have I truly "changed my mind and my heart" (repented) about this particular sin, or do I still find pleasure in it that I need to repent of?

Where is my focus? "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires" Read the rest: Romans 8:5-13). 

There are several stages to transformation that follow:

First, repentance is followed by the renewing of our mind or "belief" (Romans 12:1-2). 

Second, belief is followed by imitation, which simply means putting the new focus into practice. 

Third, this will be followed by testing and the opportunity to either return to the sin and deny Christ or deny our self and demonstrate our love for Christ (John 14:15). 

This third stage is crucial to expect. Too often we carry a false belief that simply because I've "repented" that the desire will go away, but it is during the time of testing that we develop perseverance and that our faith become mature and complete (James 1:4).

This is why Paul tells Timothy not to pick leaders who are new to the faith because they may know the right answers, but they have yet to be tested to see if they truly Love Christ enough to be His Friend and to obey Him rather than deny Him (1 Timothy 3:6,10, John 15:14).

The final stage is when we "go and teach" this to someone else (Matthew 28:19-20). A major part of the great commission is that as we learn to obey, that we learn to instruct others through what we learned (2 Corinthians 1:3-6, 2 Timothy 2:2).

The last part is that we have the Holy Spirit as our source of power through the process of standing in the grace of Christ. In the midst of Paul's struggle with sin he says, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26)." And in Acts 1:8, we read the words of Christ, that we shall receive "power" when the Holy Spirit comes on us. 

To sum it up. 

Neither you nor I can. Only Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit can transform us. Jesus invites us to continually stand in the process of transformation with Him and He invites us through the steps of Repentance, Belief, Following, Loving/Denying, Going and Teaching as we learn to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Hope that helps. 

C Browne

December 31 2013 6 responses Vote Up Share Report

Eced7a1f c81d 42f4 95ea 9d5719dce241 Singapore Moses Messenger of God, CEO in IT industry, Astronaut, Scientist
Jesus was tempted like us "in all points" but He overcame (Heb 4:15). "He is able to aid those who are tempted" (Heb 2:18). 

On our part we are to first surrender the organs of our body as a living sacrifice on God's altar (Rom 12:1). We are no more ours. We are bought with a price. We belong to God. Make a covenant with your eyes that you will no more look at someone lustfully (Job 31:1). Present your hands to God so it may not touch the forbidden. And your legs not to go where Christ Himself would not go. And so on (Rom 6:13). Remind yourself of this commitment each morning. 

The power to say no to sin is yours by the indwelling Christ. You are dead, buried, raised and seated with Christ (Rom 6:3,4; Eph 2:4-6). Meditate on this fact of identification with Christ as often as possible. 

To receive a fresh supply of strength to resist temptation Christ has taught us to pray. Our body of flesh and blood is weak. Our desire to overcome temptation becomes effective only when we "watch and pray" (Mt 26:41). 

When Christ was tempted He wielded the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, against Satan (Mt 4:4,7,10; Eph 6:17). Be regular in Bible meditation. David hid God's Word in his heart that he might not sin against Him (Psa 119:11). Saturate yourself with the Scriptures. Memorize as many verses as you can. At the hour of temptation the Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance the right text (Jn 6:14-26). 

Don't be a loner. You need the fellowship of God's children. "If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble" (Eccl 4:9-12). 

Everytime you overcome temptation the battle will only be intensified. The "roaring lion" will be after you (1 Pet 5:8). But "He who is in you is greater that he who is in the world" (1 Jn 4:4). Take refuge under the blood of Jesus. Depend on His grace. "Sin shall not have dominion over you!" (Rom 6:14).

December 11 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Bruce Lyon Elder: Restoration Fellowship Assembly
To stop habitually sinning stop concentrating on the sins you are committing and instead concentrate on the lord Jesus, the anointed one, who shed his blood on the cross and in whom God condemned sin in the flesh, thus allowing us to have all our sins put away as far as the east is from the west.This is so God can pronounce us not guilty before His court of justice, and therefore we become the righteousness of God in the anointed one Jesus.

We need to realize that when we were baptized we were baptized into the death of the lord Jesus and having done so were are to reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive unto God in newness of life which we received when we came out of the water and received the holy spirit making us a temple that God can reside in individually and collectively in the Assembly of saint - holy one.

Knowing these things and constantly reminding ourselves of the price that Jesus paid for our sins, and realizing that we are bought with such a tremendous price, how can we continue to sin habitually?

To stop look the lord Jesus for all the help which he can provide!

December 25 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Noel Paschke
we are sinful people who are saved by the Grace of God through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The 'natural man' that is the person we are before we come to Christ, still exists even after coming to Christ. The 'natural man' wants to continue in his sinful ways but we now have the Holy Spirit living inside of us.

So, we have a choice, do we obey the 'natural sinful man' and feed his desires or do we choose to live for Christ?

What would help is changing the way we think, 'renew our minds' in God's ways and not 'the natural man's ways'. 

But we are not perfect in our actions ONLY in our position in Christ. So, although we are saints because of our position in Christ we still sin because we are not perfect in our thoughts and actions. Paul, says "I keep doing the things I don't want to do and those I should be doing I don't do."

How to overcome habitual sin:
1. Understand that God does not condemn you only Satan does that.
2. Renew your thinking through God's Word.
3. Ask yourself the question WHY do I do the things I should not be doing? More often than none the source is selfishness, insecurity, loneliness and anger. Prayer and the knowledge of who you are in Christ will help renew your thoughts.
4. Find an accountability partner who you can trust and someone who can coach you through all aspects of your life.
5. Bad habits normally change when we replace them with good one's. Psychologists say that it takes about 40 days to form a new habit.
6. Also simple commitment and discipline to overcome the sinful habits helps.
7. Lastly, remember that no-one will ever be without sin this side of heaven.

September 10 2014 6 responses Vote Up Share Report

Open uri20120113 17347 9mq5kn Nick Koogler
If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death (1 John 5:16 - 5:17 NKJV)

Each sin should be dealt with independently and addressed differently but ALL should be addresed. Jesus says if our eye causes us to sin we must pluck it out. Obviously, Christianity believes Jesus is using hyperbole because we see very few one eyed Christians around. This doesn't remove the fact that Jesus expects us to be serious about addressing sin of all kinds. Recognizing sin for what it is, is the first step. Any thing that sepperates us from God is sin. Step two would be to do the opposite of sin and get closer to God. What that means for you may be different from what that means for me. I know some who read their Bibles Daily but do not always feel close to God. There is much good advice above like: Mentors, accountability partners, and such; each one is a way but you have to find the way that was given to you by God. 
Resolve to live a life that draws you closer to the image of Christ. Focus on following the commands and principles given by Christ and everything else will fall into place. You will find that as some sins fall away they will only be replaced by others you never knew were there. 
Read Ephesians 6:10 and following. 

God bless you. Your question is the beginning of your solution.

January 02 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Scan14 Michael Tinsley Retired Army veteran. Love my Bible (Jesus) and fishing.
If you are 'dealing' with habitual sin you know one thing and need to learn another.

The thing you know is, no matter how hard you try, you can't defeat sin by concentrating on overcoming it. That is not how God's mercy and grace work.

When Jesus was alive He said numerous times He did nothing on His own but that He only did what the Father told Him to say and do, John 5:19, John 12:49, John 14:10.

If Jesus Himself only did what the Father told Him why would any of us think we had a better way? I don't know but, I _do know many of us try to please and obey our Father using our own power and we fail every time.

Jesus told us how to become righteous, sanctified, and glorified and many of us missed those 'meetings'. In John 15:4-5 He tells us this, ''Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me."I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.' 

In John 14:6, " Jesus answered Thomas when he asked how they would know the way, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

He told the Apostles and us the key to successful Christian life is to abide in Him and He in us. Jesus' Holy Spirit teaches us and guides us with Jesus living His life _through us. We can walk beside Him and, as long as its Him expressing Himself through us we are living the right (only) way. If we decide to do things our way, He is no longer effective because He respects our free will and leaves us alone to blunder into another mess.

Every morning when we wake we thank the Lord for a new day and in faith determine to stay out of His way as He lives His life through us. You see, Jesus didn't only give us life, He _is our life. That is how grace works, living in harmony with Him as He reveals Himself and His Gospel to others through us.

When we turn our entire life over to Him we gain His peace beyond understanding, His faithful love and His abiding joy. Philippians 4:7, John 15:7-13.

In turning our life over to Him it must be _everything. Our emotions, our bills, our possessions, our jobs, and what we're going to eat and how we are going to get that food. Jesus provides all that for us and, since He created the world, He owns it and everything in it.

It is sometimes difficult at first to give up control to Him because our society has taught us to be go-getters, get it done, do it yourself if you want it to be right. That works in the world but not in Christianity. 

All we have to do is 'be' in Jesus.. Simply thank Him for salvation, for His mercy, grace, and love and then abide in Him. Just rest in his finished work. He did everything for us because we couldn't, dying for us and being resurrected by the Father as our promise of eternal life and He continues to lead us down the right path by His indwelling Holy Spirit.

Remember He said in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Abide in Him, rest in Him, and trust in Him and you will be _eager to do the things of Christianity that once were things you felt you _had to do whether you wanted to or not. Like reading so many chapters in your Bible every day, or attending church, making donations, etc. Because of how His love touches you when you find His rest and stay there.

Sin won't be a problem because you will be lovingly focused on Jesus instead of the sin you couldn't defeat on your own.

If you fail at first in letting Jesus live through you, don't be discouraged. When you catch yourself trying to run things simply realize it and turn it back to Him. It will become easier with experience.

God's grace to you!

March 31 2017 9 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Bob Rutz Jesus loves me.
The Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world, for my sins.

The Lamb of God, slain two thousand years ago, for my sins.

The Lamb of God, slain for the sins I committed and confessed yesterday.

The Lamb of God, slain for the sins you and I and others will commit tomorrow as we and they "crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold Him up to contempt." (Hebrews 6:6)

But He continues to love us so much. So why would we want to keep adding more sins now for Him to bear back then?

Nothing will help you more than each time it happens, laying the sin you are about to commit alongside the stripes and wounds you are about to lay on Him...

December 25 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Isabella earrings Dan Rivers Christian, Husband, Grandfather, Son, AT&T retiree
I think the following scriptural verses attempt to answer this question...

1Jo 3:7-10 NIV - {7} Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. {8} The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. {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. {10} This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God's child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

Thus anyone that knowingly continues to sin can not be BORN of God and does not belong to God, but belongs to the devil and will be treated as such.

Heb 10:26-27 NIV - {26} If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, {27} but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

That said, Abraham and Sarah lied deliberately in an attempt to save Abraham's life...Gen 12:13, Gen 20:2 

Yet there is nothing mentioned in the Bible about any type of punishment or even a reprimand from God about it...

In fact he was made a rich man because of it...Gen 20:14-16

Paul also tells us that sin is not charged against anyone that is not under the law...Rom 5:13...

Born Again children of God are not under the law just as Abraham was not under the law...

Praise God!

September 10 2014 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Aurel Gheorghe
In addition to all the good advise you got here from others, I would add that is necessary for each individual to take responsibility of his/hers life and make a human effort to avoid that particular sin or sins. Yes God will give you strength to overcome addictions and temptations but there is work we also need to do. 

In many instances people were instructed to make the first move, to do their part and show faith. Jut two examples: 2 Kings 5:14, John 5:8 God expects as to do as much as we can, and He is taking care of the rest that we are powerless to do. 

If, for example, someone is abusing alcohol, probably avoiding places where alcohol is being served would be a good start. If friends or family members are a bad influence, avoiding these individuals would make sense. We all have specific weakness that Satan is trying to exploit. Until the Holy Spirit starts working and making a transformation if your life, keeping yourself at distance from certain people and situations is the safest way to guard against sin.

September 09 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Priscilla Quarles
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin for his seed remaineth in him and,he cannot sin because he is born of God. We cannot sin anymore because we know the truth.The truth is that which make us free. Jesus Christ,God in the flesh have reconciled us back to himself to educate us to the truth, so through our free will we can make the right decisions. 

Now that we are born again Christians, we live in the kingdom of God. Jesus teaches us in the Book of Luke 13:19 the Kingdom Of God is like a mustard seed a tiny seed that is planted and it grows into a large tree. Another teaching in the Book of Mark 4;28 seeds are cast into the ground first the blade grows out of the ground, then the ear,after that the full corn. Sin is the same way,first conceived as a seed once mature than death comes. Whether good or bad in this physical and spiritual world,everything starts off as a seed. This is the truth that has set us free. Sin cannot over take us, we can control a seed. If we continually water that seed it will grow into a tree which is unbending. 

A righteous man fall seven times and rise again but the wicked stumble and stay in evil. Stop watering the evil seed before it bears any fruits. Once it is a tree it reaches habit forming you have lost your control. And once the tree begins to bears fruits it is mature, that's when the devil has bound us up by controling our lives. Christians has been watering the mind and flesh seed more than the God seed in our spirit. And now the Spirit is weaker than the mind and flesh. Now the mind and flesh are in control and the devil can bind you up he has a stronghold. To get free from the strong hold is through fasting is the axe that destroy the tree at the roots and prayer.Put the body and mind under submission and submit to God. By meditating on the word of God morning and in the evening you feed your Spirit Man and you will be strong like the tree planted by the rivers of water that bring forth his fruits in his season where he leaf shall not wither and everything he do will prosper. 

Another way to break free from the evil seed, by stop watering the habit seed where it will wither up and die. Water the good seed where it will grow and develop good habits. We are reconciled back to God to get the truth through the word of God, We can bring every thought to the obedience of Christ when we educate ourselves in the word. We are free to the truth in this life and life with God.

September 17 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Ocie Taylor
One of the most successful methods I've learned through studying habitual habits is that fasting and praying is an excellent way to break habitual sins and move believers into a new area of maturity and faith in God.

We are all born in sin and shaped in iniquity and we all have certain sins that we are naturally bent towards.

Many times we blame the devil for these problems but scripture is clear that these things stem from "our own wicked desires" and once we allow them grow within us they give birth to sin, which leads to death. 

The key to victory or defeat lies in the "choices" we make. Any habitual sin, no matter how deeply rooted, CAN be broken with fasting, prayer, a constant filling of Gods word, and a made up mind to be free of any and all sin.

It's also beneficial to find and talk to other Christians who may be struggling with the same sins. Iron sharpens iron and having an accountability partner or someone you can openly talk to about what your dealing with is another powerful tool. Sin can cause us to live in shame, forcing us to keep these secrets to ourselves because we don't want anyone else to know what we're dealing with and trying to battle these things alone and internally is how they fester and gain more control over us.

But we have to expose the sin in our lives to Gods word; drag those things out of the darkness and into the light and power of our Holy Father so that they may be dealt with accordingly and then when can experience the freedom and joy of holiness without the contradicting thoughts that hinder our praise and growth in Christ.

Is it difficult? Yes. Will you have setbacks? Yes. But can you gain ultimate victory of habitual sin? YES. Because with God ALL things are possible and fasting is a very powerful tool to help aid us in this.

We also have to be aware of the "triggers" that ignite the lusts or desires that lead to us committing sin. 

If you struggle with sexual sins like an addiction to pornography then it's probably best to avoid things that ignite those passions. Beware of what you put before your eyes or the things you listen to and constantly renew your mind in God's word through study and prayer. 

Put away social media, the television, and even ungodly music just for a week and commit yourself to prayer and fasting and you'll begin to see the difference in your thought process and the things you desire.

I know that sometimes, when those urges arise, the last thing we want to do is turn to God because we feel "controlled" by the sinful desires that drive us but the Bible is clear when it tells us that no temptation has seized us except that which is common to us but with every temptation God has made a way of escape. It is OUR responsibility to find that way of escape. Again, it all comes down to the choices we make.

Fasting helps us gain that power because it's a denying of what we want in order to grow closer to God, depending only on God, and growing in spiritual maturity which will help to lead us into a life of holiness.

If fasting isn't something your used to doing then I would recommend taking small steps. Start with fasting for a few hours or maybe even half a day and then build on that. 

It may not happen over night but we have to form a resolve and a steadfastness in our spirits to live free of sin. We must be able to recognize when satan is tempting us or when the desire to sin is coming from something still in our hearts.

We are in a spiritual war and the biggest war rages within between our new nature and the old one that refuses to die. In order to win this battle we must put use EVERY tool our Holy Father has made available to us.

June 08 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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