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The key to victory in our struggles with sin lies not in ourselves, but in God and His faithfulness to us: "The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth (Psalm 145:18; s...
The key to victory over sin is the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. The Lord sent us the Comforter who guides us to walk in Jesus' footsteps and is the 'way of escape' in 1 Corinthians 10:13 to help us overcome temptation to sin. In John 14:26 Jesus said, "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you _all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.'
In my view, before a person becomes a true believer in Jesus Christ there is no victory over sin. We are born into this world with only a "sinful nature". Our divine nature is dead because of Adam's original rebellion and God's judgment against sin. Nothing we do will please God - as Psalm 14 says "there is no one who does good, not even one." The longer we live with our sinful nature in control, the stronger hold it has on our lives. Our desires become the desires of this world and our enemy Satan has easy access to stir up those desires that will lead to wicked thinking and evil deeds. Our mind becomes trained by the culture of our world and so we do its bidding by the way we think and act. But the great news of the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is that we get a brand new life to live and a fresh start to please God. In John 10, Jesus said "I have come to give them life and to give it abundantly. When a person comes to faith in Christ, their sinful nature dies and their divine nature comes alive. In Galations 2:20 Paul says "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." Then Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to come live inside us and the Spirit breathes life into our divine nature. We are able to lead a God pleasing life because the Spirit is our teacher and power source. When we walk with the Spirit our character changes to become like Christ and we complete the good works that God has prepared for us. Our ongoing struggle with temptation and sin is not because of our sinful nature, but rather, the desires of our flesh and the thought patterns of our mind that lead to sinful behaviours. In my view, there are 2 keys to victory in our struggle with sin: 1) In Romans 12:1 Paul says to "offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy & acceptable to God" As we do this, our fleshy desires become God-pleasing desires. Old sinful habits fall away and new Godly habits are formed 2) In Romans 12:2 Paul says "do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of our minds". As we do this we develop the mind of Christ and we clearly know what pleases God every day. The struggle that Paul speaks of is the process of sanctification - putting off our old ways of life and putting on our robes of righteousness. As we grow in holiness the presence of sin in our life becomes horrible and we want to get rid of it. Like a stain on a pure white garment we are repulsed by it and want it washed away now. God knows we will struggle with temptation and sin and has provided the most amazing "laundry service". In 1John 1:9 "If we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and CLEANSE us from all unrighteousness. This cleansing strengthens our faith and gives us new courage to keep walking with the Holy Spirit through the struggles of life. As we do so, Jesus promises to lead us into the most abundantly fulfilling and deeply satisfying life possible. And the rewards for leading a God-pleasing life are given to us for eternity. As 1John 5:4 says "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith." Faith in salvation through Jesus Christ. Faith in righteousness through the mercy and grace of God. Faith in sanctification through the presence of the Holy Spirit teaching and empowering us. All because of God's astounding love for us.
Our flesh will try and convince us that the way to a better Christian walk is to sin less. It will even quote scripture to back it up! Rom 13:12 "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light." Col 3:9 "Don't lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds."So it is simple right? Just cast off your sin and the old man like you would an old pair of shoes? Yeah right. So what is the answer? Gal 5:16 "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." Hmmm, walk by the Spirit? Depend on Him to keep me on the straight and narrow? Yes. Rom 8:14 "For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God." Led by the Spirit? Like my dad used to take my little hand and lead me safely across the street when i was a child? Yes.
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