I have found I have struggled with repeated sin. It is deep it is dark. It is destructive. In short it has destroyed my life.
ESV - 1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
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Matt, Your question is personal, so I will attempt a personal response--although it seems to me that the purpose for this question and answer forum is to rationally and objectively clarify our understanding of scripture and is not the place for counseling. I want to assure you that you are not alone in your struggle. Most believers appear (and act) as if they are making ongoing progress in righteousness, eliminating from their lives one sin after another. But many of us are stuck in an area of our lives that stubbornly resists change, regardless of how many times we have made confession, repented, sworn vows, and so on. There is help, however, and eventual victory. I would strongly encourage you to seek pastoral counseling from someone who not only knows the Scriptures, but also demonstrates the love and compassion of Jesus Christ in their words and actions. In answer to your question, it is crucial that we do not see ourselves as having lost the battle with sin, but that we realize it is an ongoing struggle in which we alternately experience victory and defeat. Our focus, however, should not be on sin! (Some Christians become obsessed with it, which only gives it more power.) What we need to pour our thoughts, prayers, and energy into is to be "in Christ Jesus." Paul drives home a point in Romans, chapters 6-8, that the more we are in Christ Jesus (and "in the Spirit"), the less we find ourselves in sin. Winning the battle with sin is more a side-effect or by-product of living close to Jesus than it is a result of wrestling with our sinful nature. We do not belong "in sin" (Romans 6:2) and one of the purposes of the New Testament letters is so that we "may not sin" (1 John 2:1). But in so much as sanctification is a process, we are covered by Christ through this interim in which we are growing and developing in his knowledge and grace. Although we feel condemned before God, it is more often true that it is our own hearts condemning us (Romans 8:34). Our hearts can even create such a strong vortex of excess guilt that we are continually pulled downward, which contributes to a cycle of sin-misery-repentance-forgiveness-relief-sin-etc. When we feel, however, the full effect of God's mercy and forgiveness, we experience such a freedom that the old, habitual sin loses its power. At any rate, John said that when our hearts condemn us, "God is greater than our hearts" (1 John 3:20). Take courage, Matt. In time, through perseverance, God has enabled many of us to finally lay aside our "besetting" sins. He will do the same for you. But I would encourage you again, do not try to accomplish this on your own. Make use of all God's resources. Enter counseling and enlist the prayers of others.
Matt, Thanks for sharing a little of your heart regarding sins that you struggle with daily. I know this is a familiar cliche but sharing your story "is the first step" towards getting a handle on your sins and eventually overcoming with God's help. The Bible is very clear about our (believers) roles and God's role in dealing with sin. Romans 8:11 speaks about the POWER of God that dwells in all those that have accepted Jesus as Lord and "diligently" follows after Him. In other words, believers have the ability through Christ Jesus to overcome sins and strongholds in their lives if they SEEK God daily. More often than not, believers that struggle with repeated sin have not made the necessary changes in their lives to be victorious. For example, if one struggles with pornography he or she needs to remove all stimulants in their environment that triggers lustful behaviors (e.g. computers, magazines, T.Vs., books, etc.) Additionally, remove close acquaintances or friends that have a tendency to speak inappropriately about male and female intimacy. Getting into the presence of God through prayer, fasting, and Bible devotion is crucial in the process of being "set free" from sinful behaviors. Again, SEEKING God daily will steer you to victory in overcoming sin. Just for clarification "overcoming" sin does not mean you will never fall again. It means that now you will have few and FAR between instances that occur in your life. God has been brought into the matter now and He will certainly strengthen, convict, challenge, encourage, and love you towards success. Moreover, Satan will not be able to trap you with "mind games" so easily. He will have to work overtime with his lies trying to convince you that God will not forgive your sins. In those moments, the scripture passage of ROMANS 8:1, "There is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" will come ALIVE in your heart and you will not feel shameful but "repentful". Thus, you will cry out to God in prayer. I wholeheartedly agree with the above response post of getting "spiritual counsel" from someone that is rooted in Christ. For example, a Pastoral, Biblical, or a Licensed Professional Christian Counselor. These persons will be able to see your struggle from an objective point of view and offer biblical principles that will enable you to move towards victory. **God knows all about our challenges and He has given us the power along with earthly resources to help us live a "righteous" life before Him.** To God be the glory!!!:)
I used to struggle with the same sin for years afte being molested when I was young. The sin of sex. I tried to rationize that what I was doing was ok because as far as I was concerned he was my "husband " in my heart. After realizing that it was still sin inspite of what I felt, I found myself one day while I was cleaning our church going to the altar and forming a cross and while repenting ask God to take away the feelings I was having causing me to sin until the time was right, and. HE has answered that prayer by making it happen. Its like the Bible says, "Ask and ye shall receive". MATTHEW 7:7 And when you humble yourself before God and honestly repent of your sins, and ask for strength to resist the temptations that come your way, He will honor you and forgive you of your sins. May God bless you now and always!
Please be aware of what the bible says about giving the Devil a Foothold in your life . I had lived in sin my whole life , Choosing which commandments I would keep and now I suffer from physical attacks from a Spirit to a point I have become a disabled person . Matt I would like you to message me , I can encourage and lift you up to Christ . God Bless John email@example.com
KJV Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK not after the flesh, but after the SPIRIT... i am apparently with the same struggle bro Matt( repeated sin).. holy spirit is our only help.. v must pray and struggle until god fills us with spirit and releases us my prayers with you. pray for me .. God will be with us through it all :) Philippians 4:6-7
I lived a life of shame and guilt because of my repeated sin. God has offered me freedom from the shame and guilt when I surrender my will. That means I go to God first with my desires and I ask Him to sort through it with me. I also have several humans who "get it" and they have permission to speak truth to me if I'm in the dark. I also stay out of dark corners if possible.
As a back slider who as come back to My first love Jesus I found out that the evil one will fight as hard to keep you in his doomed kingdom just so he can take you to hell with him I spent many years in bondage up to a point where I would rather die than live for the evil one. It was that very moment I felt for myself the power of calling on the name Jesus. I was in bed drifting off into a sleep when complete blackness surrounded me and a demonic present took hold of me and he was terible to look at it was the most hideous creature I never want to see again while this was happening I was listening to a CD of Dr Vernon Mcgee and his message was about Jesus shedding his blood for my sins this thing from hell put a feeling of fear on me so strong that he made me afraid to say Jesus but within I said if I am going to die and go to Hell the last word I will speak is The name Jesus and just as quick as you can bat an eye the creature threw me back in to the light. From this experience I learned that there is power in the name Jesus and He is a very present help in times of trouble
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:14-25 AMP We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal, unspiritual], having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin. For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns]. Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it. However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.] For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing. Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it [it is not myself that acts], but the sin [principle] which dwells within me [fixed and operating in my soul]. So I find it to be a law (rule of action of my being) that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands. For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self [with my new nature]. But I discern in my bodily members [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh]. O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death? O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
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