Overcoming Sin

"Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

These two verses sum everything up. Our WHOLE duty is to fear God and keep His commandments. Yet, there are so many who claim that this is an impossible duty to fulfill. "Sure," they say, "we can obey God sometimes, but of course we will still sin." They say this despite the fact that they have no Scripture to back up what they claim. So, many professing believers EXPECT to continue to sin and therefore they do because without faith in God to keep them from sin, they will surely fall--guaranteed. "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him" (Titus 1:16). They have a form of godliness going to church every week and being "spiritual" MOST of the time, but when it comes down to it, they have not accepted God's provision to overcome sin and thus they deny the power to be godly. What is this provision that God has made for Christians to overcome sin? It is the grace given us by God sending His Son. Through the blood of Jesus, we can overcome, "for everyone born of God overcomes the world" (I John 5:4). Many professing believers have read passages like Romans 6 and I John 3 that state VERY CLEARLY that we are no longer slaves to sin and that those who are in Christ do NOT continue to sin:

"We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" Romans 6:2

"You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness" (Rom. 6:18).

"No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him" (I John 3:6).

Despite these and MANY other clear passages throughout the Bible, many do not have the faith to fully believe, so they may turn to a commentary or ask a friend or a "pastor" and it gets explained away for them. Then they FEEL much better thinking that they can continue in sin. So these people are like seed sown along a path: they "hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts" (Luke 8:12). So I ask you, do you have faith to believe the Bible? Have you accepted God's provision to overcome sin in YOUR life? Do you really know what it means to be a SLAVE of righteousness? I pray that you will consider these things. I long to see more people living a victorious life in Christ overcoming sin.

John 8:31-47 contains an excellent lesson on being set free from sin. (What I write from here on will be better understood on your part if you have your Bible with you. If you don't have a Bible, please read this message again when you have one with you.)

Jesus begins by talking to those who had BELIEVED him (v.31). And so I am writing this to those who believe in the Lord and I tell you what Jesus told them: if you hold to his teachings, you are really his disciples and then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free (see v.31-32).

Similar to the Jews (in v.33), you may ask, "we are not slaves of anyone or anything, so what do you mean by telling us that the Truth will set us free? Free from what?"

My reply would be (see v.34-38): "do you sin? Don't you know that, according to Jesus, EVERYONE who sins is a slave to sin? So if Jesus sets you free from sin, you will be ENTIRELY free -- free indeed. I have told you this many times; in fact, you have probably read it in the Bible, but you refuse to believe it. Therefore you continue to sin, showing that your actual 'father' is the devil, not God."

Some may not like my reply and may try to justify themselves like the Jews did in verse 39. Some may say, "Hey, wait a minute! I'm already a Christian."

My reply would be much like Jesus' reply in verses 39-41: "If you are a Christian, then why do you continue to do the things that the devil does (see v.41)? Why do you continue to sin? The whole world is under the control of the evil one and yet you love things that are in the world; therefore, God's love is NOT in you (I John 2:15)." Then I would say, "Turn from your sin and realize that God provides a way for you to stand up under EVERY temptation (I Cor. 10:13). Have faith in God. Rely on Him. Make every effort to be holy (Heb. 12:14; I Peter 1:13-17) and His power will sustain you and keep you from falling (Jude 24; Eph. 3:20). I pray that you will listen and believe the Bible and come to true faith in God."

"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in EVERY way: bearing fruit in EVERY good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience..." Colossians 1:10-11

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