WHAT’S GOT AHOLD OF YOU?

DID YOU EVER WONDER WHY YOU STRUGGLE WITH THE SAME HANGUPS EVERY DAY?

Did you ever wonder why you keep struggling with the same hang-ups day after day, week after week and year after year?  Habitual sin is what we call the problem in “Christian circles.” The Bible describes the natural man as “dead in sin and trespasses” (Ephesians 2:1). As a result of Adam’s fall into sin, man is born spiritually dead. In this state of spiritual death, man is unable and unwilling to follow and obey God and habitual sin naturally follows. Natural man sees the things of God as foolishness When a person is saved, a transformation takes place. The apostle Paul refers to this as the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). From the moment we place our faith in Christ, we are in the process of sanctification.

The process of sanctification is that by which those who are in Christ are conformed by the Holy Spirit into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). James says we all sin in many ways (James 3:2). Experience tells us that we struggle differently with sin, perhaps one sin being more of a tripping point for one believer than another. For some it might be anger whereas for others it is gossip or lying. So, how can we get a handle on the destructive thoughts, activities and self-defeating behaviors that traumatize us spiritually and emotionally?

Paul writes, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). When Paul says, “Consider yourselves dead to sin,” he is telling us to remember that, in coming to Christ, the power of sin has been broken in our lives.

Paul says, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out” (Romans 7:18). The Christian’s struggle against sin is one in which our ability does not match our desire. That is why we need the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul later says, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

We simply must make every effort to run from the things that tempt us to sin, including access to food if we are given to overeating or access to pornography if we are tempted to sexual sin. This means removing from our lives the things that tempt us to sin even when those are things we enjoy. In short, we must change the habits that lead to habitual sin.  Finally, we need to immerse ourselves in the truth of the gospel. The promise we have from Scripture is that He who began a good work in us will complete it on the last day (Philippians 1:6).

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