“Set faith at work on Christ for the killing of thy sin. His blood is the great sovereign remedy for sin-sick souls. Live in this, and thou wilt die a conqueror; yea, thou wilt, through the good providence of God, live to see thy lust dead at thy feet.” -John Owen; The Mortification of Sin
Every morning I wake up and the battle begins. Every. Single. Morning. I reach and hit the snooze button probably 5 or 6 times and then finally open my eyes later just to scroll mindlessly through Facebook for the few minutes I have before getting ready. I have already sinned and I’ve been awake 10 minutes. Instead of choosing the life giving Word of God I chose sleep. Instead of choosing to spend my morning praising the God who allowed me another breath I chose instant gratification through a stupid piece of plastic. So this pattern will continue all throughout the day- a vicious cycle of choosing my desires over the Lord. So what’s the point? How am I ever going to die to my sin as the Bible teaches if I literally always am sinning? Am I even a Christian if I continually fail at putting down my sin? Hopefully I can provide a few scriptures and words of encouragement that can answer those questions.
Fighting sin or dying to sin is by no means an easy battle. I will be the first to raise my hand and say I have struggled with all the previous questions. It can seem so impossible when sin leaps right on your back to find strength in the words of Paul in 1 Timothy 6:12, “ Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” However, even then hope shines through those words whether it is apparent at first or not…the fight of faith. To me those words sing of God’s praises! Praise God that those words are not and will never be to fight the fight of becoming sinless human beings. To fight our sin is to simply have faith in our Savior.
Obviously, we won’t ever be perfect. It just isn’t going to happen, but we have something different about ourselves that we didn’t have before God revived our souls. We, as believers in the risen Son of God, now have the power to fight against our flesh. Anyone who is apart from Christ can never please Him. This is why it is a fight though, when we became sons and daughters of Christ, God didn’t just zap us and make us completely new and perfect people. We still are suffering the consequences of sin- the very fact that we do still sin is proof of this. Every single day when you wake up this is why it is important to saturate your mind with the Word of the Lord and his truth because the fight has already begun. When you are alone and want to watch pornography or want to sleep in a little more and skip devotion time or you want to gossip to a friend about someone else, you must FIGHT! “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” (Romans 6:6) God saved you that you may be set free!! In the moment our sins manipulate our minds and flesh in this way and that way, but one thing must remain on the forefront of our minds- fight the fight of faith. Struggle to die!
Brothers and Sisters, I must add that this fight is actually impossible for you. You will 10 out of 10 times fail. God is the only reason that you will ever be able to conquer your sin.
“For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.” (2 Corinthians 13:4)
If I don’t remind myself from the moment I get up of the Gospel and the fact I can’t fight sin on my own I am consumed with not only my sin but the burden to bear it on my own. “since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23)
In context of fighting sin there are two distinct categories for me: when I try to fight my own sin and when I have faith in God to save me from them daily. If I try to be the hero of my story I most certainly fail, but when God is my hero, who shall stand against Him? So when you fail at fighting your sin ask yourself who is doing the fighting. Is it just me or am I putting my faith in Christ and trusting He will give me the power to stand? I know when I ask myself, am I even a Christian because I fail at fighting this sin over and over again, I am using an incorrect equation to solve a very real problem. The questions assumes that if I can fight sin perfectly or even a little bit better I still hold my title as a Christian. What a sad and meaningless burden this is to bear. Run from this as fast as you can, because it will only lead you further from peace and rest in the Lord. So again, I must remind myself that the Lord will give me strength to stand and put down my sin because He is perfect and strong, not because I am or can ever be. God is my Savior and I must continually trust that He will indeed save me or I don’t struggle to die to sin, but struggle to earn my own salvation and will not taste the sweet, everlasting satisfaction of Christ’s grace and power.
“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)