For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9
Sin is an ugly thing… There are no doubts we can see the ugliness of sin in the lives that have been ravaged by its illusion. The examples abound don’t they; aren’t they everywhere you look?
If you could see the outcome would you make the same decision?
What is sin? Hamartia (ham-ar-tee’-ah): to miss the mark; to miss or wander from the path of uprightness.
Sin is deceitful and we can quite easily convince ourselves of our own goodness. It’s easy for me to see how well I’m doing, how “holy” I’m becoming… Pride goes before destruction… (Proverbs 16:18)
God has provided a way out of sin for His people and we need only embrace them, but there must be effort, there must be a war waged against sin. The adversary will not give up easily. Below I’ve highlighted six essentials that are God given defenses in the battle against sin.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that they man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
God’s Word is absolutely essential for knowing and understanding God, and what He says about dealing with sin and all things concerning life. To neglect God’s Word means you will easily succumb to sin. The Sword is meant to fight off the attacks of the enemy and give us a victory over sin.
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as we see the day approaching.
The preaching and teaching of God’s Word as we assemble with other Believers is one of the most important avenues to holiness. Anybody left isolated is easily subject to sin. Preaching should consistently bring conviction leading to life change. Do you walk out of your church feeling good about yourself more often than you feel the weight of your sin? There should be a heavy dose of life saving medicine delivered from the pulpit in a healthy church.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
All Believers are called to be concerned about brothers and sisters in Christ. We are to have influence and impact in the lives of those near us. Husband and wives, parents and children, those that we are close to and know their lives. This is not always popular so the Apostle Paul calls us to do it in gentleness; lest we also be tempted, but yet we are to do it. Do not neglect this if you truly love them.
Those in Spiritual authority
Hebrews 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
This is very challenging for most that profess Christianity. We naturally rebel against authority and there are so few churches that practice this well. However, it doesn’t release you from this command. Did you notice it was a command and not a suggestion? If the leaders of your church live this out you can be grateful for God’s grace.
The Spirit of God
John 14:15-17 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
The Holy Spirit is consistent in the lives of Believers and will convict of our sins. The biggest question today is will and do you receive Him when He shows you your sin? Believers are responsible for sin and God hates sin, so there must be accountability.
Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer,
Prayer is our conduit to God. Without a consistent and willful prayer life we will flounder in this ongoing battle. Have you ever stopped communicating with your wife? How does that go for you? When Jen and I are not communicating I’m proactively creating distance between us. I may not always do this intentionally but it happens none the less. It’s unhealthy for our marriage. Why would we think this is any different with God? When I’m most vulnerable is when I’m on my knees the least.
I’ve read that the great evangelist Leonard Ravenhill spent hours and hours praying each day. He spent more time in prayer than he spent preparing for his sermons, and the result of this was an effective ministry for Christ.
“Oh Lord may we be a people broken in our sinfulness and a people that seek You diligently.”