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 How to Stop Sinning

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Statesman63
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PostSubject: How to Stop Sinning   Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:11 am

Finally!!! I eagerly waited with little patience for this day. I get a break from school and get to write. I am going to free a lot of you from your fears through these blogs. I’m going to write as much as I can while out for the break. I have a lot to share.

While the call to stop sinning is definitely step one to freeing you up from fear, there is no particular step two. What I will be giving you after this step is not a list. Any one of the things I will be giving you can potentially free you up from all fear. I find this necessary to preface this point because Christianity is a life based on freedom. Any list to be lived by is a legalistic life, and not the kind that God intends. Even the power to free us up from fear is based on grace and not legalism. To think about these things as steps is wrong and can actually cause fear. You may be in the midst of your panic triggers and try to recall what you need to free you up and feel like you forgot something essential on a list and that thought can cause panic. You get my point. No list. Just grace.

I tried in my “Step One” blog to explain the need to stop sinning and why it is essential. I hope that I motivated you enough to want to put away your sin—whatever sin it is you are holding on to. If you still want to hold on to that sin, then the rest of my posts don’t apply to you. You are not ready for your healing. My posts are for the serious: those who are willing to do whatever it takes to be set free. And stop sinning is absolutely necessary for freedom from fear. So this is for you who want to stop, but your sin has you trapped, and no matter what you do, you just cannot stop it: it is an addiction. How to stop sinning when the sin is an addiction? It may be sexual immorality, drug or alcohol addiction, an angry, contemptuous, or hateful heart; or even a cussing tongue. Here is a big one: the sin of pride. That was Satan’s first sin and his downfall. We have to rid all pride and have a humbled and loving heart, submissive to the will of God. How do we get rid of an addiction that has had us trapped for years—even decades?

A few Christians I know think it is impossible for a person to stop sinning. Let’s clear this point up first. We Christians do sin, but we do not have to be enslaved or addicted to any sin. We can be free from all sin: that is, we can live a life where there is no particular sin that we can point to that we can say has us captive. Yet, we may fall to the “lesser sins” or sins of omission, nevertheless, our overall lifestyle will be seen by God as a righteous one. There were many humans in the bible who were called righteous, including Job, David, Samuel, Josiah, etc., but yet they sinned. Their main bend of life was a righteous one. So it is possible. A righteous life does not mean perfection. It means that the bend of your life is righteous. Our perfection and righteousness is in Jesus Christ alone and not in righteous living.

The reason why your sin is an addiction is because you have been trying to stop by effort of the flesh. The nature of the flesh is sin. It wants to sin. You cannot use the flesh to stop the flesh from sinning. In other words, it is not by effort that we stop sinning. New Year’s resolutions don’t work. That is an attempt to stop doing something based on a commitment of the flesh. Paul said put no confidence in the flesh. We stop sinning by grace through Christ alone. A submission to God’s power is the only way to stop sinning and that includes an acknowledgement that you cannot do it through your strength or power. For God to heal you, He wants all the credit. If you try to take some of the credit, then He will let you do it all alone. Don’t you know that God wants to help you to stop sinning? He doesn’t just tell us to stop without also giving us the help and empowerment to overcome it.

Let’s look at Scripture now. Galatians 5:16 reads, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Memorize this verse. This verse directly tells you how to stop sinning. He says if you live by the Spirit you will stop sinning. This verse also proves that to stop sinning is possible to man. But it is not possible by man. It is only possible to man by the Holy Spirit. I’m going to insert Matthew 19:26 here, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” And Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” To stop sinning is impossible for the flesh. But it is very possible, and in fact the only way to stop it at the root is through the Spirit.

So the question then arises, “How do I live by the Spirit?” Let’s make defining this easy. After Paul says Galatians 5:16, in verses 17 through 21 he states the opposite of living by the Spirit: that is, living by the flesh. So if you have a hard time of understanding what it means to live by the Spirit, let’s look at its opposite, living by the flesh, and do the opposite of that, and we would then be living by the Spirit. There are only 2 ways Christians could possibly live: by the flesh or by the Spirit. Paul defines the flesh in verse 17 saying, “For the acts of the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit.” Verse 19, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” He goes on, “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” I will explain that last statement much later on when I rewrite what Heaven and Hell will be like.

The Spirit produces in us fruit. Note it is the Spirit producing the fruit in us. We are not the producers but rather the soil that the Spirit implants and grows His fruit if we allow Him and not rebel against Him. His fruits in verse 22 are, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” That last statement means that there is no sin when living with these traits. God does not condemn us with these.

Live by the Spirit. Live in step with the Spirit. Live relying on His power to overcome all sin. Abide with the Spirit. Since this is something not of our might or power, but of His, we must pray for it. Prayer is the way to access the power of the Holy Spirit. Again, it is very important to acknowledge our ineptness in ourselves, but our trust in His power in Christ Jesus. Let us pray: “Father, I do not want to continue my sin anymore. I want to completely submit to you and your will. I repent for the sin and for trying to stop it through my own efforts. I realize now that I am not able to stop sinning by my efforts. Yet I know that I can do all things through Christ who gives me His strength to pull it off. Father, please empower me to overcome this sin through your strength alone. Help me to live in step with the Spirit and to live with His traits and put off all of the traits of the flesh. I commit myself fully to you. Please set me free from sin. Let this sin no longer be my desire. In Christ Jesus I pray, Amen.

I had in mind to share a lot more verses on how to stop sinning, but I think that’s enough. I did a longer post on this elsewhere on this site. The concept is simply let God be your full and complete sufficiency, even in overcoming addictions. Acknowledge your incapacity to do it and His capacity to do it in you. Put away your human nature (efforts) and use only His. The desire and will to sin will go away.
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