Acts 17:11 Archives

How to be Finished with Sin

In response to a prayer request for a repetitive sin that could not seem to be broken free of, by Dean VanDruff.

I found a real spiritual breakthrough in my own life in the following scripture:

1Peter 4:1 (NIV) Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.

The key for me was in realizing that is I am going to receive Jesus in my life through the Holy Spirit, it is going to mean pain. It is going to mean pain for a man like me in a world like this. Before this realization, I would always "punt" when the going got tough, when the pain of temptation started, as I expected an "easy yoke". Well, what is easy about the yoke is that Christ is in it with us and does all the pulling. What is hard is to purpose ourselves into the yoke, which means an excruciating death to self. By giving up when the suffering starts, we are cutting off the growth of "Christ in us", and limiting His work in us. We say bold things and scramble off of the alter of sacrifice at the first sign of heat!

Rather, let us "set our faces like flint" to the cross set before us. Let us be "armed with the same attitude", that to receive Christ in us means excruciating physical pain. With this insight, hopefully we will not be such spiritual wimps in the future, but grow up into Him.

To receive more of His holiness in our bodies means pain! Count the cost, and go the full distance.

Rom 12:1-2 (Wey) I plead with you therefore, brethren, by the compassions of God, to present all your faculties to Him as a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to Him. This with you will be an act of reasonable worship. And do not follow the customs of the present age, but be transformed by the entire renewal of your minds, so that you may learn by experience what God's will is--that will which is good and beautiful and perfect.

1Co 15:34 (NIV) Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning...

Heb 12:3 (NAS) For consider Him who has endured such... so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin.

Amen? Better get started.

It is "for the joy set before us" that we endure such pain; just being macho and gritting our teeth is not the way of the Lord. His way is good, His way works, His way is glorious, and the Christ the Son proved it. Will we follow Him, from death to life?

Be encouraged, God has put in you a disgust for sin. Now, will you follow Him to receive more of Him? If so, it will be a LOT like when you first came to Him, with pain and tears and brokenness.

Col 2:6 (KJV) As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.

1Pe 4:12 (NIV) Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.

So brace yourself up. It is going to hurt to receive His Holiness in your physical body. You might not have people externally beating you or oppressing you or persecuting you, as He did (and we might, someday, as well) but you have your old man and the world in opposition to the life of Christ in you. So do not be ashamed or alarmed when pain comes your way, you have not resisted yet to the point of shedding blood, as Jesus did when He sweat blood in resistance to temptation, and you now know what is the "cost" of being a Christian that perhaps you were unaware of before. It is a narrow path, and few find it, really.

1Pt 4:16-19 (NIV) If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

1Tm 2:12 (NIV) That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

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