How to Stop Sin

Yesterday I put forth the case that as long as we are in the flesh body we will have a pull toward sin and we will give in to that pull from time to time.

I do not believe the believer should expect to cease sinning until they receive their glorified body.

I also don’t think individual sin has to be inevitable. People tend to flip from one side to the other on this issue: there are those who think they have stopped sinning and there are those who don’t even try, because why bother?

Although I do not believe we can have ultimate deliverance from all sin ever as long as we’re in this body, I do think we can have victory over sin, and increasingly so as we progress in faith.

Sin is a persistent enemy. Those who have told me they have not sinned for a long time, have always communicated this idea with lots of pride. If you did cease from sinning, you’d be the last person to know it, because as soon as you knew it, you’d be proud.

Lots of people say they want to stop sinning. Unfortunately, much of this desire is theoretical. People don’t actually want to stop, they just don’t want to feel guilty or have the repercussions of sin.

Desiring to not feel bad about sin is different from not wanting to sin!

Many desperately want to drop off their smoking, or drinking, or porn watching. The desire was truly there, but so too was a desire to continue doing those sins.

Sin truly is a dog returning to its vomit. It’s disgusting and yet keeps drawing us back in.

The first step in defeating a sin is to actually want to defeat it. Like, for real. Not just eliminate the cost or guilt, but eliminate the sin itself.

Secondly, you need to make sure you’re saved! If you are not saved, if you do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit, you have zero shot at conquering sin. OK, that might not be true. Many unbelievers have stopped being alcoholics and things, but again, the force used is typically pride or some other sin. Replacing one addiction with another.

But to honestly do battle with sin you need the Holy Spirit and the provisions of the Gospel.

Thirdly, you need to do battle. I mean, really do battle. Make war on sin. Flee temptation. Avoid places that lead you to being tempted. Flee youthful lusts. Discipline and control yourself as much as possible. Take steps to make sin harder.

Many Christians hear step three and freak out. “Works righteousness! We don’t have to do anything; Christ does it all.” Good luck with that.

Being disciplined and fighting sin is not legalism, works righteousness, or any such foolishness; it’s the biblical mandate for defeating sin.

We have an enemy. There is a fight. We have been given armor. Use the armor to fight the fight and defeat the enemy. There is no other way to defeat sin.

Take sin seriously. Determine to actually want it to stop. Use all the provision of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit and go fight.

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