The Problem of Sin in a Believer’s Life
Nothing seems to work. You are at the end of yourself. You have had some success but you know that eventually you will fall again to temptation and you just don’t know what to do about it.
Is the Christian life a joke? A hopeless endeavor that only some can do, but not yourself?
If you are thinking like this and you are loathing yourself because of your failures, I know exactly how you feel. I am well acquainted with failure after failure and knowing complete discouragement and a sense of hopelessness.
I tell you the truth, there is a real answer to resisting temptation. Yes, I am presently experiencing such wonderful and real power to walk by the Spirit. Truly, my life now is like the miracle of walking on water. I want you to know this miracle in your life as well!
Please do not think that I am saying that I have arrived at perfection or that there is no longer a struggle. What I am saying is that I now know the real answer to resisting temptation. It is the struggle of faith. If we fail it is only because we are weak in our faith, but that is something we can grow in – our faith. I will first give the answer then we will come back to the struggle.
My answer is only useful to born again, bible believing, evangelical Christians. You know Jesus, you love Jesus, and if He were to suddenly appear before you, you would weep before His loving countenance because you do not want to sin against Him. Then, wonderfully, He will wipe away every tear from our eyes when we are finally with Him in glory.
What I am going to tell you you may think you have heard before. Please hear the answer and then patiently pursue a deeper understanding of it. It may take some time for you to truly get it. The Lord showed it to me in 2014 and it took a few years before I could say that I had truly learned how to put it into use. It is a spiritual answer that requires the exercise of faith and that is where weakness and understanding will impact your success.
I have written a book on this subject, but though I am going to give you the answer now, you may benefit from reading the book.
The real power to resist temptation is for you to hear with faith
what has happened to you upon your conversion.
First of all, lay hold by faith what is true of you in being in Jesus. Something beyond the power of any sin has happened in the life of anyone who has become born again.
Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
When faced with temptation exercise faith in the truth that you have been crucified with Christ. Though you may feel all sorts of passions and desires, within your flesh tempting you to sin, you are to hear with faith that those same lusts have been crucified with Christ when you became a Christian.
I love this verse (5:24) and when faced with temptation I say it in faith as a matter of fact. Paul expresses it earlier in Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Paul refers to his being crucified with Christ as a foundation to his life, giving him power to live out his life for Christ. It is such a power available to us, that Paul can also say in Galatians 5:16, But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
This is the answer that Paul gives to us. We can know for certain that if we walk by the Spirit we will not carry out sinful desires.
How Can This Be?
Salvation is by faith and living out the Christian life is by faith. We could also say, salvation is by the Spirit and living out the Christian life is by the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
In the same way that you became a Christian, so you are to live out the Christian life. When we first exercise faith in Jesus we become saved. Walking then by the Spirit is also only by faith. It is believing as true what has happened to us in our conversion. ‘By the Spirit’ is to do so by faith.
Now read what Paul says in Galatians 3:2-5.
Galatians 3:2-5 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
Paul says that they became saved, which is to receive the Spirit, by ‘hearing with faith’. Paul then says that how they are empowered with the Holy Spirit and how the Spirit works miracles among them is by ‘hearing with faith.’
The answer is ‘hearing with faith’ or ‘by the Spirit’.
The Ongoing Struggle
Right after giving the Galatians the answer to how to walk by the Spirit Paul then says at the beginning of Chapter 6, Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Meaning, that no one is to think that he has arrived.
Walking on water for Peter was not a perfect experience because he experienced the struggle of faith. Jesus said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Nevertheless, the answer is faith.
Knowing that the answer to living out the life that we have in Jesus is by walking by faith, then we also have our answer for how we are to be successful in it or not. We need teaching that helps to strengthen our faith!
The same message is in Colossians 2:6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him. We received Christ Jesus by faith, so we are to walk in Him by faith.
My book briefly explains what it means to walk by the Spirit and will provide you the understanding that you need so that you will know how to walk by the Spirit. You will then be able to say that you are walking by the Spirit. You will know victory and that blessed relief from your fleshly passions and desires.
My book is called Take Up Your Cross: Our Only Power to Live and Walk By The Spirit.
November 15, 2020 – Romans 8:1-17
November 22, 2020 – Romans 8:1-17, 2
November 29, 2020 – Romans 8:1-17, 3
December 6, 2020 – Romans 8:12-25