In following after God, believers will experience an ongoing struggle to live for God in all things while simultaneously killing sin in their own lives. The idea of killing, or mortifying, sin was made common by a 17th-century English believer named John Owen. He expounded on Romans 8:13 which says, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body (i.e. sin), you will live.” The normal Christian life is a series of decisions, as many as a thousand in a day or more, of choosing to kill the sin that dwells inside us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
And while it is our joy through God’s grace and strength to see many right choices made, at times, the path of sin still gets chosen. So, what do you do with that?
You believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and yet still make sinful decisions against him. Hopefully, these choices are coming less frequently and diminishing in scope. But, they are still present nonetheless. And so we can experience ongoing guilt and shame. What do you do with that?
Perhaps, we even listen to the accusations of the enemy. “How can you do ______________ and still call yourself a Christian?” “If you were truly a believer, you wouldn’t struggle with ________________.” How do you respond to those accusations?
#1 – Remember the most important question that is rightfully asked of every one of us: Are you now trusting in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins and for the fulfillment of all his promises to you, even eternal life? It is the same question whether you do not believe in God, or just started believing he exists, or recently made a decision to accept Jesus as Savior and follow him as Lord, or have been following him for many years. The question is not “are you a sinner?” God already knows that you are. The question is “what are you doing with that fact?” Our trust is ill placed if not fully placed in Jesus Christ.
#2 – Is it your daily aim to worship God, follow Jesus, and kill sin by the power of the Spirit? Sin is not stronger than God. As we yield to God, he will kill sin in our lives bringing forth life. While the fight against sin will always exist, may the frequency and scope diminish in our lives.
#3 – Do not put yourself back on trial when the enemy accuses. There is a law within the criminal justice system to prevent a person from being prosecuted again for the same crime following a legitimate acquittal. The forgiveness Jesus offers us is legitimate. Your acquittal is complete. The case against you is done. For in him, our guilt is taken away and our sin atoned for (Isa. 6:7). Do not put yourself on trial again. There is no double jeopardy with Jesus.
You’ve heard from me. I’m eager to hear what YOU think.
- Are you trusting in Jesus today? He offers a legit, complete, forever acquittal to you today.
- How are you aiming to worship God and kill sin through the power of the Spirit? What has been helpful for you in this battle?
- Does linking the accusations of the enemy with “double jeopardy” help you at all? If so, how?
- Is there someone in your life that needs to be reminded of this today? Could you pass this along to them?
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