How to have Victory over Sin
What is the definition of sin? 1 John 3:4, Romans 7:7, James 2:9-11, Romans 4:15.
The definition of sin is the transgression of the Law of God or Ten Commandments. The law of God or the Ten commandments can be found in Exodus 20:1-17, and Deuteronomy 5:6-21.
What is the punishment for sin? Romans 6:23, James 1:15
The punishment for sin is death.
Did Jesus ever sin? 1 John 3:5, 2 Corinthians 5:20,21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 Peter 2:20-22.
If Jesus Christ abides in you, and you are born of God, can you sin? 1 John 3:6,9
Does God expect us not to sin, but to keep His Ten Commandment Law? John 5:14, John 8:11, Exodus 20:20, Exodus 16:28.
“The Bible teaches that every besetting sin must be put away, that the warfare against evil must be waged until every wrong is overcome. The human agent must place himself as a willing student in the school of Christ. As he accepts the grace freely offered him, the presence of the Saviour in the thoughts and in the heart will give him decision of purpose to lay aside every weight, that the heart may be filled with all the fullness of God…They must be taught that the true followers of Christ will serve God not only when it is in accordance with their inclinations, but also when it involves self-denial and cross-bearing. Besetting sins must be battled with and overcome. Objectionable traits of character, whether hereditary or cultivated, must be compared with the great rule of righteousness, and then conquered in the strength of Christ. Day by day, hour by hour, a vigorous work of self-denial and of sanctification must go on within; then the works will bear witness that Jesus is abiding in the heart by faith. Sanctification does not close the avenues of the soul to knowledge, but expands the mind and inspires it to search for truth as for hidden treasure.” Ellen G. White, p. Counsels To Parents, Teachers and Students, p. 448, 449.
Can the unconverted carnal person keep the Law of God, which means not to sin? Romans 8:7,8, 1 John 3:8
7. So how can we abide in Christ and not sin? John 15:7, John 14:23, 24, John 15:10, John 14:21.
Abiding in Christ means to “obey” His Word (the Bible), and as it specifically says, His Commandments. Obedience to God’s Word including the Law of God (the Ten Commandments), is how we abide in Christ.
“If we abide in Christ, if the love of God dwells in the heart, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions, will be in harmony with the will of God. The sanctified heart is in harmony with the precepts of God's law.” Ellen G. White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 563.
“The only hope for us if we would overcome is to unite our will to God's will and work in co-operation with Him, hour by hour and day by day. We cannot retain self and yet enter the kingdom of God. If we ever attain unto holiness, it will be through the renunciation of self and the reception of the mind of Christ. Pride and self-sufficiency must be crucified. Are we willing to pay the price required of us? Are we willing to have our will brought into perfect conformity to the will of God? Until we are willing, the transforming grace of God cannot be manifest upon us.” Ellen G. White, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 143.
8. Read Philippians 2:5. How can we have the mind of Christ?
Christ is the “Word” made flesh, see John 1:14. By reading His Word (the Bible), we are actually reading the thoughts that came out of His mind. When we read and “obey” His thoughts (the Bible), we are obeying the thoughts that came out of His mind. Therefore His mind is in us because of obedience to the Bible, which are the thoughts that came from His mind.
9. What is the main reason why Jesus came as a man? Romans 8:3,4
According to verse 3, we were too weak in our flesh to keep the Law of God. Christ came as man in our flesh, and condemned sin to its ultimate destruction (death) by not sinning but keeping the law of God. He did this according to verse 4 “that” or so that, the righteousness of the Law (keeping of the Law of God), might be fulfilled in us. If we walk after the Spirit which simply means to obey the Law of God through the Holy Spirit, as Christ obeyed the Law of God, see John 15:10, 1 John 2:6.
10. What are we saved by? Ephesians 2:8
We are saved by grace.
11. What is grace? Romans 5:10
We are saved by the life of Christ which is “graciously” given to us, even though we don’t deserve it. The life that He led on earth was a life of obedience to the Commandments of God. We must live His life of obedience to the Commandments of God also with His help, if we expect to be saved, see Mark 10:17-19, Luke 10:25-28, Luke 18:18-20.
12. What is the driving force we need, to obey the Commandments of God and have victory over sin? John 14:15.
The Driving force we need to obey God is love.
“But to pray in Christ's name means much. It means that we are to accept His character, manifest His spirit, and work His works. The Saviour's promise is given on condition. "If ye love Me," He says, "keep My commandments." He saves men, not in sin, but from sin; and those who love Him will show their love by obedience. Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 668.
13. For the person who loves God, is it hard to obey Him? 1 John 5:3, Matthew 11:28-30.
“All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.” Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 668.
14. If we love the Lord, how should we feel about sin or evil? Psalm 97:10.
Obedience to God should be motivated by our love for Him, and hatred for sin.
15. What if we are struggling with sinful thoughts in our minds, or sinful deeds? 1 John 2:1, 2.
Don’t ever give up, confess your sin by going in prayer to Our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ our advocate. Continue to search your heart and no matter how many times you fall, get back up and go to God in prayer with sincere confessions. If you feel you are not forgiven after you have sincerely confessed, don’t trust your feelings. Trust His Word, for He promised that if you are sincerely sorry for your sin and repent, He will forgive you. This forgiveness is granted to you at the very moment when you confess your sins, see 1 John 1:9. Again don’t trust your feelings, trust His Word, for the Bible says the just shall live by faith, not feelings, see Hebrews 10:38, 39.
“Diligent heart-keeping is essential to a healthy growth in grace. The heart in its natural state is a habitation for unholy thoughts and sinful passions. When brought into subjection to Christ, it must be cleansed by the Spirit from all defilement. This cannot be done without the consent of the individual.
When the soul has been cleansed, it is the duty of the Christian to keep it undefiled. Many seem to think that the religion of Christ does not call for the abandonment of daily sins, the breaking loose from habits which have held the soul in bondage. They renounce some things condemned by the conscience, but they fail to represent Christ in the daily life. They do not bring Christlikeness into the home. They do not show a thoughtful care in their choice of words. Too often, fretful, impatient words are spoken, words which stir the worst passions of the human heart. Such ones need the abiding presence of Christ in the soul. Only in His strength can they keep guard over the words and actions. . . .
Many seem to begrudge moments spent in meditation, and the searching of the Scriptures, and prayer, as though the time thus occupied was lost. I wish you could all view these things in the light God would have you for you would then make the kingdom of heaven of the first importance. To keep your heart in heaven will give vigor to all your graces, and put life into all your duties. . . . As exercise increases the appetite, and gives strength and healthy vigor to the body, so will devotional exercises bring an increase of grace and spiritual vigor. . . .
Let the prayer go up to God, "Create in me a clean heart" (Psalm 51:10); for a pure, cleansed soul has Christ abiding therein, and out of the abundance of the heart are the issues of life. The human will is to be yielded to Christ. Instead of passing on, closing the heart in selfishness, there is need of opening the heart to the sweet influences of the Spirit of God. Practical religion breathes its fragrance everywhere. It is a savor of life unto life.” Ellen G. White, God’s Amazing Grace, p. 295.
“When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven. No one sees the hand that lifts the burden, or beholds the light descend from the courts above. The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God.” Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 173.
“When we feel the least inclined to commune with Jesus, let us pray the most. By so doing we shall break Satan's snare, the clouds of darkness will disappear, and we shall realize the sweet presence of Jesus. Let us here resolve that we will not sin against God with our lips, that we will never speak in a light and trifling manner, that we will never murmur or complain at the providence of God, and that we will not become accusers of our brethren. We cannot always hinder the thoughts that come as temptations; but we can resist the enemy so that we shall not utter them. The adversary of souls is not permitted to read the thoughts of men; but he is a keen observer, and he marks the words and actions, and skillfully adapts his temptations accordingly. If all would labor to repress sinful thoughts and feelings, giving them no expression in words or acts, Satan would be defeated; for he would not know how to prepare his specious temptations to meet their cases.
Oh that the vail could be parted for a moment, and you could see the interest that all heaven takes in the human race! God and heavenly angels are anxiously waiting to see if we will not cleanse ourselves from all sin. Of the redeemed it is said, the Lamb shall lead them to “living fountains of waters;” and they shall walk in the beams of a sunless day; for Christ is the light of the city of God.
We want to get in the habit of talking of heaven, beautiful heaven. Talk of that life which will continue as long as God shall live, and then you will forget your little trials and difficulties. Let the mind be attracted to God.” Ellen G. White, Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of Seventh Day Adventists, p. 146.
“Every Christian must stand on guard continually, watching every avenue of the soul where Satan might find access. He must pray for divine help and at the same time resolutely resist every inclination to sin. By courage, by faith, by persevering toil, he can conquer. But let him remember that to gain the victory Christ must abide in him and he in Christ.” Ellen G. White, Adventist Home, p. 403.
16. Read John 17:3. How can we know that we know Him? 1 John 2:3-5.
17. What model should we follow after, in living our lives? 1 John 2:6, 2 John 1:6.
18. Can we abide in the doctrine (teachings) of Christ, and transgress His Law? 2 John 1:9.
19. If we are born again, or born of God, will we resist sin when we are tempted? 1 John 5:18.
20. Can we know that we are abiding in Christ? 1 John 3:24, 1 John 2:28, 29.
We can know that we are experiencing victory over sin, when we keep the Commandments of God. For example, if a parent who teaches their child to love and obey God, tells their child not to play in the mud, and another child tempts him, yet the child says no and does not play in the mud, because the child wants to obey the parent. This child has just experienced victory over sin, because the fifth Commandment of the Ten Commandments says to “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee”, Exodus 20:12. We know by faith, that it is the life of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit that helped the child not sin, but keep the Commandments of God, see Jude 1:24, 25. The child, like us, will not feel a physical power come over him. Remember the just shall live by faith, not by feelings. The fruit of victory over sin, will never bear itself in a person claiming that he/she is righteous because they’ve experienced certain victories over sin. On the contrary, they will ever feel their need of Jesus and His victory. They will realize that their victory, is really Christ’s victory. When we exercise our will, in making the choice to obey God, the unseen, unfelt, power of Christ comes over us, enabling us to keep His Law. Our will, conforms to His will when we choose to obey Him, and His will takes over, though we do not feel it. It is as if we are carrying out our own impulses, because we have chosen to obey His.
21. What should we know to protect ourselves from becoming self righteous? Jeremiah 17:9, Hebrews 3:13, 14, 1 Corinthians 10:12.
We must never deceive ourselves to think we cannot easily fall back into sin. If we have this self righteous attitude, we prove that we are in sin. We must constantly, humbly, look to Christ for His grace to keep us abiding in Him. In doing this we must constantly search our hearts, and yearn to please God, see Psalm 139:23, 24.
22. In order for us to have victory over sin, should our will be surrendered to God’s will? Philippians 2:12, 13.
“The will is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or choice. Every human being possessed of reason has power to choose the right. In every experience of life, God's word to us is, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." Joshua 24:15. Everyone may place his will on the side of the will of God, may choose to obey Him, and by thus linking himself with divine agencies, he may stand where nothing can force him to do evil.” Ellen G. White, Education, p. 289.