– Written by Pastor Erik Reed
On Monday we looked at Part I of the issue of killing sin in our lives. We talked about the necessity of all believers to kill indwelling sin that exists in us. We identified that the first thing we had to do, in order to combat this sin, was to recognize that all sin is a result of unbelief. At its core, sin is a doubting of God’s goodness and promises. We now look at the remaining two tasks in killing indwelling sin.
After we recognize how this sin occurs, the Second thing we must do is: we have to identify it. I believe there are three ways that sin is revealed and identified in our lives:
1. Through Scripture reading. As we read the Bible, we become aware of sinful practices and behaviors.
2. Through prayer. As we pray and seek God, we have conviction by the Holy Spirit about sinful attitudes and habits in our lives.
3. Through other believers. Other Christians can be used of God to point out sin in our lives. It is important to weigh the things pointed out to us by others against Scripture and in prayer. The reason for this is that we ultimately want the Word of God and prayer to be the ways the Holy Spirit brings acknowledgement and conviction of sin.
One we’ve recognized and identified, the third way we can work to kill sin in our lives, is to combat it. How do we combat sin? There are many important ways we can combat sin. Sitting under powerful preaching can help us. Engaging in spirit-filled prayer and worship can aid us. Reading helpful books by other believers can assist. But I believe there is one weapon that surpasses them all, that is the Word of God.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
The writer of Hebrews expresses the power of the Word of God. It is a sword by which we combat Satan’s arrows, the lust of the flesh, and the temptation to worldliness. What is a practical way that we can do this? Once we have identified a sin, we must attack it with Scripture. That means we must attack the root of unbelief that is causing the sin. We must reinforce the promises of God related to the issue. Only through the Word of God can we attack the root of unbelief, reinforce the promise of God, and produce a different behavior as a result of the power of the God-breathed Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
An example of this would be the issue of worry. If you struggle with worry, then you are ultimately wrestling with issues of control and trusting God. You are struggling over an issue because you are not in control of the outcome. Worry rises up in the person who loves to have control, but does not feel in a particular situation that they do. The core root of unbelief with worry is not trusting that God is sovereign and that He is good. Scriptures that you can combat worry with would be:
1. Matthew 6:25-34. In this passage Jesus teaches about the foolishness of worrying because 1. Worry can not add a single hour to your life and 2. God cares for you and will provide your needs.
2. Romans 8:28. In this passage Paul reminds believers that all things, including the difficult trials we face and cannot control, are intended for the good of those who love God. God intends good for believers through the trials and adversities that they face.
3. Ephesians 1:11. In this passage Paul shows us the peace-giving reality that God works ALL things according to the counsel of his will. The means that everything that comes to pass, does so, not by chance or random coincidence, but according to His perfect will. This should cause peace to settle over us as we recognize that He is in control and He is for us.
These are just a few examples of how you can use Scripture to combat indwelling sin in your life. Work hard to understand that all sin has unbelief at its root. Identify the sin in your life that is keeping you from progressing in holiness. Then combat your sin with the Word of God, which is a powerful tool in the hand of any believer.
At the end of the day, yes, celebrate the gospel and all of the promises that come to us in Jesus Christ, but yes, kill the indwelling sin in your life. These are both equally important roles in the life of a true believer.
– Pastor Erik Reed
Questions for Reflection and Discussion:
~~What ways have you found to be most effective for recognizing sin in your life?
~~Why is Scripture so important in combating sin? Why is “trying harder” not sufficient for killing sin?