In the previous lesson, entitled “108 – Free from Sin”, it was made clear how exercising faith in Christ’s life, death and resurrection can set us free from the slavery of sin that was mentioned in the lesson entitled “107 – The Power of Sin”. Unfortunately, many professed Christians have excused sin, as though it cannot be prevented from the life of a Christian. They claim that even after accepting Christ, it is impossible to obey all of God’s commandments. They believe that God doesn’t even expect them to fulfil His law completely. To them victory-defeat, victory-defeat is the approved lifestyle of normal Christianity. This is based on a false understanding of righteousness by faith and is actually (un)righteousness by works. Let us look at what the Bible has to say about the Christian experience of a born-again believer.
1. Will those who continue sinning inherit God’s kingdom?
1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the _____________ shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived
NOTE: The requirements of God make it utterly impossible for sin or disobedience to be a part of the Christian lifestyle. From Adam’s time the battle has been about exercising faith in God’s Word. If Satan had to leave heaven because of sin, and Adam had to leave the garden of Eden because of sin, then what makes us think that we are part of God’s kingdom while we continue sinning? “Be not deceived”
2. Who will inherit God’s kingdom?
Revelation 21:7 He that _________ shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
NOTE: A born-again believer will obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. God is holy, and none but holy beings can ever dwell in His presence. He created us to be like Him (Genesis 1:26-27), and if we do not fulfil our purpose then we will not be with Him. If we do not gain the victory over sin, then sin is gaining the victory over us.
3. Are there any temptations that we cannot overcome?
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be ______ to bear it.
NOTE: We have absolutely no excuse for sinning. God does not allow us to be tempted above what we can bare, and He also gives the power to overcome the temptation.
4. How do we overcome temptation?
2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious __________: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
NOTE: We become partakers of the divine nature and escape corruption through God’s exceeding great and precious promises that we find in His Word.
5. How did Jesus overcome temptation?
Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every ________ that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
NOTE: Christ overcame temptation through exercising faith in God’s Word. It was not simply quoting the Word that gave Him the victory, but it was submitting Himself to that Word. 1 Peter 2:21 teaches us that Christ is our example. We will overcome as He overcame.
Psalm 119:11 Thy ________ have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
NOTE: It is the Word of God that gives us the power to overcome sin daily. If Eve had believed the Word of God, she would never have sinned. Eve had the Word of God that plainly told her not to eat from the tree. Satan came with his new word that said that she may eat from the tree. If Eve then believed the Word of God, she would never have sinned. As long as she believed God’s Word she never could have sinned. The same is true with Adam. Now that principle is just as true today as it was that day. The person today who believes God, will not sin. As long as we believe God, we cannot sin. This principle is eternal. But this calls for really believing God – not accepting one Word, and rejecting another. We need to believe every Word of God if we want to overcome sin. This is why Christ said that without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5), and that we can do everything when He gives us the power (Philippians 4:13).
6. Does the Bible promise us that we can overcome sin?
Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than ______________ through him that loved us.
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to _________ in Christ
1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that _________ the world, even our faith.
1 John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth _____: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
NOTE: God’s Word is abundantly clear that our faith is the victory. What is faith? Faith is understanding that God’s Word is always true because it has creative power (See “102 – What is Faith?”). When we exercise faith in God’s Word, and thus abide in Him, we will overcome all sin. To state that we cannot overcome all sin is to undermine the power of the gospel, and to make the power of sin stronger than the power of God.
7. What is the first step to understand when we want to overcome sin?
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which ________ us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
NOTE: Satan will always be stronger than us and thus we cannot overcome temptation using our own power. Victory is a gift! We do not earn it by our efforts, or deserve it because of any supposed goodness. The only thing we need do is ask for it, and the victory will be given to us freely by Christ. He is the only one who has ever gained the victory over Satan, and if we ever possess the victory, it will have to come as a gift from Him.
8. What is the second step to understand when we want to overcome sin?
Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ______ him?
NOTE: Do you need victory over some sinful habit in your life? Tobacco, swearing, lustful thoughts, gossiping? The Bible says you may have the victory as a gift through Jesus Christ. We should ask Him for the power to overcome sin. If we want the victory, then we will ask Him for it. He has already told us in the Bible that it is His will to save us from sin. How do we know we have the victory after we ask Him? Simply because He said we would have it. We know God cannot lie. We can believe His promises. The very moment we ask, we should accept the fact of fulfilment, thank Him for the gift, and get up and act like it has been done. No kind of proof, feeling or sign should be demanded or expected. The self-fulfilling power in His promise is released in response to our faith alone.
9. What is the third step to understand when we want to overcome sin?
Romans 6:11 Likewise ________ ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
NOTE: The word “reckon” means to believe, or to consider it done. Think about the story of Peter in Matthew 14. Christ’s Word enabled Peter to do the impossible – walk on water. As long as he was exercising faith in Christ’s Word, He could do the impossible. As soon as he doubted Christ’s Word, he started to sink. Now, what is the impossible thing as far as you are concerned? It is not walking on water. It is overcoming that sinful habit. Christ says that He will give the victory to you. As long as you believe that you have been delivered, you will have the victory. It is as simple as that. God’s Word will give the power. You won’t feel it, but it will be there. It will remain there as long as you accept it in faith. Even when sinful desires remain, Christ provides the power so that you do not need to yield to those sinful desires.
10. What is the fourth step to understand when we want to overcome sin?
Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not ___________ for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof
NOTE: So strong is the confidence in the power of God that no consideration is given to falling under the power of that sin again. No provision should be made to fail. Victory does not depend on our strength but on God’s power. All plans that might involve any degree of compromise are abandoned.
11. What if a person doubts God’s Word and falls into sin?
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to ___________ us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
NOTE: He will set us free again. But He sets us free that we may hold steadfastly by a firmer faith to Him. In the bitterness of sin, we are taught our own weakness and worthlessness, and in the sweetness of His forgiveness we are taught His power to save. Even Peter began to sink when He doubted Christ’s Word. That didn’t change Christ’s will for him to walk on water. It wasn’t divine power that failed, but Peter that failed when he relied on his own power. It only pointed out Peter’s need of stronger faith to enable him to obey Christ’s command. If we fall into sin, we should repent and recommit our life to God. We should exercise more faith in His promises. In “105 – Growing Your Faith” we learnt some principles to increase our faith. God’s promises will have no power for those who exercise no faith. The limits are clearly defined in the words of Jesus, “According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29).
Christ not only came to save us from the consequences and guilt of sin, but also the power of sin. Through faith in God’s Word we can overcome as Christ overcame. As long as we exercise faith in God’s Word it is impossible for us to sin. Whenever we fall into sin, it is because for that moment our faith has let go of the Lord, and we are not believing in Him. God will daily sanctify us through His Word by revealing sins to us and providing the power to overcome them (John 17:17).
4 Keys 4 Victory
1. Realise that victory over sin is a gift from God, and not through our own works. 1 Corinth. 15:57
2. Claim the promises of God in the Bible by asking God for them. Matthew 7:11
3. Believe that God’s promises are true, because His Word has creative power. Romans 6:11
4. Do not make provisions/plans to sin. Romans 13:14
Is it your desire to daily live by faith in God’s Word and so live free from sin?