Saturday, May 8, 2010

What I Mean By "Beating Sin"

I said here that I would explain in these posts how I went about beating sin, and in the last post I said I have been experiencing freedom from certain sins for years. I want to be absolutely clear about what I mean by that:
  • I do not mean that I am sin-free, so don't write this off as me saying something ridiculous. I sin in lots of ways, just like everybody else. There are only two kinds of people in this world - sinners who don't believe in Christ and sinners who do. No human except for Jesus has ever reached a point where he doesn't sin. But you can find freedom from habits of sin - sins you keep committing over and over and over (often called "besetting sins").
  • I do not mean that I don't have to fight hard against temptation. I often do. Temptation doesn't go away. However, I have found that temptations are often weaker.
  • I do not mean that I have "conquered" a particular sin and don't need to worry about it anymore. That would be a very dangerous idea. Sin is always a deadly enemy that you have to watch for vigilantly. You can't make peace with it. "Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27).
Here's what I mean: By applying what I talked about in the last post, I experienced a decisive change in my life where I was able to regularly resist temptations that I used to give in to. I also found that the temptations became less frequent, the fight was often much easier, and I have been given the grace to have a long season of victory over some particular sins. That doesn't mean I might not stumble again someday. "Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall." (1 Cor. 10:12). But the difference is night and day. That's what I call freedom - the freedom to establish new patterns of behavior and the freedom of successfully resisting over and over the temptations that you used to regularly give in to.

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