Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
(540) 473-2325

Combating Sin with Scripture

Every child of God has a struggle with sin in some area of their life. It could be sins of the tongue such as maligning, gossiping, backbiting, sowing discord among the saints, or the tempting sins of the flesh such as adultery, drunkenness, gluttony, and the seed bed of it all which is mental attitude sins such as jealousy, envy, resentment, covetousness, hatred, pride and vindictiveness and so on. Knowing our sins, we know what triggers them and we must know how the word of God stands against them. As a believer we are not to expect a peaceful coexistence with our sin nature. The sin nature will never let up in this life, but through concentrated Bible study and prayer, we can minimize the intensity of our nagging temptations.

We have said before that the Bible commands us to flee when these temptation episodes come upon us. This is one way to avoid practicing sin. But there are preventive ways to avoid sinning as well. The primary means of practicing righteousness instead of sinfulness is obedience to the word of God which means we have to have our hearts saturated with God’s word, Ps.119:11 “Thy word have I hidden, that is, [do I keep on storing] in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” This verse is the key to experiencing God’s escape route from sin of which Paul speaks.

God has said he will provide the way of escape from the temptation of our sins; I Cor.10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make the way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

The context of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians lies in his disgust in their behavior. First we see mental attitude sins in I Cor.3:1-3, and in I Cor.4:18-19 the sins of the tongue, and in I Cor.5:1; 6:15-18 we see sins of the flesh. Paul says in I Cor.5:7-8 that we are to purge out the old leaven (sins) and be unleavened, that is, (we are not to practice personal sins).

We must not attempt to serve God or worship him while living under the influence of sin in our lives. Paul recognized and admitted his fear of being put on the shelf by the Lord due to the effects of sin in his own life. He was hard on himself so much so that he fought constantly against the solicitations to sin, I Cor.9:25-27.

Our human will is affected by sin, so our will alone is not enough to fight sin. The same can be said of our emotional zeal to resist sin, it too is affected by the sin nature and the same can be said of our self awareness, our conscience and our thinking. Each element of our human essence is affected and infected by sin. But thank God that as a new creation in Christ we have the divine assets to overcome the influence of our sins. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit; we have our human spirit for fellowshipping with God; we have free will to chose; we have the local church which is the classroom of the saints, we have gifted teaching pastors, and most of all, we have the word of God.

All of these divine assets work by grace to provide the way of escape when we are solicited by sin. To aid the people of Israel in their sanctification God told them to...

1. Write scriptures and [carry it with you at all times, and post these scriptures in your homes, Deut.6:1-9.]

2. Memorize scriptures [write them on the table of your heart, Prov.3:3; 7:3.]

If we want to succeed in getting the victory over our sins and place ourselves squarely in the middle of God’s directive will we will follow this advice from scripture today.

Find as much scripture as you can on the area of your weakness; [note, keep this to yourself]. A Bible concordance and Vines expository dictionary will help with this study.

Study those verses and memorize the substance of those verses as well as their precepts. Inculcate yourselves, that is, drill yourself repetitively with these verses and obey them.

If you want to put out a fire you have to fight it like you intend on putting it out. As a believer this will be our biggest challenge. Half-hearted efforts on our part to fight sin will lead to defeat because our sin nature never goes at its work half hearted. I’m not talking about earning salvation or keeping salvation which is a fixed position once we accept the Lord. I am talking about practicing righteousness as a child of God.

We will only be honorable Christians if we allow God to make us honorable. We will never be free from the attacks of our sin nature, but we can remain poised and ready to defend our Christian lives if we allow God’s word to form a hedge around our souls. If we will be obedient to God’s word he will help us keep our joy and defeat our enemy, which is personal sin. So, pray for wisdom to apply to your Bible knowledge and repel temptations with the back fire of God’s word; then douse that temptation with more of the word of God.

Be faithful! Be faithful! Be faithful!

The Pastor
February 2009