If you’ve ever struggled to get freedom from sin in your life you realize what a frustrating experience it can be. No matter how hard you try to “do better”, you can’t seem to get away from yourself long enough to see lasting change. You fall in sin, followed by feeling guilty and condemned, wondering if God still loves you. After a while, you brush yourself off and recommit to “doing better this time”! Yet, after a little while, temptation gets the best of you and you fall again, repeating this frustrating cycle. Can you relate to this? I’m sure you can… we all can! But this is not how God intended for you to live your life… actually, it’s a poor substitute for the life of victory Jesus promised to give you! Let me explain…
Whenever you are struggling with sin, there is a powerful promise of God in Romans 6:14 that you must lean on. It says “Sin shall not have dominion over you for you are not under law but under grace.” There is an important distinction in this verse that every believer must understand if they want to experience victory over sin! Notice it says “sin shall not have dominion over you because you are NOT UNDER LAW but are UNDER GRACE!”, What this verse is showing us is that the responsibility for getting victory over sin in your life has ALREADY been taken care of by God! The Bible teaches us that Jesus has defeated sin on the cross. He has won victory over sin ONCE and FOR ALL. He now gives you His victory by His GRACE, not by you keeping the law, or any other list of rules, in your own strength!
Why Many Believer’s Aren’t Experiencing Freedom From Sin
Yet so often, we as believers continue to beg God and ask Him to help us overcome our sin, wondering why He hasn’t given us the victory even though we keep crying out when we fall.
If you have ever prayed that way, you know how frustrating it is to feel defeated and on top of that to think God is ignoring your request for help… as if your prayers are falling on deaf ears.
But the reason you are stuck in this cycle is because you are asking God to answer a prayer He has already answered for you in the cross of Jesus 2000 years ago. It was THEN, when Jesus died and rose again, that He gave you everything you need to overcome sin today! He doesn’t need to keep doing that for every person because it is already finished!
The disconnect between God’s finished work and our daily experience occurs because many Christians today don’t understand the true nature and power of God’s Grace. Many think that grace must be balanced with law otherwise people will use their “grace” as an excuse to sin more.
This thinking leads to people creating more rules (a form of law keeping) as the solution to keeping sin in check. Yet the harder they try, the more they seem to fail.
The very rules they intend to keep them away from sin end up producing a greater desire for sin in them (see Romans 7). Now to be clear, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have guidelines and rules to live by. That would be foolish. What I am saying is that rule keeping alone is not enough to give you victory over your sinful desires.
You Get Freedom From Sin Through Grace, Not Keeping The Law
This cycle of frustration is so common among Christians because many don’t understand how the Christian life is supposed to work. God did not give Christians His Spirit and grace so they can struggle to overcome sin by keeping a list of rules in their own strength. God’s grace was given to us so that He can empower us to overcome sin and live godly lives. This is a critical aspect of grace that we must understand. Grace does not allow us to sin more (we did that on our own apart from grace), grace empowers us to sin less and live victoriously!
The Grace God gives us does not give us freedom TO sin, it gives us freedom FROM sin. Anything else is cheap grace and isn’t grace at all!
The Bible teaches us that God’s grace primarily accomplishes two things in your life. It gives you salvation and it frees you from the bondage of sin and your flesh.
Grace is when God does in you what you cannot do in yourself. He saves you and He makes you Holy as He is Holy. He does all this by His Spirit in you.
When you understand this, you conclude that you need more of God’s grace in your life, not less. Paul summarizes the work of God’s grace in Titus 2:11-12
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,” (Titus 2:11-12 ESV)
The Transforming Power Of God’s Grace
When God’s grace works in you through His Holy Spirit, your life becomes more like Jesus. He is Holy and you will be too, He is light and so are you.
As you believe the promises of God for your sanctification and you surrender to God to do His work in your life, you find His Spirit has already given you everything you need to live a life of godliness.
This is the power of God’s Grace towards believers. This is the life of freedom and joy found by walking in the spirit. This is the key to becoming more than a conqueror and learning to rule your sinful desires by the grace of God!
Overcoming sin and living in victory happens when you trust the word of God and His promises by faith. This means you aren’t begging God to give you victory as if He’s holding out on you. That’s a prayer of unbelief. Rather, you humbly thank God for the victory He made available to you 2000 years ago in Jesus. You lay hold of that truth today by faith and begin walking it out by faith! This is the grace God has ALREADY given you!! You simply must surrender your self-efforts to God and walk in obedience to His commands by faith, one moment at a time. As God’s Word has promised…
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ESV)
This verse serves to remind you to be encouraged in your battle with sin. God is faithful, He has done it and He will do it in you!
If it’s By God’s Grace, Then What Is Our Part?
Now you may be thinking… this sounds great Mike, but if it’s true, then why am I still struggling to overcome sin? I’m glad you asked!
You and I do have a part to play. As I said earlier, we must choose to walk by faith in the victory He has given us, not allowing sin to rule over us. When we do this, we aren’t trying to get victory, we are standing in the victory Jesus has already won for us!
If we fail to rule over sin in our lives it’s will begin to rule us! The choice is yours. Will you live as a slave to sin or will you choose to get freedom from sin by the power of the Holy Spirit inside of you?
- Choose today to rule your soul, taking your thoughts and emotions captive.
- Intentionally rule your flesh, not offering your body to sin, but committing to use your body for righteousness.
- Choose to live like the son and daughter of God you truly are!
The nature of God is in you, so actively and consciously choose to imitate your Father in all things.
As you embark on this journey of faith in the promises of God, you will find He is always with you, empowering you, to experience His promises!
Oswald Chambers understood the victory Jesus won and wrote about this becoming a reality in the believers life when he wrote:
“Do I seek to stop sinning or have I stopped sinning? To be born of God means that I have the supernatural power of God to stop sinning. In the Bible it is never—Should a Christian sin? The Bible puts it emphatically—A Christian must not sin. The effective working of the new birth life in us is that we do not commit sin, not merely that we have the power not to sin, but that we have stopped sinning. 1 John 3:9 does not mean that we cannot sin; it means that if we obey the life of God in us, we need not sin.“
Take Action: Don’t Forfeit The Freedom Jesus Won For You
You don’t need to sin and you certainly don’t need to be a slave to sin because Jesus has set you free! Do you believe that? You won’t experience lasting victory over sin until you do! Spend time meditating on the truths of scripture that God has already given you victory over sin! Get that truth deep down in your heart. That’s when you will stop tolerating sin having victory over you.
I hope this word encourages you to fight the good fight when it comes to getting freedom from sin. Remember, because of Jesus, the victory is already yours!
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