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Posts Tagged ‘overcoming sin’

“The neglect of prayer is a grand hindrance to holiness.” —John Wesley

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Kevin DeYoung put this list together.  All of the Scripture passages come from 2 Peter.  May this help us to see that there are more reasons to pursue holiness in our lives other than “God said to.”  That’s a good reason.  And a good reason not to sin is simply “because God said don’t do it.”  But we miss out on so much of the richness of Scripture if we just use those two reasons exclusively for deciding what we should do and not do!  May these reasons provide powerful incentives to live the sort of godly and holy lives that God has called us to live until Jesus comes or we die!

  1. We pursue holiness so we might become partakers of the divine nature (1:4)
  2. We make every effort to grow in godliness because God has already set us free from the corruption that is in the world (1:4)
  3. We grow in grace so that we will not be ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (1:8)
  4. We pursue Christlike character so that we will not be blind, not forgetting that we have been cleansed from our former sins (1:9)
  5. We work hard at holiness so as to make our calling and election sure (1:10)
  6. We practice these godly qualities so there will be richly provided for us an entrance into the eternal kingdom (1:11)
  7. We pursue godliness because Jesus is coming back in great power (1:16-21)
  8. We walk in obedience to Christ because those who wander into sensuality are condemned and will be destroyed (2:3)
  9. We are serious about holiness because we believe God knows how to judge the wicked and save the righteous (2:4-10)
  10. We turn from ungodliness because sin is ugly (2:12-14)
  11. We pursue holiness because sin never delivers on its promises (2:17)
  12. We pursue holiness because those who live in their sin and return to their sin are like those who go back into slavery, those who return to the mire or get down and put their face in their own vomit (2:19-21)
  13. We remember to be holy because in the last days there will be scoffers who will tell us to follow our own desires (3:3)
  14. We make every effort to be godly because the world will not always continue as it is, but the heavens and the earth are stored up for fire and the judgement and destruction of the ungodly (3:4-7)
  15. We take Christlikeness seriously because we do not know when the Lord will return (3:10)
  16. We pursue holiness because all our works will be exposed on the last day (3:10)
  17. We pursue holiness because whatever we live for in this life will be burned up and dissolved (3:11)
  18. We strive for obedience and repentance to hasten the coming of the day of the Lord (3:12)
  19. We live in righteousness now because we are waiting for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness will dwell forever (3:13)
  20. We pursue godliness so that Christ might be glorified now and to the day of eternity (3:18)

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“To those who struggle with temptation, the writer of Hebrews says, “we have a high priest who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

This is even greater than having a friend who has been through what you have been through and can identify with you. Yes, Jesus is compassionate, but he is also strong and victorious!”

–Read the rest of Erik Raymond’s Can Jesus Relate to My Temptations?

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“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13

Let no man think to kill sin with few, easy, or gentle strokes. He who hath once smitten a serpent, if he follow not on his blow until it be slain, may repent that ever he began the quarrel. And so he who undertakes to deal with sin, and pursues it not constantly to the death.

~ Richard Baxter

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“Have you ever been scared by the progressive nature of your sin?”–Tim Challies

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What to do about that besetting sin? Ed Welch summarizes:

We will all sin again, of that we can be sure. When we do, we ask forgiveness of both the Lord and those who were wronged. Then some hand-to-hand combat against sin is probably in order along with some public planning to either stand firm or run when there is another assault. All of this is both preceded and followed by our rest in forgiveness of sin secured by Jesus. Rest is spiritual, complacency sinful.

For more on battling a besetting sin read the rest of When You Are Planning to Sin Again

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 presciption pills“Instead of interpreting our present-day sin in the light of a divinely revealed standard,” wrote H.J. Whitney, “we reduce this standard to a pale reflection of our own man-made standards.”1

In effect, we treat sin as if it were a cold instead of a cancer. 

Sin is alien, and intrusive. It is an invader in the created order, attacking, perverting, and twisting what is good into something other than it’s intended effect.

It distorts image bearers of God into rebels lying to the world about their Creator. It perverts notions of biblical submission and service between men and women into strife and servitude. It disrupts and destroys everything it touches.

When we remember to see sin in this way, it also changes how we deal with it. It reminds us that sin isn’t something to be managed, it’s something to be destroyed. It’s not something we can will away by being more awesome, but something we defeat by surrendering to the Holy Spirit who is at work within us.

Cough medicine doesn’t kill sin. We need chemo.

Killing sin is hard work. It causes a lot of pain. And sometimes, it seems like it’s going to kill us in the end. But, fighting sin is a life-or-death situation. “Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work,” wrote John Owen, “be killing sin or it will be killing you.”

–Aaron Armstrong

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