68. Partake – The Christian Disciple and Overcoming Sin
Paul writing in Romans 8v12-15: Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
As Christian Disciples, we face a constant battle against sin and constant pressure to disobey God our Father. Elsewhere in Romans 12v9, we are told to “hate evil”. And yet we succumb to sin’s trap so easily. As Christian Disciples we are to live under the grace given to us through Jesus Christ. It is by doing this, that we can overcome sin and its power.
1. The Inner Struggle
As Christian Disciples, we have chosen to take up God’s offer of salvation. But what has happened to our old spiritual nature and where does my new spiritual nature fit into the picture?
a. In the Past
Our Internal Status – we all have an old spiritual nature
Our Spiritual Status – we were separated from God by sin and our sinful nature
What God did – God made the offer to have peace with Him. He takes care of the past and He no longer holds our sin against us.
b. In the Present
Old Spiritual Nature vs New Spiritual Nature
Our Spiritual Status – As Christian Disciples we have a new spiritual nature to help us fight the struggle against sin.
What God has done – we have immediate access to God, which takes care of our present – we can come to Him whenever we choose. He gives us a new nature to fight the power of sin and our old spiritual nature.
c. In the Future
Our Internal Status – a new Spiritual Nature
Our Spiritual Status – One day we will be totally released from the power of sin.
What God has done – A glorious hope takes care of the future – all Christian Disciples will one day share in His glory.
2 objections people come up with :
·‘If God’s grace abounds when we sin, then lets continue sinning so we might experience more grace’ – (Romans 6v1)
·‘If we are no longer under the Law, then we are free to live as we please’ (Romans 6v15)
2. Know, Yield and, Count
a. Know (Romans 6v1-10) – means “to understand”
·Know that you are dead to sin (Romans6v2-5).As Christian Disciples we cannot deliberately sin because of our new identification with Jesus.
·Know that you are not to serve sin (Romans6v 6-10). Now, sin wants to be our master and wants to control us. As Christian Disciples, we are freed from the power of sin (Romans 6v7)
b. Count (Romans 6v11) – means “to calculate, estimate, take into account”
·This means to act upon what God has said.
c. Yield (Romans 6v12-23) – means “to present as a sacrifice”
·How are we to yield? (Romans6v12-13). We present ourselves daily to Him for His use.
·Why are we to yield? (Romans6v14-23).
qFavour (Romans6v14-15) – It is because of God’s grace, His unmerited favour, that we give ourselves to Him. We are not saved by anything, but grace.
qFreedom (Romans6v16-20) – Now we are Christian, we are freed from the power of sin and become servants of God. We should show God, our joy for releasing us from the gripping chains of sin.
qFruit (Romans6v21-23) – Sin pays wages – death. God always pays wages –holiness and eternal life. In our new life, we are to produce fruit that brings glory to God and joy to our lives.
3. Overcoming sin(Romans 7v14-25)
a.Romans 7v14 – All people are controlled by the old sinful nature from birth – slaves to sin.
b.Romans 7v15 – This is the fight going on in our minds between the Holy Spirit and our sinful nature.
c.Romans 7v16 – Paul does what he does, not what he wants to do and sins. The Law is good.
d.Romans 7v17 – The sin living in me, is our natural impulse to sin. It is not our new self that sins, but our old spiritual nature. Inside our bodies, there are two natures fighting with each other. Our old sinful nature fighting against our new Spiritual nature.
e.Romans 7v18 – There is from birth, no good in us – our sinful nature. The desire to obey God is present in our inner being, our new Spiritual nature.
f.Romans 7v19 –Paul continues to sin, even though he doesn’t want to.
g.Romans 7v20 – Paul again repeats that it is the sinful nature that causes us to sin.
h.Romans 7v21 – What law? The continual fight between good and evil within us.
i.Romans 7v22 – Inner being means our human spirit linked with our conscience. In the eyes of God, our inner being is more important than our outer body and behaviour.
j.Romans 7v23 – When Paul uses the word Law here he means principle. ‘Law of my mind’, can also mean ‘the rule of my mind’. In every Christian this fight continues. The ‘law of sin’ makes Paul’s hands & feet do evil. This ‘law of sin’ works to make Paul a prisoner to sin.
k.Romans 7v24 – Who will rescue us from the body of death?
l.Romans 7v25 – We have a rescuer!
A lot of people think their eternal life will start when they die.But our eternal life with Christ has already started, so we are to live now as we will then!But we do sin, so what do we do about it?One man who knew what to do was King David in the Old Testament, and Psalm 32 typifies his reaction to his sin! In that Psalm he speaks of his confession of sin and his abandonment of it.That is also to be our reaction to when we sin!We are not to just ignore it! We are not to wallow in self-pity!We are to take God’s view of it and call it sin!Nor are we to claim we are without sin, because as John writes in 1 John 1, we are living in self-delusion and we make God out to be a liar!So, when we realise we have sinned, we are to confess it quickly and ask for our Lord’s forgiveness and for him to cleanse us anew!For as John writes in 1 John 1v9, “he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”That is why it is a very good idea to start the day with a simple prayer of general confession so that your fellowship with Jesus through the day will not be scarred!That is why in a lot of churches, there is a general confession at the start of the services.Jesus wants us to have complete fellowship with him, and by confessing sin; our fellowship with Him is made richer. Through Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome this ‘law of sin’ within us, and as His children and as Christian Disciples, we can truly live a life under grace.
For more to think about please do read Romans 8v18-39. Ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them.Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.
Q1. Are there sins in my life that hold me habitually?
Q2. How can I remind myself that I am a child of the living God?
Q3. How does the Holy Spirit help me when I am weak?