Many Christians are struggling with a cycle of sin because they have yet to know the truth.
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:31-36 NKJV)
Notice Jesus is clearly speaking of being free from sin.
Many, however, are biting the bait cast at them from satan, whom Jesus called “the father of lies,” who speaks nothing but lies. We forget our old self has died and we have been “born again” not of flesh, but of the Holy Spirit (John 3:6-8). In other words, Christ has made us a new creation by pouring out His very own Spirit into our hearts after we trusted our lives to Him. Therefore, as the Apostle Paul said, it is no longer we who live, but Christ lives in us.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:1-11 NKJV)
There is no denying that this incredibly freeing passage is telling us we have died to sin and therefore are no longer slaves to it. It even affirms that we have been freed from it (verse 7). It’s not an elusive promise. This is practical and is speaking of the now, of every Christian’s current state in Christ. He is not speaking of when we resurrect; he’s using past tense verbiage to show we have already died to sin. That promise has been fulfilled. But in order to live it out, we must believe it. And in order to believe it, we must first win the battle in our minds:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2 NKJV)
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ… (II Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV)
We can only be transformed if we first renew our minds. But notice from 2 Corinthians that it’s a battle. We have to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. So when the devil tells us we want to watch porn, we slice that lie in half with the truth, just like Jesus used truth to fight the devil on the mountain. We say, out loud, “Get behind me, Satan, for Christ has made me a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). My old lustful self has died (Romans 6:2). I’ve crucified those passions to His cross (Galatians 5:24). It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).”
We need to know the Scriptures, for we aren’t battling flesh and blood. The bible says in Romans 6:6 that the body of sin has been done away with. Now we are waging war in the spirit. Jesus told His disciples the devil is subject to us (Luke 10:19-20). But Jesus did warn us to be careful that we aren’t deceived. Satan is crafty, the best liar there is. If we don’t know the truth, how in the world can we fight off his lies?
Too many are falling—and many to their spiritual demise—because they’re distracted by school, or work, or a relationship, and though they may pump iron at the gym, they are not training themselves spiritually.
If you are struggling with the lies of lust, don’t ignore them. Fight them! Renew your mind! Memorize Scripture that speaks against those lies. Your victory has been given to you by what Christ did 2,000 years ago, but you must receive it! Christ isn’t about raising up lazy children. He tests the heart. Do you really want to overcome sin and follow Me? Then pick up your sword and fight. That’s real faith; it’s active, it participates, it’s diligent. And only those who show such heart overcome.
So who will you be? The soldier that’s so wounded he falls to the ground and gets trampled by the enemy, or the soldier who is fighting valiantly, shredding his foes to pieces through faith by the power of the Holy Spirit?
As always, the choice is yours.
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ … Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you. (2 Peter 1:3-8, 10-11 HCSB)
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10 NKJV)