Sin has the potential of ruining your life. Learn how to take it under control and get rid of it by the power of God.
Sin is a universal problem. It really does not matter where you live or who you were born to, if you are a human, you have sin. In Greek language the word sin is “hamartia”. It basically means “missing the mark”. We all have missed the mark set by God and fall short of His glory. (Romans 3:23) So, how do we deal with such a universal problem and how to overcome sin?
The power of sin is not in actions or words, but in our very nature. To get rid of it, one has to get rid of the “self”. Such a task seems to be pretty impossible for men, but all things are possible for God. Now, first let us take a look at some of the consequences of sin:
people become dependent on various substances, things, ideas, foods, games, etc. That is the kind of habitual sin, which transforms our lives and makes them miserable.
many sins (overeating, drinking, substance abuse, immorality, etc.) lead to developing various diseases: STDs, heart, liver, kidney dysfunctions, obesity, cancer and many others.
- Broken relations
people have hard time loving each other, because sin hurts. We bring pain even to those we love.
eventually sin leads to death. Often times such death is premature.
The bad news is there is no cure for sin on this earth. No decision or power of will can help you rid of it. Yes, you can stop doing certain things or saying them, but the sin would stay alive on the inside of you. No matter what the life ends up in death (which is the consequence of sin), but which is worse, it can end up in eternal death and separation from God.
So, how do you prevent sin? How do you live a victorious life? There is the grace to overcome sin. This is the only method. That is why Jesus Christ has come to the earth and died on the cross.
The blood of Christ was shed to purify our sins and His death paid the penalty for us. God has provided redemption for our sins, He has put the blame on His only Son Jesus, who carried all the sins of the world to the cross and dealt away with them there.
#1 method on how to overcome sin:
- Confess your sins before God
This means you need to acknowledge them, own them up and repent. Confession makes you vulnerable before God, but He is loving and kind. There is nothing to be afraid of. You can make peace with Him through the sacrifice of Christ.
- Believe in redemption
If you believe with all your heart that He has forgiven and cleansed you, He accepts you as His child. Such prayer can transform your life and set you free from all the bad habits, and uncleanness.
- Get filled with Holy Spirit
The Bible tells us that the Spirit of God would come and dwell inside of us and give us power to beat sins. Just ask Him for his Spirit and receive by faith.
Now, this #1 method works for those, who have never met God before and did not put their trust in Him yet. However, many Christians admit they keep on having problems with sin. They get tempted and enticed by it and at times they sin. What do you do then?
Power to overcome sin - how to overcome sinful thoughts
Thoughts are the most powerful things we have. The Scriptures tell us that if you commit something in your heart or thoughts, it is as good as if you have gone and done that very thing. (Matthew 5:28) So, sinful actions are conceived in our conscience. If you stop sin there, you would spare yourself the trouble of reaping its deadly consequences. It concerns sexual sin, theft, lying and even murder. All sins come from inside out.
- Identify them
First of all point them out to yourself. In many cases we decide not to recognize such thoughts and meddle with them longer than it is good for us. We welcome them, we entertain in thinking them and believe those are just thoughts. After all we are not doing anything bad! Thoughts can be sinful. Label them properly. Just be honest with yourself and say: this thought is sinful. Now, the question is can you stand such a thought in your Christian life?
- Determine their source
Where do those thoughts come from? Good question to ask. At times their origin is the devil. He throws ideas at us hoping we would grab them and do them. Not all sinful thoughts are really yours. All you need to do is resist them and say “no”. That is all you do for them to go away. However, if your own flesh is their origin, then you need to fight them and repent in them.
- Eliminate and replace them
How do you deal away with such thoughts? You simply replace them with the Word of God. Start thinking of what is good and noble and worthy (Phil 4:9) and replace the bad ones with the good ones. It surely takes some practice and effort, but you can do it.
That is one reason why you should know well and love the Word of God. Study it off by heart and train your mind to focus and meditate on the Scriptures. It is the weapon you use in Spiritual warfare to overcome the evil one. And, of course, pray for God’s help during the time of temptation to strengthen you and lead you to victory.
Power to overcome sin - how to overcome sinful habits
The above listed things are very practical steps to take when dealing with sinful thoughts, but what is to be done with the actual sin? In many cases sin becomes a bad habit. How do habits get formed? - By constant repetition of doing one thing over and over again. So, how do we break down the habitual sin?
- Identify it
This step is similar to combating sinful thoughts. Unless you become completely honest with your own self and with God, you have no chance of overcoming sin. You see, Jesus Christ has paid the price to set you free. However, it is up to you to crave that freedom and head towards it. You need to repent in your sins. That what the Holy Book tells us to do.
But how can you repent unless you acknowledge the sins you commit, hate them and regret them? So, be honest and name the sin. “I am a drug abuser or alcoholic. I am a fornicator. I am a liar…” Just name it. Do not say: “I sin a little at times”. I just beat my wife, but it is not a big deal! That is not a repentance! Once is enough to become a sinner! So, name your sins and regret them with your whole heart.
- Make a plan
God is there for you to help you and to set your free. You cannot possibly break down the bond of sin on your own. But God cannot break it on His own, too. He needs you to be an active part of the process. So, ask for His power and make a plan. If you abuse alcohol, make a plan to stay away from places where other alcoholics hang out. Break away from such friends and find a good church, where you can be surrounded by Christians and supported by them.
Find the small steps you can take to replace the bad habit with a good one. If you are a smoker, you may be induced to doing it, when you get nervous or upset. Make a plan and teach yourself to calm down through prayer. Find a quiet place, stay alone and instead of smoking pray and worship God. Just like it is with the thoughts, replace bad habit with a good action.
- Be accountable
The trap many Christians are falling to is the independence. Yes, you are free, but you are not on your own. You need to find good Christian friends and teachers, who would hold you accountable. You could come to them and ask for help in the times of temptations. Or they may have the right to question you in regards to your habitual sin and demand a honest answer. That helps living purity.
As you see, these things may not be “very spiritual” but they surely are very practical. They help you to control your mind and emotion and stay clean of sin in your Christian daily walk.