The youth at church are going through a book by Kris Lundgaard entitled The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin. Using Paul’s great description of the battle with indwelling sin in Romans 7:14-25, the author notes four key truths about sin:
1. Sin living in us is a “law”
Much like the “law” of hunger or thirst, sin compels and drives us to fulfill it’s desires.
2. We find this law inside of us
It’s not some philosophical theory, sin is very much present in the lives of all, including believers.
3. We find this law even when we’re at our best
Even when we try to do good, sin is present to foil our attempts.
4. This law never rests
No matter how small or minuscule the moment, sin is there waiting to pounce and destroy the believer (and the unbeliever, but he is clueless to the battle).
Further looking at Paul’s battle described in Romans 7, I proposed the following responses to sin for our youth…
1. Don’t over-estimate your ability to fight indwelling sin
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want to, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. (Romans 7:18-19)
We need to be reminded that, in our flesh, their is no ability nor power to withstand the lusts of sin. Apart from the redeeming work of Christ, our very nature is bent toward the fulfilling of its wicked desires. If you try to do this in your strength…well, be prepared to fall flat on you face!
This is what happens when you trust in yourself…spiritually speaking!
2. Recognize it is an inward battle…and feed the “Good” side!
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. (Romans 7:21-23)
Indwelling sin is a battle, constantly seeking to destroy us. War ends in death…and to defeat sin, we must seek its death! You kill by starving sin in your flesh. Don’t feed sin with the things that awaken it’s lusts in your life.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regards to its lusts. (Romans 13:14)
Flee the evil desires of you, and pursue…..(2 Timothy 2:22)
Don’t feed sin…feed your soul with nourishment from God’s Word.
3. Flee to the Savior
Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24-25a)
This is actually the FIRST thing you are to do when dealing with sin! Turn to the Lord Jesus for He is the One who is the ultimate victor over sin and death!
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
When we sin, the first Person we need to run to is Jesus Christ. The shame of sin may seek to drive you away from him, but that is false. When we sin, we need to run to Jesus quickly and repent, acknowledging our sin and rebellion…and ultimately receiving that grace which is freely bestowed upon the penitent heart!
Soli Deo Gloria!