Does this have merit?

Effortless victory over our personal sins (in a nutshell):

1 John 3:9 “No one who is born of God produces sin…”

                     because

Romans 6:6 Our bodies of sin have been rendered inoperative. Our “sin factories” have been shut down, and we no longer produce sin from within.

                    Therefore,

Romans 6:12 Don’t let sin reign in our bodies.

According to James 1:14,15 sins are conceived in our bodies when our legitimate desires reach out and take the bait (temptations) that are outside our bodies. Our legitimate desires within, when impregnated with temptations from without, conceive sins within. Therefore, the solution is to keep temptations from entering into our bodies in the first place…by simply saying or thinking something along the lines of, “No, Lord, I don’t want that in me.”

By the second birth making us new creations, Jesus has given us victory over our personal sins…our internal battles with sins are over. We now have self-control (part of the Spirit’s fruit) to effortlessly choose to keep temptations from entering into us, and conceiving sins.

Remember that the word “victory” implies no more battles. If Jesus has truly given us victory over our personal sins, then the battles are over, and it stands to reason that we must have an effortless way to keep from sinning personally.

I am not saying that avoiding temptations is the key, because that is impossible for all of us. We will be tempted until we leave these bodies. What I am saying is that we need to deal with temptations as they arise, as they most certainly will. When temptations arise and because we are new creations, we now have unobstructed wills (wills that are no longer opposed by sin in our flesh), and we can therefore simply say “no” to the temptations, which will then not enter us in order to conceive sins. Rather, they will simply dissipate.

Imagine the increased gratitude and love for Christ, and the increased vitality and boldness in the church, if all those who have been born again knew they possessed the ability to reject temptations without any effort. I haven’t seen that in the church. What I have seen are born again believers who are unsure about victory over their own personal sins because they simply aren’t aware of a clear, concise and simple way to deal with the temptations that come before them. In addition, they confuse temptations with actual sins. But, if they learn how to reject temptations, the confusion between temptations and actual sins will disappear automatically. I think the church needs to get back to an extremely important basic, that being true victory over personal sins, by understanding the nuts and bolts of how it all works.

See if this solution doesn’t work for you for all temptations to sin, including lust, worry, self-pity, doubt, envy, anger, frustration, and of course, much more.

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How long have you been practicing this, and how has it been working for you?

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Hi @3dearlabs I do see the merit in this but isn’t it so hard!

I’m not sure there’s anything in the Bible that says our struggles are effortless :slightly_smiling_face:.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

We have to be on watch all the time - we should never let down our guards. To me, this is battle terminology. Yes, Christ has the victory, yes we are in Christ and share in his victory. But oh! The battle seems to rage still. Ephesians 6 tells us to keep our armour on. We wouldn’t need armour if we weren’t still in a battle.

I am grateful for Paul’s comments in Romans 7:15 that make me realise I’m not failing in my partaking of Christ’s victory but face a common struggle:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do

But yes, I agree that through Christ we have been given all the tools to conquer temptation and sin. I believe the practice of these things requires all the fruit of the spirit, and in my experience, self-control is like a muscle we have to exercise, building it up in increments. I also know that we will never be perfect in this life. It makes me all the more grateful for Jesus, for what he did on earth and the victory he won on the cross for me. I know I will never conquer sin, but Christ has done it for me and I live under his covering. No, this does not mean I continue to sin purposefully, but rather there is grace when I fail, as I know I shall.

I agree, the church body could do with more teaching on growth in this area.

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@3dearlabs Great thoughts :slight_smile: I think what is missing from your analysis is the gap between the head and the heart, which I believe is bridged by obedience to God. If you look at Scripture, lots of passages talk about how we must mature in our faith, from babies who live on the milk of the Gospel to grown up Christians who understand and recognize righteousness.

I don’t think that process of maturing as a Christian is immediate or merely a matter of understanding theology. No doubt correct theology may be a necessary foundation to right living, but learning to live out what we believe and to know God is something that comes from walking with the Lord. I don’t think it’s the kind of thing we can just know automatically. 2 Peter 1 is a great example - Peter says that yes, we have all we need to live a godly life, but then he goes on to say we must make every effort to grow in knowledge, godliness, and love.

We also must not forget that we all have different upbringings, different experiences, different stories… Some of us had more stable lives and better examples than others. Others of us are basically out there on our own trying to live this Christian life with almost no examples and coming from a painful past. And some people have deep scars that will not be fully healed until the resurrection. As C. S. Lewis points out (quote below), we are all made of different raw material.

“Obedience is the great opener of eyes.” George MacDonald

2 Peter 1:3-9 - His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Romans 12:1-2 - Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Hebrews 5:11-14 - We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

C. S. Lewis - Different Raw Material

Lewis makes the point that one person may have been taught to behave properly, not exposed to many temptations and generally be healthy - and for them it is far easier to behave in a way that appears moral than for someone who was brought up in a broken family, exposed to lots of temptations and has other psychological issues. In that sense, it is what we do with the raw material we have, rather than the raw material, that is what truly sets us apart.

The bad psychological material is not a sin but a disease. It does not need to be repented of, but to be cured. And by the way, that is very important. Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices. When a neurotic who has a pathological horror of cats forces himself to pick up a cat for some good reason, it is quite possible that in God’s eyes he has shown more courage than a healthy man may have shown in winning the V.C. When a man who has been perverted from his youth and taught that cruelty is the right thing does dome tiny little kindness, or refrains from some cruelty he might have committed, and thereby, perhaps, risks being sneered at by his companions, he may, in God’s eyes, be doing more than you and I would do if we gave up life itself for a friend.

It is as well to put this the other way round. Some of us who seem quite nice people may, in fact, have made so little use of a good heredity and good upbringing that we are really worse than those whom we regard as fiends. Can we be quite certain how we should have behaved if we had been saddled with the psychological outfit, and then with the bad upbringing, and then with the power, say, of Himmler? That is why Christians are told not to judge. We see only the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it. Most of the man’s psychological makeup is probably due to his body: when his body dies all that will fall off him, and the real central man, the thing that chose, that made the best or worst out of this material, will stand naked. All sorts of nice things which we thought our own, but which were really due to a good digestion, will fall off some of us: all sorts of nasty things which were due to complexes or bad health will fall off others. We shall then, for the first time, see every one as he really was. There will be surprises.

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I have also wondered why we don’t hear much about this topic. I have seen people sitting in a circle on a Sunday morning in a bible class looking absolutely mournful because they are slaves to sin they said, and it’s inevitable and something we will just always have to live with and ask for forgiveness. How sad, I thought. The scriptures tell us we are free! They also acknowledge that while free we can still sin, but we are no longer held in bondage and have a way to resist. If you read Romans 6 there is great encouragement about our freedom.

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:6-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Of course we are also told that it is still possible to sin:
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This article may help others to understand why some continue to sin and how we can live out that freedom. Temptations will always happen of course, but walking after the Spirit will help keep us from sin.

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