Sin is a wicked thing. In-fact, sin should be considered the believer’s worst enemy. For this reason, our attitude towards sin should be very serious. In some future posts I would like to consider some specific and practical strategies for the war on sin, but for now I desire to discuss three important foundational truths that we need to know and understand before we declare war on personal sin.
A Right View of Sin
The most sinful act committed by one person could very easily be committed by any of us. What prevents us from being as bad as we could be is the restraining grace of God. Before we consider biblical strategies for fighting sin, it is essential that we recognize that sin is a wicked act against our holy Lord. Therefore, we ought to be strategic in our approach to putting it to death. Remember, our war on sin is not about us fighting it for the sake of fighting sin; our goal is to fight it because sin is contrary to the character of our holy Lord.
The Key to it All
Secondly, if we are going to be effective in our war on sin, we need to be a genuine believer in Christ. As a genuine believer in Christ, we are at peace with God (Rom. 5:1). Then we are granted a new nature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) and are granted the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). Without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, it is impossible for us to fight against sin. For the apostle Paul stated, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13). Only those who have the residing Holy Spirit will be able to take up arms against the evil of sin’s seduction.
Have a Plan
In addition to this, if we are going to be effective in our war on sin, we need to be strategic and thorough in our dealing with sin. The great puritan pastor-theologian John Owen said these very wise words,
“Let no man think to kill sin with few, easy, or gentle strokes. He who hath once smitten a serpent, if he follow not on his blow until it be slain, may repent that ever he began the quarrel. And so he who undertakes to deal with sin, and pursues it not constantly to the death.”
So then, it will be useless if we fight sin occasionally; we need to be strategic and thorough.