As Christians, our desire is to live holy lives. We want to be like Jesus. But we still struggle with sin. While we want to be holy, we struggle against the world system, the evil one, and our own sinful nature. We can easily sympathize with Paul’s struggle in Romans 7.
What can we do to overcome sin? Is there any help? Thankfully there is. Let us examine three steps to overcoming sin. I’m sure there are more, but, we will limit this discussion to three steps.
**Avoidance. First, let us commit to avoiding situations that tempt us as much as possible. Paul spoke of fleeing fornication (1 Thessalonians 4:3, 1 Corinthians 6:18) and of avoiding the very appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Stay away from circumstances that allow sinful temptation to flourish. We can’t always avoid these times. But, we should take every precaution possible to prevent them from occurring in our lives.
**Prayer. Jesus counsels us to pray that we would not enter into temptation (Matthew 26:41). He also teaches us to pray that we would be spared from temptation in the model prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). A consistent prayer life is a powerful defense against sin. Avoiding temptation is not simply running away from sin. That is important, but, it’s not always enough. We need to run towards Christ. One of the best ways to do that is through prayer.
**Trust. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us this: No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so that you are able to bear it. This promise reveals several important keys to escaping temptation.
**God is in control of your temptations.
**He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear.
**God will provide an escape route from temptation. Look for it early in the temptation process and when you find the escape, take it.
**Christ will give you the strength to bear it all to help you overcome sinfulness.
Overcoming sin is difficult and arduous. Sometimes we will lost the battle. When you do, simply confess your sin, ask forgiveness, and move on (1 John 1:9-10). Stay in the fight. Avoiding sinfulness means escaping the consequences of our sin. And obedience is always worthwhile in the life of a believer.
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