Meanderings of a Minister


10 Ways to Kill Sin, Part 2
March 25, 2011, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Articles

10 Ways to Kill Sin[1], Part 2

 

Last week, I began an article based upon on article I had read in Revive! Magazine.  In the article, author and evangelist, Brian G. Hedges, gave ten ways to kill sin.  During the Lenten season, and with Easter looming closer and closer, many of us may have gotten weary in the resistance to whatever it is that we have set ourselves aside from to focus on our relationship with Christ.  Hedges takes the battle one step further by addressing Colossians 3:5, which says, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:  sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  This article continues that article from last week.

To review, Hedges told us the first five ways to kill sin are as follows:

  1. Yield yourself to God.
  2. Accept the battle.
  3. Take God’s side.
  4. Make no provision for sin.
  5. Use your sword (the Word of God).
  6. Aim at the heart.  So often we attack the outer manifestations of sin in our lives with no regard for where those sins come from.  Jesus said, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”  (Luke 6:45)  In order to truly deal with the issues of sin with which we struggle the most, we must first consider where the sin comes from.  Do you struggle with overeating?  Maybe it is because you are trying to deal with some pain involved with not forgiving.  Do you struggle with lying?  Perhaps it is because you do not really trust God.  Maybe you keep getting involved with affairs because deep in your heart, you believe yourself to not be worth anything more than being someone’s play toy.  Deal with the heart and the behavior will follow.
  7. Replace sin with grace.  So often, the church does a great job of telling people what not to do, but we don’t tell them what to replace it with.  We major on what we are against, but we don’t speak much about what we are for.  True repentance means turning away from sin, but it also means turning to Christ to embrace His grace and forgiveness.  Related to the previous point, this means that we have to find out the virtue that is being violated by our sin and work to cultivate that virtue, with God’s help.
  8. Stay in community.  There is a reason that 1 Corinthians 12 says we have been given gifts for the common good, that Hebrews 10 tells us not to neglect the gathering of the believers, and that most of the instructions about love involves loving one another.  God knows we cannot survive in isolation.  Hebrews 3 tells us to exhort one another daily so that we won’t lose heart in the fight.  Stay connected.
  9. Look to the cross.  Many times, we get tired of the struggle and want to sit back and take it easy and take a break.  We think we have fought long enough and hard enough and little break wouldn’t hurt.  When we are tempted to begin thinking this way, we simply need to think about the cross and realize Jesus did all that was needed for us to be forgiven, without a break.  In addition, the cross reminds us that the battle has been won because, “It is finished.”

10.  Depend on the Holy Spirit.  Paul said, “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)  We cannot defeat sin in our own power, but only by the power of the Holy Spirit.  We must stay connected to, rely upon and listen to the Holy Spirit as He keeps us from sin, shows us the way out of sin and reminds us we are forgiven of sin.

This Lenten season, stay the course.  Fight the good fight.  Lean on God and others.  Let’s see what God can do with a Christian community of completely dedicated men, women and children that have been through the battle and won the war!


[1] Adapted from Brian G. Hedges, 10 Ways to Kill Sin, Revive:  A Publication of Life Action Ministries, Winter 2011, pages 10-13.

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