“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” I John 5: 4-5
What we need to overcome sin is embedded in our faith and belief that Jesus came and offered up Himself as sin offering for our sakes. By faith, we can overcome all the things that can hinder our relationship (as mentioned in the first part of this teaching).
The problem of sin must be overcome if we are to overcome anything else. In some cases, sin could be the underlying cause of the problems we face. Isa. 59: 1-2 – “Behold, the LORD’ hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Unless we overcome sin, we will not have God’s help to overcome our problems.
THE PROBLEM OF SIN
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3: 23
First, we need to learn that everyone is guilty of sin. Many make the mistake of prioritising sin. James 2: 10 tells us committing one sin or breaking one law is as good as breaking all!
There is both “legal” and “emotional” guilty. Legal guilt means we have violated God’s law; emotional guilt pertains to one’s conscience of sin. Legal guilt is general, it is us being offenders because we are of the lineage of the first man – Adam, that first sinned. Emotional guilt is personal, when we know we have done wrong; our conscience in-built in us becomes burdened. Our conscience is like a deposit of the Holy Spirit present in everyone. Even if we have hardened our conscience and feel no emotional guilt, the legal guilt remains; and God will still hold us accountable and judge us on the last day. That you have taken hard drugs to “kill” your conscience does not mean the sin was not committed or you will not be judged of what you are guilty of.
Unforgiven sin prevents God from coming to our aid. Getting rid of the guilt of sin by asking for forgiveness will allow God to defend us. Living with and in sin derives us of the blessing of God’s defence. However, a new life in Christ makes us free of the legal guilt.
THE POWER OF SIN
The problem of sin is not limited to the guilt; sin also has the power to enslave a person so that they cannot do what they really want to.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, “Ye shall be made free?” Jesus answered them, verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8: 31-34
The truth we know will set us free; freedom from the slavery of sin is available if we ask and believe that forgiveness is for us. In Rom. 7: 14-24, we read of how Apostle Paul was under the bondage of sin, he found out that sin lived within him and cried out for deliverance from “this body of death”. Sin makes us face the world alone, with no assistance from God.
HOW FAITH IN JESUS OVERCOMES SIN
BY PROVIDING THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN – Remission of sin is promised to those who believe in Christ Jesus, made possible by the shedding of His blood.
Exit from the life of sin starts when we believe in Jesus, and that there are certain privileges available to us through our association with Him, including forgiveness of sin! No matter the number of stains on us, removal of those stains is available and possible by the blood of Christ. Through His blood we are justified (that is, declared “not guilty”), and therefore spared from the wrath of God to come. Rom. 5: 9. Forgiveness is promised to those whose faith in Christ moves them to repent (i.e. have a change of mind) and be baptised (i.e. buried with Christ into His death, and then rise to walk in newness of life). I John 1: 9, forgiveness continues as we repent and confess our sins in prayer.
BY PROVIDING THE POWER OVER SIN – Rom. 6: 6, 7. Paul speaks of freedom from sin; our death with Christ frees us from the power of sin. Rom. 8: 1, 2, 12, 13 – when we belong to Christ, there is no longer condemnation. We should not subject ourselves to condemnation, or glorify sin; God no longer condemns us to sin, why then do we condemn ourselves. In that vs. 2, we read that the powerful Spirit of God has freed us from the power of sin; in vs. 12, we read that as we grow in spirit, with our spirit having more control than flesh, we no longer have to do what our sinful flesh urges.
To those willing to believe in Christ, with a trust and conviction to do what He says, faith will give us victory – over the legal and emotional guilt of sin and over the power of sin that easily enslaves us. This is done through the gift of His blood and the gift of the Holy Spirit; which helps us to then have the kind of relationship with God that helps us deal with whatever issues life throw at us.