Anyone Can be Free from Sin's Power Today (TMF:760)

Peace to Live By: Anyone Can be Free from Sin's Power Today (TMF:760) - Daniel Litton
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       Maybe you want to be free from all your sin—the things you’ve done in your life that you know are wrong, and that you know God wouldn’t approve of. Well, I have good news for you today. No matter who you are, no matter what your position in society is, I am here today to tell you that God is offering you His free gift of salvation that He offers to anyone who will trust in Him. God wants everyone to accept the truth, to accept reality, to believe in Jesus' death on the cross as a payment for their sins. If you're counting on good works to save you today―to get you to Heaven―you need to wake up to reality. You see, God doesn't save you based on your works. Even though God does want people to follow his correct ways and do good things, these behaviors cannot save us. You can spend your whole life trying to do things to get God's attention, or to make yourself feel good, but, in the end, it's not going to matter. All that matters, in reality, is whether or not a person is in right relationship with God. All that matters is whether you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

Dealing with Strongholds in Our Lives, Part 2 (TMF:759)

Peace to Live By: Dealing with Strongholds in Our Lives, Part 2 (TMF:759) - Daniel Litton
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       Number three, I would say we need to stay positive and keep working at eliminating the incorrect thought or action from our lives. If we have a bad day, we need to start the next one fresh and with a new mind to keep on fighting. Recall the old British saying from years ago, “Keep clam and carry on.” We should “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” as Philippians 3:14 says (ESV). Sometimes it takes a long time to overcome a bad habit we’ve cultivated into our lives. It can take weeks, months, or even years with some problems. I’m not trying to discourage anyone, but I just want people to realize it takes time to combat and completely eliminate some issues. You can do it; all Christians can because they are new creations and have Jesus by their sides.

Dealing with Strongholds in Our Lives, Part 1 (TMF:758)

Peace to Live By: Dealing with Strongholds in Our Lives, Part 1 (TMF:758) - Daniel Litton
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       I also want to point out sometimes we identify sin in our lives, but we recognize have a stronghold on it. That is, Satan has gained a stronghold in our minds or actions and it can be rather difficult to break the bad habit. We have come realize the sin, but we can’t seem to stop doing whatever it is. There are several things necessary to combat this kind of sin. Number one, I would say you should definitely pray about it and ask for God’s help in the matter. Don’t be afraid to talk about the problem with God. He wants to help you overcome whatever it is, and he will help you. He is on your side. Number two, and really this is fundamental and key, we need to quote Bible verses to ourselves whenever the problem arises. God’s Word is what stops the power of sin in its track. Remember, it is sharper than any double-edged sword, and definitely has the power behind it that we need to combat our problem.

Our Current Relationship with Sin, Part 2 (TMF:757)

Peace to Live By: Our Current Relationship with Sin, Part 2 (TMF:757) - Daniel Litton
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       Certainly, all of the sins we commit should not be premeditated, and we should not be continuing to do something when we are aware in our minds that we are doing it and that it is sin. For a person who willingly continues to sin, who walks in darkness, John goes so far as to say the person isn’t even saved. Note secondly (v. 7) that an identifying mark of a Christian is that fact the person fellowships with other believers. That is, he loves his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Note thirdly (v. 8) a person who thinks he or she doesn’t sin anymore after becoming a Christian is surely deceived. Note fourthly (v. 9), again, that it should be the normal practice of a Christian to identify and repent of sins. And finally, fifthly, note (v. 10) that a person who thinks he or she has never sinned in life is indeed grossly deceived, and certainly isn’t a Christian.

Our Current Relationship with Sin, Part 1 (TMF:756)

Peace to Live By: Our Current Relationship with Sin, Part 1 (TMF:756) - Daniel Litton
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       Let’s consider a famous passage from the Apostle John. Go over to 1 John chapter 1, and let’s look at verses 6 through 10. John tells us, “If we say we have fellowship with him [that is, God] while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:6-10, ESV). We need to note several things from this foundational passage in 1 John. Note first (v. 6) that a person who is a Christian does not continue to sin deliberately on a daily basis. Certainly, all of the sins we commit should not be premeditated, and we should not be continuing to do something when we are aware in our minds that we are doing it and that it is sin.

We Should be Sin-Free Before God's Eyes (TMF:755)

Peace to Live By: We Should be Sin-Free Before God's Eyes (TMF:755) - Daniel Litton
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       Indeed, Jesus promised us in John 16: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak” (John 16:13, ESV). King David talked about the fact that we have sin in our flesh, things that we do wrong against God, that we don’t even know about and aren’t even aware of. He said in Psalm 19:13, “Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression” (ESV). And again, he says in Psalm 139:23, 24 : “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (ESV). That should be the attitude of us all in that we want to be able to tell God to search our hearts and have God show us areas where we can make improvement. The good news to all of this discussion with identifying sin and repenting of it is that fact that when we do identify it, God will forgive us of it.

Christians Will Still Struggle with Temptations (TMF:754)

Peace to Live By: Christians Will Still Struggle with Temptations (TMF:754) - Daniel Litton
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       If we move over to Romans chapter 7, we can see how Paul continually struggled with the fact that sin was still part of his earthly body. Now, it makes sense that we all face the struggle of temptations to sin everyday. For Paul said, “when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.” So, as we struggle and fail at times, we need to repent to the Lord of our failure. Sometimes we recognize when we sin, and sometimes we don’t realize where are committing sin until after we do whatever we were doing. We feel conviction from the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us as Christians. We should not based our actions on what we think or ‘feel’ is okay for us to do. We should base our actions on what the Word of God says and where the Holy Spirit is leading us. The Holy Spirit will convict us when we knowingly do wrong, and even when we unknowingly do wrong. Indeed, Jesus promised us in John 16: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak” (John 16:13, ESV).

We Have Been United with Christ in His Death (TMF:753)

Peace to Live By: We Have Been United with Christ in His Death (TMF:753) - Daniel Litton
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       Paul says, “and, having been set free from sin, [we] have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18, ESV). And again, in verse 20, what we use to be before becoming saved: “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness” (Romans 6:20, ESV). But anyway, back at the beginning of Romans chapter 6, Paul talked about how we were baptized into Christ when we were saved. What is he talking about here? Well, this is a baptism that occurs when we are united with Christ in his death, he having taken our place on the cross, and we are declared righteous before God. Paul is not talking about water baptism here, as some have mistakenly concluded. If he was, then anyone who is water baptized becomes saved. Look at the text carefully! If that were the case, all evangelists would need to focus on is water baptizing everyone so everyone could go to Heaven when they die. But he obviously isn’t talking about water baptism here.

We Have the Ability to Choose Not to Sin (TMF:752)

Peace to Live By: We Have the Ability to Choose Not to Sin (TMF:752) - Daniel Litton
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       “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:1-4, ESV). The idea here in what Paul is talking about is that we should not choose to sin, but we should choose not to sin. To be sure, we as Christians now have the ability to choose not to sin. We are not slaves to sin any longer, as Paul tells us if we move down to verse 18. He says, “and, having been set free from sin, [we] have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18, ESV). And again, in verse 20, what we use to be before becoming saved: “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness” (Romans 6:20, ESV).

Why Do We Still Have Sin Within Our Flesh? (TMF:751)

Peace to Live By: Why Do We Still Have Sin Within Our Flesh? (TMF:751) - Daniel Litton
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       But why aren’t we just cleansed of the sin within our flesh, or why is it not just taken out of our flesh, when we become a Christian? If we are “born again” like Jesus talked about, then why don’t we now have new flesh whereby we do not sin? These are good questions for us to consider. Indeed, we will have ‘new’ flesh, or new bodies, in the future, but God has chosen right now not to give us our new bodies at the moment of conversion. In Romans chapter 6, the Apostle Paul talks about our current relationship with sin. Turn over there, or tap there. He says the following, starting in verse 1: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:1-4, ESV).