Friday, May 7, 2010

How to Kill Sin Today

I realize this is my third post of the day! But there are things that keep coming to me that I believe can be useful for you. May the Lord use this list for your sanctification. How to kill sin today:

1. Make no provision for the flesh (Rom. 13:14). If you struggle with junk food, then don't buy it and put it in your pantry rather leave it at the store. You will be less likely to drive and get it! Whatever area you struggle with in temptation, see if there is any way that you are increasing opportunities for the flesh rather than decreasing them.

2. Memorize Scripture so you don't sin against God (Ps. 119:11; 2 Pet. 1:3-4). True story - yesterday I was tempted in a strong way and immediately the Spirit brought Matthew 16:24 to mind "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." The Lord used the Word to help me deny the temptations of the flesh (self) and moved me to obedience. I cannot emphasize enough how important Scripture memory is for your sanctification.

3. Remind yourself and others daily of sin's deceitfulness (Heb. 3:13). I take this verse very literally. I believe we as the Church should remind each other daily that choosing sin today will yield the same devastating results it yielded yesterday. We should be those who daily say to one another, "Remember - Choose Christ today and not sin. Sin is a liar! Only Christ delivers the peace He promises." Is there someone you could remind of this truth even now?

4. Be trained by God's grace (Titus 2:11-14). The Gospel is not just for the day you were regenerated. The Gospel is for every day of your sanctification as well. God's grace has appeared not only for our salvation but to train us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions. God's grace empowers us to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age. Friend, we need the Gospel today!

5. Submit ourselves to God and resist the devil (James 4:7). When you are tempted is the first person you run to God or you? We must train ourselves that when temptation occurs that we immediately run to God for refuge. We submit ourself to God first THEN resist the devil. Of course, our best course of action is to submit ourselves to God throughout the day for His glory, our good, and the good of others.

6. Walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). Christ does not bring us to conversion and then expect us to pursue sanctification on our own! Paul tells the church at Galatia that the key to not giving in to the flesh is by walking by the Spirit. I try throughout the day to admit my dependence upon the Lord and seek His constant empowering. I pray you will also.

7. Kill sin by means of the Spirit (Rom. 8:13). As John Owen said, "Kill sin or it will be killing you." Sanctification is not just defensive but offensive as well. We too often cultivate sin rather than kill it. The Spirit will use His Sword to crush the roots of sin that remain with us. Pray for God to make you feel the same thing He feels for sin: hatred! Sin left alone does not dissipate but escalates.

8. Earnestly seek satisfaction in God (Ps. 63). I BELIEVE THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WEAPON FOR FIGHTING SIN! In preparing for our day, the most important time should be in seeking satisfaction in God. More than brushing our teeth, more than deodorant, even more than eating physical breakfast - is having our souls filled by delighting in God. If we have tasted steak my friends then we will not be tempted to eat Pop-Tarts. Sin is never as alluring when viewed through the pure and satisfying light of Christ. David said he EARNESTLY sought the Lord. I fear earnestly does not describe our pursuit of God often enough which explains why we choose sin too often. May we earnestly seek satisfaction in God from early in the morning until late at night.

9. Increasing in our love for God (Ps. 97:10). Oh you who love the Lord, hate evil! The most important command we have received is to love the Lord with ALL of our heart, ALL of our soul, and ALL of our mind. One of the strongest marks of sanctification is increasing in our love for God. Is your love increasing friend? Do you honestly love God more today than you did this time last year? The more we love God and ask Him to unite our heart to His then the more we will love what He loves.

May God use this list (which is from His own Word) to further conform all of us to the image of His Son, Jesus (which is His glorious eternal plan - Rom. 8:29). Praise God that He has chosen to receive glory by extending mercy to wretched sinners!