Our ability to stop sinning is directly connected to our willingness to simply take God at His Word. Most of us will say that we believe, but if we believe we would be doing certain things in-line with the faith, just as Noah believed God, when He told him about the coming flood which would destroy the people of the world, and so he built the ark.
For example, if we believed God’s Word in Matthew 6:14-15, then we would forgive everyone, since those who do not forgive, will not be forgiven. In this way, faith in God will make us forgive, just as faith in God made Noah build a boat.
Another example is if we believed God in Romans 12:1-2, then we would be doing what Romans 12:1-2 instructs us to do.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. NKJV
Look carefully at those verses to see what is expected of us, and what we will receive in return. We’re going to be transformed (changed, converted) into something different than what we were when we first came to the Lord, and we will have the ability to test and approve what God’s will is.
Why is that important? Does anyone who does not do God’s will enter the Kingdom of Heaven?
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. NKJV
Millions of Christians today do not believe what Jesus said in that verse, but if you do believe Jesus, who spoke God’s Word (John 12:49), then the message we received in Romans 12:1-2 (above) is much like the message Noah received. Imagine that.
Just as in the case with the flood, millions today pretty much ignore the Word of God, which endures forever (1 Peter 1:25). If you can see what I am talking about, then you are one of the few. Make sure that you continue in your faith so that what you have learned will never be taken from you (Mark 4:24-25).
IHowever, if the message is not living on the inside of us, how can we follow it? We have to renew our mind with the truth, and in order to do that, we are going to have to stop conforming to this world in accordance with Romans 12:1-2.
Think about this. The very last time you met with a group of Christians, did anyone, including those in charge, mention walking in the Spirit by keeping our mind set on the things above (Galatians 5:16, Romans 8:5-8), or taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), or stop conforming to this world (Romans 12:1-2, James 4:4), or becoming God’s salve (Romans 6:18), or the willingness to suffer (1 Peter 4:1-4), or putting to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature (Colossians 3:5-9, Galatians 5:24-25), or adding the things mentioned in 2 Peter 1:5-11 to our faith so that we will never stumble?
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. We are not talking about the message, even amongst Christians, and so the end result is that we are not following the message. Some of us have been so far removed from the message that the Word of God seems far from the truth. Some even take a stand against what is written in their Bible, and I'm sure that Noah could find all these type of people while he was building the ark. Imagine that.
7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. NKJV
After reading the passage of scripture above, would you think that Noah was concerned about getting God’s instructions right? Do you think that his family was talking about the progress of the ark? Do you think that if Noah grew tired and didn’t work on the ark for a few weeks, months, or even years that his family would remind him during their casual conversations or ignore what God told him?
In the same way, we need to be checking to make sure that we are working on what God has called us to do. The Apostle Paul warned every man (Colossians 1:28), and we too should be warning one another.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. NKJV
Usually, all we ever hear is that Jesus loves us so much, but Jesus told people that what they were doing was wrong, and the people hated Him for it.
7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. NKJV
Is anything different today? If Jesus was standing next to us, would He mention a few things? If He came to our next meeting, wouldn't He mention the things that we need to correct, or just ignore them?
If Jesus came to our next worship service, would He correct a few things? Would He say anything about the worldly sports, or the worldly songs? He has turned tables over before you know, but somehow we have lost sight of the Jesus Christ mentioned in the Bible, and replaced Him with an “anything goes” Jesus.
Are you beginning to see why Christians cannot stop sinning today? We’re not living by faith in this country, but by what Dr. so-and-so said. Dr. so-and-so is so smart that his instructions have replaced what God's Word, even inside the church, but Jesus said long ago that those who replace God’s Word with a man-made doctrine worship Him in vain.
8 "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" NKJV
You see we worship God not just in singing songs, but in truth too. We’ve got to worship in spirit and in truth. Take away the truth and our worship is in vain.
23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." NKJV
It takes grace to be able to live the Christian life, and we gain access to grace through faith. If we shrink back from living by faith, we shrink back from receiving grace.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. NKJV
Most Christians believe that grace is an automatic thing, and it is if we are righteous (Romans 5:21), but the righteous live by faith (Romans 1:16-17). Therefore, no faith, no grace.
By faith Noah built the ark to save his household (Hebrews 11:7), and by faith we’re going to live the Christian life (Romans 1:16-17). However, faith comes by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17).
Did you hear Romans 12:1-2 above? Think of it this way. If God gave Noah the instructions found in Romans 12:1-2, what would those instructions (evidence of things not seen) make him do? That’s what it ought to make you do. In the same light, look at the following instructions.
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. NKJV
There is a set of instructions given to us by God through the Apostle Paul. He is speaking to us as if we have already “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (verse 17 above), and have already “been set free from sin” (verse 18 above), but we would have stoned Paul back at the turn of the century for saying such as that in this country. He would never be able to set foot in our church.
That may be funny, but it’s true. Is there a denomination left that would welcome the Apostle Paul’s teachings today, over their own set of man-made doctrines? I’m just asking.
If I am Holy Spirit filled, then I ought to be able to speak in-line with what the Spirit wrote (John 3:34, 2 Peter 1:20-21). Is it even possible to claim to be hearing from the Holy Spirit, and led by the Spirit, but yet at the same time speak in opposition to what the Spirit wrote? What? Does the Holy Spirit in us, not convict us of sin (John 16:8)?
According to Romans 6:15-18 above, if we practice righteousness (doing what is right), we can be controlled by it (slaves of righteousness). That my friend is exactly what saved people do.
1 John 2:29
29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. NKJV
Remember back when you first got saved. Did you have a burning desire to help people who were in need? That was God’s grace making you deny ungodliness, and giving you an opportunity to be controlled by righteousness.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. 15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. NKJV
Grace was working in you at that time, and if you would have continued in your faith (faith comes by hearing the Word of God, Romans 10:17), then you would have remained in a position to receive more grace (Colossians 1:21-23, Romans 5:1-2).
However, most all of us have never heard Colossians 1:21-23, much less live by it. So, millions of unsuspecting Christians fall away from the faith, not only because they do not continue in their faith, but they are being taught to speak in opposition to what is actually written in their Bibles (1 Timothy 6:20-21).
So, what do you need to do? Repent of the past first, and then start back doing the things that you were doing when you first got saved; reading your Bible, and helping people in need, especially people of faith (Those who are doing that same thing).
Basically, instead of working against the Spirit, which most of us are taught to do in a place called church, we need to sow to please the Spirit (verse 8 below), in speaking the faith as it is written, refusing to proclaim unwritten doctrines (such as trinity), and helping the least of God’s people who are in need.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. NKJV
The Spirit is also trying to lead us into all truth (John 16:13), and into putting to death the misdeeds of the body (Romans 8:12-14). As I have said before, we can insult the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 10:29), and resist the changes He is leading us to make, which will grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30), and make Him jealous for us (James 4:4-10). Sadly, that describes where most Christians are today.
Repent of the past and start doing the things I am showing you, and you will be set free from sin’s control. That means that you can stop sinning, if you want to stop sinning.
There is no such thing as an addiction for Christians, who want to stop sinning. The term Christian means Christ follower (Acts 11:26).
There is no such thing as someone who is following Christ into sin. No, he isn’t following Christ. Christ followers (Christians) are on their way out of darkness.
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." NKJV
46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. NKJV
You will soon realize that your willingness to trust God will be evident in how you hear His Word. Those who belong to God hear it, and those who will not listen, simply do not belong to God (John 8:47 below).
47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." NKJV
We stumble because they disobey the message (1 Peter 2:8). Let that sink in.
1 Peter 2:7-8
7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone," 8 and "A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. NKJV
What else are Christians supposed to be doing in order to stop sinning? We have already touched on it, but we’re not speaking the Word of God as it is written. If we believe the Word of God, we should be speaking it like it is written (2 Corinthians 4:13, Romans 10:6-8).
2 Corinthians 4:13
13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak, NKJV
6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, "'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): NKJV
Speaking the Word of God like it is written will give us the ability to control our whole body.
2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. NKJV
The ability to control our body is in the words that we speak. So, the question becomes, “How can we always speak the right words, when no man can tame the tongue (James 3:8)?” We stop conforming to this world, and renew our mind / heart with the truth (Romans 12:12). That’s how we turn a bad tree into a good tree.
33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." NKJV
Notice that what is mostly in our hearts, will come out of our mouth (verse 34 above). That could be football, golf, the Word of God, or advanced basket weaving, the choice is ours. The mind-set and desires of the people around you will tell you much about where they are in the faith (Romans 8:5-8).
If when we get together, all we talk about is baseball, basketball, or the latest news on TV, then our mind-set is far beyond the Word of God (Philippians 3:17-19). Our mind-set will reveal our fellowship with God (Romans 8:5-8).
You might say, God doesn’t want us to keep our mind-set on Heavenly things 100% of the time!” My friend, if what you are doing is not working, come back and try what I am telling you. Remember how much we need to deny ourselves, which we discussed at the beginning of this page.
According to verses 36 and 37 above, we will have to give an account of our words, and by our words we will be condemned or justified. Therefore, some of us need to hurry up and start speaking the right words before it is too late. Not only is that going to require putting the Word in our heart, but also keeping it in mind so that we will speak it.
Have you ever interrupted someone talking about golf, just so you could mention a verse? If you do what I’m telling you to do, you will want to, because the Spirit leading you will bring the verses for the situation you are in to your remembrance.
Our words are very powerful, even to the point of life and death (Proverbs 18:21), and healing (Proverbs 12:18). Good days and bad days can be controlled by the words that we speak (1 Peter 3:10-12, James 3:6).
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. NKJV
18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. NKJV
1 Peter 3:10-12
10 For "He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. 11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." NKJV
Two more reasons why Christians cannot stop sinning is our unwillingness to suffer, and to be separate from unbelievers.
There is great value in suffering for the right reasons. It doesn’t seem right humanly speaking, but spiritually speaking the willingness to suffer is directly connected to our ability to cease from sinning. In fact, it should be our mind-set, according to 1 Peter 4:1 below.
1 Peter 4:1-5
4 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles — when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. NKJV
Notice that verse one above says that we can cease from sin. That’s like being done with sin, period; finished with it. Over and out, but who wants to suffer?
We can cease from sin, but we would have to be willing to suffer in our flesh in order to do it. It’s not a matter of wanting to do it, when we are called by God to do it.
1 Peter 3:8-9
8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. NKJV
We were called to suffer in order that we would inherit a blessing (verse 9 above). Therefore, suffering is an opportunity to advance in disguise.
Think of it this way. If we reap exactly what we sow (Galatians 6:7), then suffering at the hands of someone else means blessings for us. Our ability to cease from sinning (done with it once and for all) is directly related to our willingness to suffer wrongfully.
Think of it this way. Jesus did not sin, but boy did He suffer. God says, have the same attitude (1 Peter 4:1). Think of it as something that has been granted to us, since that is what God calls it in Philippians 1:29, below.
29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me. NKJV
Most Christians are unwilling to suffer, probably because they have no knowledge of this method, and that is one of the reasons why Christians cannot stop sinning. However, suffering is a part of the Christian life. We are called to suffer in accordance with God's will (1 Peter 2:21, 3:9, 14, 17). It's how we know that we will be counted worthy to enter the Kingdom of God (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5, Acts 14:22, 5:41, Matthew 5:10-11). Check the verses from your Bible.
We can’t avoid it unless of course we stop going in the right direction. If we continue the path we are called to take, the people of this world are going to hate us, and Christians who have not taken the right path will also persecute us. In fact, all who desire to live godly will be persecuted; treated unfairly (2 Timothy 3:12).
18 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. NKJV
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. NKJV
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. NKJV
2 Timothy 3:12-13
12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. NKJV
If you learn those verses, then you will not be as shocked when well-meaning Christians who are not free from sin persecute you. Don’t give them a reason, and know that there are many more of them than us and in high places (Luke 13:22-28, Matthew 19:30). They still can be saved, but only through fire, and none of them take part in the first resurection.
If you learn those verses, then you will not be as shocked when well-meaning Christians who are not free from sin persecute you. Don’t give them a reason, and know that there are many more of them than us and in high places (Luke 13:22-28, Matthew 19:30). They still can be saved, but only through fire (1 Corinthians 3:15), and none of them take part in the first resurrection, as they so boldly proclaim, but only those who overcome (Revelation 20:5-6, 2:11).
Just as most of us do not like to suffer, we also do not like to be separate, which is another reason why Christians cannot stop sinning.
Once you know the verses that we have covered, and will cover, then you will be able to see how we will never fit in with the everyday Christian crowd of this day if we desire to stop sinning completely. We never talk about these verses as a group, no one preaches them anymore, and if someone is bold enough to bring them up, they are shunned (persecuted) by the church.
What does that tell you? It tells me, welcome to the last days, which brings up the first set of instructions.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! NKJV
Our instructions tell us to turn away from people who are on that list. It doesn’t say debate with them, do everything you can to reach them, or anything of the sort, but turn away.
However, it doesn’t necessarily identify Christian or non-Christian. So, what if it's a Christian Brother?
2 Thessalonians 3:6-7
6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. NKJV
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15
14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. NKJV
Those two verses should clear that question up, but if not this next passage of scripture will leave no doubt for those who chose to live by faith.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. 12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person." NKJV
Those verses make it seem like that if someone is called a Christian, they should not have the type of sin problems that people of this world have, and we shouldn’t. The problem is that either we are not getting the right message, or we have fallen away and need to repent.
Like I have mentioned before, there is no such thing as a Christian who has an addiction, or who is caught up in sins that lead to death. That would be considered a process failure, and it would identify something as being way off track, and it is in this country.
The first place to check is with the preaching. See my blog post, “The Gospel is not being preached, but we are only getting people saved,” and “Is there a preacher left who preaches the Gospel.” No one is preaching a complete Gospel any more. No, not even close. We need to repent of that. For more information about what is actually supposed to be in the Gospel of the KIngdom, see "Who will inherit the Kingdom of God."
The second thing to check is the instructions. We stumble because we disobey the message (1 Peter 2:8-9). We’ve got to hear the message first, but if we can’t hear it in the Christian community, we need to pull the Bible out at home.
God calls us to be separate, and to cleanse ourselves of all filthiness.
2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1
17 Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." 18 'I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty." 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. NKJV
Bad company will corrupt you, rather than you changing them.
1 Corinthians 15:33-34
33 Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits." 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. NKJV
The Word of God is what changes believers (Jeremiah 23:22). If they have repented and are willing to follow the instructions, give them another chance, but it can't be business as usual.
If they have a problem with any of the verses I have mentioned on this website, you are fighting a losing battle. An unbeliever cannot possible receive from the Lord, and without the Lord’s help, living the Christian life is impossible. It takes grace (Titus 2:11-14), and grace takes faith (Romans 5:1-2), and faith takes believing the Word of God (the evidence of things not seen, Hebrews 11:1).
If you are unwilling to suffer in associations, as I have mentioned above, how will we be able to deny our flesh in order to stop sinning? We won't. Now do you see why our everyday choices in life make us powerless when it comes to stopping sin?
I'm Alan Ballou; a servant. If you have any questions for me about this article, ask.