We can overcome any temptation!

What is sin?

“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”   ~1 John 3:4

If we rely on the Bible as our source of true definition and explanation, then simply put . . . sin is lawlessness. Sin is, therefore, separation from God through the transgression of the law, whether through disobedience, giving into temptation, or faithlessness, it’s all sin.

“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”   ~James 4:17

Plain and simple, we sin when we deliberately do something we know is wrong. When we do something that God says not to do, (or don’t do something that He tells us to do), we then choose to become separated from Him. We choose to disobey, and all disobedience is sin.

When we do something out of fear, we are sinning as well because all faithlessness is sin. Like when we decide to take things into our own hands because we are doubting God will come through, this is a sin of faithlessness. We must trust and obey . . . this is the single only way to avoid sin!

We all know when we sin. That’s why we cringe a little and try to hide it— when we do our “under the table” deals and our “behind closed doors” iniquities. We playfully refer to them as baby sins and little white lies, but God sees it all as sin. There is no degree to sin—tell a lie or kill someone, they're both considered sin in God’s eyes.

That’s not to say we are bad . . . it’s to say He is good, He is all forgiving. That’s why sin is without degree, to dispense with the idea that there is any sin so bad that God won’t forgive.

The only thing Adam could do to sin was eat the fruit of one particular tree that God told him not to eat of. That was it. Yes, Eve did coerce him, this is true. . . but he should have obeyed God over listening to her. It’s all about obedience. Satan deceived Eve, but Adam chose to obey Eve, and in so doing chose to disobey God!


Just like Adam, we have free will and get to choose who we will obey, but we too have the very same responsibility to obedience. God still expects us to obey Him because everything He tells us is for our own good.

He gives us a lot of help, He gives us His holy word as well as the promptings of His Holy Spirit. We must choose to stay connected to God, that is the only way we can overcome sin! We must then choose to listen and to obey. When we succumb to temptation, give into our sinful urges and ignore Him, we are then choosing to sin!

We make these choices multiple times every single day, and lucky for us that the Bible is very clear on this issue . . . sin is a choice. We have “free will” —we get to make our own choices in every single thing we do—we can just as easily choose to obey God and not sin!

We don’t refrain from sin to guarantee our salvation—we refrain from sin because our salvation is guaranteed! Christ died to purchase our eternal life, He suffered to pay for our sins, for every single sin, past, present and future, and for every single person ever born! To say we should continue to sin is ridiculous. That is throwing the free gift of grace right back into Christ’s face. The apostle, Paul, says it perfectly when he says:

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”   ~Romans 6:1-2

He then goes on to say . . . knowing this, that our old man (the person we use to be before we knew Jesus) was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. In other words, we now have a “super power” within us that empowers us to . . . JUST SAY NO!

Please read Romans 6, there is no better explanation of sin than Paul’s narrative in the book of Romans. We must choose who we will serve— who our master will be—God or sin? God will empower us to be overcomers. . . all we have to do is ask and believe!

I love that Paul openly admits that he is a sinner—that the war wages in his carnal flesh and that he is, on his own, unable to stop sinning. But we must understand that we have all been empowered through the Lord to overcome! All we have to do is accept this truth.

Paul tells us that he knows what doing good is and that he really wants to do good, but he can’t seem to figure out on his own how to achieve this. Then he goes on to say that he wants to do good but winds up doing the bad stuff he doesn't want to do.

“For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 24O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” ~Romans 7:19 & 7:24-25

He continues to explain that we can die to sin through the indwelling Spirit of Christ.

“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”   ~Romans 8:10

I don't know about you, but this really gives me hope! I just figure if the greatest apostle that ever lived suffered from this sin disorder, there is still hope for the rest of us!

“Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin   ~Romans 6:6

So . . . can we ever overcome sin? The answer is, a great, big, hairy yes, through God’s empowerment. Jesus tells us to repent (turn from sin) over one hundred times in the Bible. Would God ever tell us to do something that was impossible? We can most definitely overcome sin, through Christ; “past sin”— through God’s all-encompassing forgiveness if we just ask and believe — “present sin” if we ask and repent (stop doing it), and “future sin” through the empowerment of the indwelling Spirit!

“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.”   ~Acts 17:30

The Bible is very clear that we are to live a life of overcoming sin. We are empowered to be overcomers through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. Jesus has already fought this battle and won! We have been bought and paid for through His blood and we are now fully able to boldly stand against the tempter!

“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”   ~1 John 3:9

Now that we’ve discovered how we can overcome sin… join me next week as we ask this ever perplexing question, how can we stop giving into temptation?

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You might say that I was a rather late spiritual bloomer, tripping my way into the Lord's arms not all that long ago. Nevertheless, I've been on the fast track ever since through a decade of Bible study courses and daily devotion. Changing careers a few years back and becoming a published author of Christian motivational books, leading to spiritual children's books and now this blog.

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