If You’re Struggling with Sin

Mark 9:42 NIV

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.”

Jesus was teaching on humility, servanthood, and on welcoming, in the name of Jesus, those who one might regard as less. So, the term “little ones” is not just speaking of children but of babes in Christ or of anyone regarded as insignificant, yet specifically of those believing in Jesus.

If anyone causes willful harm to, or causes one believing in Jesus to fall into a trap (a snare), so that the believer falls into sin or is harmed in some way, that person is going to face the wrath of God. This reminds me of this:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” Matt 23:13-15

What I see here is the cheap grace gospel. There are many people today who are teaching that you can believe in Jesus (once), have your sins forgiven, and have heaven assured you as your eternal destiny, but it doesn’t matter how you live your life once you “believe.”

Some people take it even further than that and they are teaching that we are not to repent of our sins, that we are not to obey the Lord, and that we are not to submit to Christ as Lord (boss) of our lives or do what he says because, they say, that is “works-based salvation” and it is wrong.

So, what they are essentially saying is that to love God, to obey him, to cease to live in sin, and to give the Lord the honor and respect due him is wrong, and that what is right is for us to claim Jesus does it all for us so we can continue living in our sin, dishonoring God, and disobeying Him.

So, they are causing many of those who might believe in Jesus to stumble because they are setting a trap for them to fall into, which is the cheap grace gospel, which many are falling for. Or they find convincing ways to tell them that their sin is okay by calling it something other than what it is.

For example, as long as you put the term “struggling” in front of your sinful addiction it makes it acceptable, no matter how many years you continue to “struggle,” which usually means to habitually give in to that sin. They call themselves “recovering” addicts, so that also makes it acceptable, even though they are still addicted to sin.

Now, I fully realize that we don’t become perfect overnight and that our salvation (our sanctification) is a process. But that is never to be used as an excuse for continued habitual and deliberate and often premeditated sinning against God and against other humans.

For, the Scriptures could not be more clear. If we live in sin, and we make sin our practice, our habit, and we walk (in conduct) according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit, we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God no matter what the cheap grace teachers say.

[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10]

Mark 9:43-48 NIV

“If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where

“‘the worms that eat them do not die,
and the fire is not quenched.’”

Now, I know this seems a bit extreme, but the principle here is this. If there are things in our lives, which may include some people, which are leading us into sin, we need to cut them out of our lives. We need to get rid of those evil influences in our lives which are leading us down a path of sin.

Now, we have a responsibility before God to resist the devil, to flee temptation, to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. So, this is not saying that we need to just run away from anything and everyone whenever we are tempted.

But if the people we are hanging out with are trying to lead us into sin, those are not the people we need to be making our best friends. I am not saying to totally cut them out of your lives, for you may still have a testimony with them, but that you need to limit your exposure to those who are pushing you into sin. So, sometimes you need to say “No!” to people, too.

Nonetheless, if your church pastor is teaching the cheap grace gospel and is trying to convince you that your sin no longer matters to God or that your sin (habitual) will not matter to your eternity, then I would recommend you find another fellowship of believers where the true gospel is being taught.

Don’t let other humans decide for you what is right and what is wrong. Study the Scriptures in context. Learn what they teach. Then obey the word of the Lord and not people if people are leading you away from the truth and into sin.

Also, stay away from TV shows, movies, music, video games, social media, and/or the news media, etc. where you are being influenced or encouraged to sin against God. You have probably heard the saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” If we take garbage into our minds, it will come out in our attitudes, thinking and behaviors.

If we do not take sin seriously, and if we play with fire, figuratively speaking, we are bound to get burned. For, again, if we walk in sin, if sin is what we practice, it doesn’t matter what we profess, we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God, but we will face the wrath of God.

For, Jesus died on that cross that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. He bought us back for God with his blood shed on that cross that we might now honor God with our lives.

When we believe on Jesus with God-persuaded faith, we die with Christ to sin and we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. We were once enslaved to sin, but Jesus delivered us from our bondage to sin so that we would now become slaves of his righteousness.

[1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Tit 2:11-14; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 10:27; 1 Jn 2:3-6]

Thank You, Lord

An Original Work / May 19, 2011

Thank You, Lord, for saving me;
From my sins set free.
Crucified and risen Lord,
They hung on a tree.
They thought they had finished You.
You came back to life;
Triumphed over hell and sin;
You gave eternal life.

Thank You, Lord, for victory
Over all my sin,
So that I might live with You;
You cleansed me within;
Filled me with your love and pow’r;
Give me strength each day,
So that I might live for You,
To love You and obey.

Thank You, Lord, for your return.
Soon You will arrive
To receive Your bride to You;
Meet You in the sky.
You’ll wipe away all our tears;
Free us from our fears;
Crown our heads in victory.
We’ll praise You with our cheers!

3 thoughts on “If You’re Struggling with Sin

    • Rachel, thank you. Those are good questions. Regarding a spouse who tries to lead one into sin, first of all, we are responsible before God for what we do. No one can make us sin. But it does make it much harder to fight against sin if one’s spouse is pushing him or her that direction.

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    • Regarding how we turn from sin, the Scriptures give us much counsel in that area. If we are true believers in Christ, first off, we are always in the presence of God, because he lives within us, so he is always there for us. Also, we don’t turn away from sin in our own power and strength. Flesh can’t drive out flesh. This is why Jesus died on the cross for our sins. By faith in him we now have the power within us to resist sin and Satan, to flee temptation and to draw near to God in full assurance of faith.

      Basically, like it says in Tit 2:11-14, God’s grace, which brings us salvation, instructs (or trains) us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return. Jesus made the way of escape for us from giving in to temptation to sin when he died for us on that cross. And he will show us the way out from underneath temptation to sin and has shown us through his word, but then we have to take the way he provided for us.

      So, the way we turn away from sin first and foremost is we obey the Lord in all that he has shown us so far. If we withhold from him, it is going to hinder our ability to say “No!” to sin. We have to be forthcoming and we must be repentant and walking in submission to our Lord or we are not going to be able to turn from sin. Also we can’t be consuming the garbage of the world and be able to turn away from sin. So, yes, we must walk in the presence of the Lord, obeying what his word teaches we must do, which includes cutting things out of our lives which hinder our walks of faith, and which includes putting on the things of God and of his righteousness and applying them to our lives.

      Then, when the enemy or whoever the enemy uses against us tries to trip us up or set a trap for us, hoping we might fall, we set our faces like flint (OT verse) and we put on that armor of God and we tell Satan, sin and whoever is trying to lead us into sin “NO!” And we walk away from the temptation. We don’t play with fire. We stand our ground, we call on God, we pray, and we obey the Lord. We may have to play Christian music, but we don’t give in to the enemy. We don’t give the devil a foothold in our lives. And we keep pressing forward by God’s grace, in his strength.

      Regarding what I shared about cutting things out of our lives, which may include people, that are tempting us to sin, I didn’t include spouses in that for marriage is another whole subject. There I would suggest that anyone concerned about that to search the Scriptures to see what they teach about what our response should be to a spouse who might be trying to lead us into sin. I know what the Lord told me, but I can’t say he is going to tell everyone else the same. I know Scripture says women are not to divorce their husbands, but I would have to look that one up. I know we don’t divorce except for marital unfaithfulness and I know that a believing wife should stay with an unbelieving husband if the husband wants to remain with her. Beyond that, I think we just need to seek the wisdom of God.

      What I do know, though, is that we should never sin in obedience to our husbands. Just like there are exceptions to submission to authorities, the same applies to submission to husbands. We don’t submit to sin or to assisting them to sin. We don’t ever have to give in to sin to anyone. We must obey God rather than man if man asks us to disobey or to disavow our Lord.

      Well, I hope that answered your questions. Let me know if that helped or if you have more questions. Love you much! Aunt Susan

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