OVERCOMING SIN WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

“The Holy Spirit strengthens us to holiness first by enabling us to see our need of holiness. He enlightens our understanding so that we begin to see God’s standard of holiness. Then he causes us to become aware of our specific areas of sin” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p72).

“Though you become greatly sanctified by the Holy Spirit, expect that the great dog of hell will still bark at you” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Feb 20th PM).

“As you would not be taken with any of Satan’s devices, take heed of vexing and grieving the Holy Spirit of God. It is the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ that is best able to discover Satan’s snares against us. Man is a weak creature and no way able to discover Satan’s snares nor to avoid them, unless the Spirit of the Lord gives skill and power” Thomas Brooks (ref#379, p32).

“If you would not be taken with any of Satan’s devices, then labor to be filled with the Spirit. It is not enough that you have the Spirit, but you must be filled with the Spirit; or else Satan, that evil spirit, will be too hard for you, and his plots will prosper against you. [L]abor for abundance of the Spirit” Thomas Brooks (ref#379, p33).

“The Spirit of the Lord is your counselor, your comforter, your upholder, your strengthener. It is only the Spirit that makes a man too great for Satan to conquer: ‘Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world’” Thomas Brooks (ref#379, p33).

“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom 8:13 ESV).

“We are controlled not by our sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in us. ‘Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature’ (Galatians 5:16)” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p71).

He has given us His Holy Spirit to live within us. [T]his is another way of looking at our union with Christ, for His Spirit is the agent of this union. It is He who gives spiritual life and the strength to live that life. It is the Spirit of God who works in us that we may decide and act according to God’s good purpose (Philippians 2:13)” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p71).

HOW TO OVERCOME SIN

“We must recognize that we have developed habit patterns of sin. We have developed the habit of shading the facts a little bit when it is to our advantage. We have developed the habit of giving in to the inertia that refuses to let us get up in the morning. These habits must be broken but they never will till we make a basic commitment to a life of holiness without exceptions” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p92).

“Jesus was tempted in the same way that we are: although Jesus was tempted, He never sinned; therefore, it is not necessary for us to sin. Jesus was a man, and if one Man endured these temptations and did not sin, then in His power, the members of His body may also refrain from sin. There is no sin in being tempted, only in yielding to temptation” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Oct 3rd PM).

“The Christian should never complain of want of ability and power. If we sin, it is because we choose to sin, not because we lack the ability to say no to temptation” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p80).

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Rom 6:6 ESV).

“[W]e must have conviction. [C]onvictions are developed through exposure to the Word of God” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p85).

“The Holy Spirit is the effective Helper. Men may employ the aids of inward rigor and outward severity, and they may for a time stifle and suppress their evil habits; but unless the Spirit of God work in us, nothing can amount to true mortification. The Christian is not passive, but active in this work. We are bidden to ‘cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit’ (2 Cor. 7:1). We are exhorted to ‘build up yourselves on your most holy faith’ and ‘keep ourselves in the love of God’ (Jude 20, 21)” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p114).

“[N]ot allowing sin to reign in our mortal bodies—is something we have to do” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p52).

HOW TO MORTIFY SIN

“’Am I willing to give up a certain practice or habit that is keeping me from holiness’?” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p91).

“The action we are to take is to put to death the misdeeds of the body (Romans 8:13). ‘Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature’ (Colossians 3:5). The King James Version uses the term mortify. According to the dictionary, mortify means ‘to destroy the strength, vitality, or functioning of; to subdue or deaden.’ To put to death the misdeeds of the body, then, is to destroy the strength and vitality of sin as it tries to reign in our bodies” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p84).

“Mortification is a task to which every Christian must address himself with prayerful and resolute earnestness. Nevertheless it is a task far transcending our feeble powers. It is only ‘through the Spirit’ that any of us can acceptably and effectually (in any degree) ‘mortify the deeds of the body.’ He it is who works in us a loathing of sin, a mourning over it, a turning away from it. He it is who presses upon us the claims of Christ, reminding us that inasmuch as He died for sin, we must spare no efforts to die to sin” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p115).

“The believer died to sin once and he has been translated to another realm. It is because we were in this realm of sin, under its reign and rule, that we began to sin from infancy. Because we were slaves we acted like slaves. We developed sinful habits and a sinful character. Even if we were what the world considers ‘good,’ we lived for ourselves, not for God. Our attitude toward Christ was expressed by the words of His enemies: ‘We don’t want this man to be our king’ (Luke 19:14)” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p54-55).

“True mortification consists in weakening sin’s root and principle. True mortification consists in suppressing the risings of inward corruptions: by turning a deaf ear to their voice, by crying to God for grace so to do, by pleading the blood of Christ for deliverance. True mortification consists in restraining its outward actings: ‘denying ungodliness,’ (Titus 2:12)” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p114).

“Because we are dead to sin, through our union with Christ, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p53).

“[P]resent yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instrument for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Rom 6:13-14 ESV).

“Departing from iniquity is the lifelong calling and pursuit of true Christians. Are you intimately involved in this pursuit? Do you long and strive to walk in the King’s highway of holiness on a daily basis” John Calvin (ref#164, Nov 10th)?

FALSE TEACHERS

“[C]ertain people have crept in unnoticed, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4 ESV).

“None of the letters of St. Paul were written simply to maintain kindly relations with the various churches. Each of them was evoked by what appeared at the time to the Apostle a very pressing need. His objects in writing were [t]o correct false impressions which were working mischief in churches [t]o reform abuses which threatened to sap the morality of a church [t]o crush heresies in the germ, especially those relating to the person and office of Christ, and the relation of the Church to Him [t]o combat the party of Judaism which constantly labored in the church by insisting that faith in Christ was insufficient for salvation, without conformity to the ritual of the Mosaic Law” Arthur S. Way (ref#38, p1).

The Corinthians had been overcome by temptation. Deceived by the ingenious sophistry of teachers who presented errors under the guise of truth, they had become confused and bewildered” Ellen G. White (ref#331, p385).

“Hence practices—whether of ritual, of self-abasement, or of asceticism—founded on false beliefs are to be scouted. Instead of these there must be love and mutual helpfulness, and the fulfillment of the duties of daily life”Arthur S. Way (ref#38, p164).

“[T]here will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies” (2 Pet 2:1 ESV).

“In the Galatian churches, open, unmasked error was supplanting the gospel message. Christ, the true foundation of the faith, was virtually renounced for the obsolete ceremonies of Judaism” Ellen G. White (ref#331, p385).

“To substitute external forms of religion for holiness of heart and life is still as pleasing to the unrenewed nature as it was in the days of these Jewish teachers” Ellen S. White (ref#331, p387).

“It is Satan’s studied effort to divert minds from the hope of salvation through faith in Christ and obedience to the law of God. [A]t the present time he induces many professing Christians, under pretense of honoring Christ, to cast contempt on the moral law and to teach that its precepts may be transgressed with impunity” Ellen G. White (ref#331, p 387).

FEAR OF GOD

“Do you hope in the one you fear and fear the one you hope in” John Piper (ref #220, p197)?

“[T]he LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (Isa 8:13 ESV).

“When the fear of God overwhelms and controls your heart, it protects you from the paralyzing and debilitating fear of other things” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Aug 26th).

“[F]ear reflects the greatness of his power and our hope reflects the bounty of his grace. God delights in those responses which mirror his magnificence. This is just what we would have expected from a God who is all-sufficient in himself and has no need of us—a God who will never give up the glory of being the fountain of all joy, who will never surrender the honor of being the source of all safety, who will never abdicate the throne of sovereign grace. God has pleasure in those who hope in his love because that hope highlights the freedom of his grace. When I cry out, ‘God is my only hope, my rock, my refuge!’ I am turning from myself and calling all attention to the boundless resources of God” John Piper (ref# 220, p199).

“’The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him,’ and to fear Him is not to dread Him as a slave, but, as a child, to walk blameless in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 30).

“What kind of response can God demand from us so that the demand gives good news to us and glory to him? This is the answer: the demand to hope in his love with an earnest, profound sense of his awesome power: John Piper (ref#220, p199).

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18 ESV).

“[W]hen you hope in God you show that he is strong and you are weak; that he is rich and you are poor; that he is full and you are empty. When you hope in God you show that you are the one who has needs, not God” John Piper (ref#220, p200).

“Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence, assured of his glad welcome” (Eph 3:12 NLT).

RENOUNCING OUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS

“[H]is heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly” (Dan 5:20 ESV).

“Possibly you may be confident of your own strength, and may think that you are not in danger, that there is no temptation but what you are able easily to overcome. But you should consider that the most self-confident are most in danger” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p71).

“If when others who have fallen into gross sins should be inquired of, and should declare how it was with them, doubtless they would say that they at first thought there was no danger; that they were far from the thought that ever they should commit such wickedness” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p71).

“O faithless daughter, who trusted in her treasures, saying, ‘Who will come against me?’” (Jer 49:4 ESV).

“[N]ever can I swallow pride

My pride will swallow me

Unless I’m overwhelmed by grace

In forced humility” Doug Newton (ref#166, p132).

“God would rather let His children all into the devil’s hands than to see them proud. Better is that temptation that humbles than that duty which makes us proud. [A] Christian may get much good by temptation” Thomas Watson (ref#225, p202).

“The one great design of God in all His dispensations to His people, is to prevent and cure the pride of their hearts. We must condemn ourselves, before He will justify us; and renounce our own righteousness, if ever we will be made righteous” Richard Mayo (ref#225, p 237).

“[W]hen I see myself as I really am, nobody can insult me. It is impossible, because they can never say anything that is bad enough about me. Whatever the world may say about me, I am much worse than they think. Self-sufficiency, self-consciousness—oh, to get away from the self” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Nov 13th)!

“Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you” (Ps 51:12 TLB).

REALIZING THE TRUTH ABOUT MYSELF

“To be humble as we should be, we must know ourselves. There must be no disguising of our true condition from ourselves or from God. Where love declines, there must be a cause; and, when found, it must be immediately removed” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jul 16th).

“Some people feel pure, but they are filthy and unwashed” (Prov 30:11-12 NLT).

“[T]here is none who does good, not even one” (Ps 53:3 ESV).

“[T]here is only one way I know to realise the love of God, and that is to realise the truth about myself. We have to be made worse before we can be made better; there are times when we have to be cruel to be kind. We may have to clean that wound before we can put in the oil that will soothe it. We must get rid of certain things, and that is a painful process. Therefore, the highway to realising the love of God is to realise the truth about ourselves. [T]hat is to realise that you are a hopeless, damned sinner, that you can do nothing about yourself. You can never put yourself right; you can never make yourself fit to stand in the presence of God. You must realise that you are altogether lost and undone and heading straight for hell, and that is where you would arrive, were it not that God in His infinite, everlasting love sent His only begotten Son not only into the world, but to the cruel death of the cross, so that you might be forgiven, that you might be saved” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p524).

“God loves: an open, honest confession of sin. Though He searches and knows all hearts, He yet delights in the frank and detailed acknowledgment of sin from His backsliding child. Is this all He requires of His poor wandering child? That is all! I am a backslider, a wanderer, a prodigal. I have strayed from Thee like a lost sheep. My love has waxed cold, my steps have slackened in the path of holy obedience, my mind has yielded to the corrupting, deadening influence of the world, and my affections have wandered in search of other earthly objects of delight. [A]ll we do is defaced with sin” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jul 17th).

“ [S]top having fellowship with the unfruitful works of this darkness, but rather be rebuking them so as to bring out confession and conviction” (Eph 5:11 Wuest)

“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” (Ps 19:13 ESV).

SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS

“I know that I suffer from spiritual blindness and don’t see myself accurately” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, May 18th).

“The old life was disciplined [trained] toward ungodliness. We all tend to act according to these sinful habits that have been engraved in us from long practice” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p55).

“Sin does two very significant things to us all. First, it causes us all to insert ourselves into the center of our worlds, making life all about us. In our self-focus, we are all too motivated by our wants, our needs, and our feelings, and because we are, we tend to be more aware of what we don’t have than of the many wonderful blessings that we have been given. But there is more; because we are self-focused, we tend to be scorekeepers, constantly comparing our piles of stuff to the piles of others. It’s a life of discontentment and envy. Envy is always selfish” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 6th).

“We struggle with pride, jealously, materialism, impatience, and lust. We still eat too much, waste our time, criticize each other, shade the truth just a little, and indulge in a dozen other sins, all the time hating ourselves for doing them” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p51).

“[W]e eat and drink just to gratify physical desire. [W]e lie in bed in the morning simply because we don’t ‘feel’ like getting up when we should. [W]e give in to immoral looks and thoughts” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p108).

“No need to carry the burden of ownership of your life today. You’ve been bought with a price, so you don’t belong to you anymore” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, May 30th).

“The God who now owns you is committed to keep you and care for you. He covers your past with his grace; he protects, provides for, and empowers you in the present; and he holds every aspect of your future in his sovereign and gracious hands” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, May 30th).

“Yes, because you were purchased at the price of blood, you don’t belong to you anymore. But that is a good thing. The One who now owns you is a wiser and more powerful manager of your life than you ever would have been. He cares for you with magnificent grace, incalculable wisdom, and limitless power. Being owned by him means you are in the best of hands. It means you’re no longer burdened by living for you. A new owner has taken control of your life, and this new owner is more capable than anyone or anything you could give your life to” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, May 30th).

SAINTS WHO SIN

“There never was a child that required schooling or education to learn deceitfulness, sensuality, passion, self-will, gluttony, pride, and foolishness” J.C Ryle (ref#363, p35).

“The fall made us all a danger to ourselves. Because of the sin in us, we think bad things, we desire bad things, we are attracted to bad things, and we choose bad things—and we are blind to much of this going on inside of ourselves. So not only do we need God’s presence and his wisdom to guide and protect us, but we also need his grace to rescue us” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, May 29th).

 “[T]here is no one who does not sin” (2 Chron 6:36 ESV).

“[W]e all start out as sinners. There’s nobody living right, not even one. [W]hatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! Our involvement with God’s revelation doesn’t put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity” (Rom 3:9-20 MSG).

“[T]he heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil” (Ecc 8:11 ESV).

“[Y]ou want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves” (James 4:1-2 MSG).

“The idol of idols really is the idol of self. We make it all about us. We put ourselves in the center of the story” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Aug 3rd).

 “[T]he power of sin has been broken, but the presence of sin still remains inside us and is being progressively eradicated by God’s delivering grace. We all still carry around inside us the darkness of iniquity, transgression, and sin. We have not yet fully escaped the dire danger that is us” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 18th).

“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” (1 John 1:8-9 ESV).

“Not only the sins I have committed and still commit, but the evil nature, the unworthiness in me, I have to mortify” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p48).

GRACE TO BE HONEST ABOUT OUR SIN

“I am not really that excited about grace. Why? Because I have convinced myself that I don’t really need the rescue and forgiveness that grace offers. And to the degree that I am able to work myself into believing that I am righteous, I have less esteem for the perfect righteousness of Christ, which is the only righteousness with which I can stand before God. [S]elf-righteousness stands in the way of that grace having functional and transformative value in my life” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, May 18th).

“Here was my functional theology of my life as a child of God: I knew that by grace I had been granted God’s forgiveness and I knew that I had been graced with an all-inclusive pass into eternity, but I thought that between now and then, my job was to just gut it out. It was my responsibility to identify sin, to cut it out of my life, and to give myself to living in a much better, more biblical way. I tried this, trust me; I tried it and found it didn’t work” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 7th).

“How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort” (Gal 3:3 NLT).

“[I]t is a right affection if we desire to do well; if we hate sin, though we falter, seeing our purpose is good; and if we strive to go forward in the fear of God and in obedience to his will. Jesus Christ then accounts us as though we were just; he frees us from all our faults and does not charge them to our account. The faithful, though they are not entirely perfect and though they have many sins, are considered to be God’s children. Jesus Christ considers it no dishonor that they are called by his name, for he causes the goodness that is in them and through his grace makes them acceptable to God” John Calvin (ref#164, Nov 10th).

“We must keep going back to His grace. Only the grace of God revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ will give us the courage to get up again and keep on going even after we have failed for the umpteenth time. It is only grace that will allow us to be as honest about our sin as David was about his” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p206).

 “[J]ust as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification” (Rom 6:19 ESV).

“Here is one of the most beautiful fruits of grace—a heart that is content, more given to worship than demand and more given to the joy of gratitude than the anxiety of want. It is grace and grace alone that can make this kind of peaceful living possible for each of us” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 6th).

“Make no allowance for sin, frame no excuses for inactivity, shrink from no cross, be disheartened by no difficulty, give place to no temptation, yield to no excessive grief” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Mar 28th).