Do you struggle with sin? With damaging habits? With distracting thoughts? Do you sometimes wonder where this illusive thing called “victory” is hiding?
I certainly have!
I once heard an evangelist say that the struggle with sin is evidence that we have been born again. After all, a person living fully in the world, who has never known Christ, does not struggle with their sin. It’s not unlike tossing a dead body in water. The person is not going to struggle to breathe and swim … because they’re dead. But if you toss a living person in water (please don’t), they will indeed struggle to swim and breathe.
That’s encouraging, isn’t it? If you are struggling with sin, that means the Holy Spirit is putting enmity within you against sin. HalleluYAH!
So . . . What if I Stopped There?
What if that was the end of this article? Well, I suppose that would make us feel better about our trials. That we struggle and feel disappointed because of our failures is proof that God is still working in us. But is that the end of the story? Absolutely not!
But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
— 1 Corinthians 15:57
But Wait, There’s More!
Why leave it at only one verse? There are plenty more to consider, such as:
For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
— 1 John 5:4-5
Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.
— Jude 24-25
And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
— Revelation 15:2
The Word of God is clear. We can overcome and gain victory over the world. Moreover, this needs to happen if we are to stand among the redeemed in heaven. So, why is this so often missing from the Gospel that we hear preached? And more importantly, why aren’t we consistently victorious?
Victory Over Sin Is Central to the Great Controversy
Put simply, the idea that God loves you too much to let you die for your sins is lie. This half-baked “Gospel” comes straight from the pit of hell. Sin, by its very nature, kills, for it separates us from the God who is our source of life (Isaiah 59:2). As long as men cannot live in complete harmony with God, you see, His character and Law remain in question. After all, God promised us victory, so if we keep failing, then do we not make God a liar? And if God be a liar, then is not Satan the one telling the truth? And so, Satan exults in every failure, no matter how “small” it may seem to us.
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
— Romans 1:16, 17
This is the True Purpose of the Gospel
The Gospel is the power of God, but men today are preaching a powerless Gospel—a false Gospel. The essence of the Gospel, the purpose of the Gospel, is not merely to get us to heaven! That is just a bonus for us. Its true purpose is to vindicate God’s character by bringing us into perfect harmony with His Law. God has accomplished this with a few people throughout history, such as Enoch, but never with an entire people. This is the purpose of the 144,000, whom the Bible describes as “keeping the commandments of God” (Revelation 14:12).
What if We Still Fall?
What does it mean when we struggle, but sometimes lose in that struggle and fall? How can this be if God has the power to “keep us from falling,” as Jude said? There is only one possibility. We don’t really believe God. He told us He has already given us victory in Christ, yet we think we need to obtain it ourselves. We lived our former lives doing everything in our own strength, after all. Even after coming to Christ, we often don’t realize (or forget) that we’re not alone anymore. Old habits die hard, right?
In fact, we cannot overcome Satan at all, for he knows our every weakness and how to exploit them. He is a master strategist and has 6000 years of practice under his belt. We are helpless against such a foe. But HalleluYAH, Christ did get the victory over him! Therefore, as long as we abide in Him, as He instructed in John 15:4, we cannot fail. We just need to let God’s creative power, contained in His Word, be true in us. It is just like when He said, “Let there be light” and there was light. It’s as simple as that!
Ah, but there’s the rub. We make it complicated. We make it an unnecessarily difficult struggle, all because we refuse to let Him do it for us. Why? Because we are so used to it being complicated and difficult that we won’t accept that it’s actually simple.
A Practical Way to Receive Victory
Thankfully, there is a solution! Try this method when you face one of those sins that “so easily beset us”. Just remember that God promised us victory and say — out loud — “Amen!” Mean it! Take into your heart the assurance that Christ has already gained the victory on your behalf. It is just a question of claiming it. It helps to point directly to the promise in Scripture when you claim that promise. The power of God is in His Word.
Important Points to Remember:
You can’t accept something if your hands are already full. First, you must release what you are currently holding, then God can fill you hand with something better. In other words, that thing with which Satan is tempting you. Is it forbidden thoughts, frustration, resentment? How about a time-wasting, impractical “hobby”? Maybe a desire to do housework on the Sabbath? I list these in particular because they have been among my own personal struggles. These things might seem “small” to some, but are very real problems that God wants to remove from our lives. Remember, His goal is not merely “pretty good,” it’s perfection! (See Matthew 5:48.)
But actually, you can’t empty your hands, either. Only God can do that. All you can do is give Him your will. Pray the prayer of surrender and let Him take those things from you. He is always faithful to keep His promise! We just need to trust Him.
Our Father’s blessings be upon you, brothers and sisters!
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Amanda is blessed to be the wife of a wonderful man of God, though she is still learning how to be a good one! She tends to write on practical subjects. She also manages BB.org on behalf of her husband so that he can focus on his studies and writing. She also loves to put Bible and SOP quotes on photos in her spare time. If you’d like to see them, you should follow her on Instagram!