How to stop sinning; it’s not by your own strength.
You want to do what’s right but yet it seems like you often end up doing what you know is wrong. So, how do you stop sinning?
If we were able to stop sinning through the strength of our own will power, there would have been no need for Jesus to die on the cross because there would, after all, be plenty of sinless people in the world.
Jesus died for us on the cross because we are not capable of being sinless.
How to stop sinning
The answer is not that you make yourself stop sinning. The answer is that you allow Jesus will stop your sinning.
When you draw near to Jesus in a relationship with Him, your sin begins to fade. Think of a weed. When it doesn’t get any water it begins to wither. In a similar way, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit and continue to draw near to Christ, your sin begins to wither. The moment you start getting lazy, and begin to drift away from Christ your sin, begins to flourish and thrive again.
Consider this a blessing. You have, within you, a type of spiritual Geiger counter. A Geiger counter is used to measure dangerous radioactivity. The Geiger counter makes a ticking noise. The closer it gets to something radioactive the faster the ticking noise becomes. It allows the person holding the machine to know when there’s danger.
In a similar way, if you find that you can’t stop sinning, your spiritual Geiger counter is telling you that you’re not close enough to Jesus. If you stop sinning for a short period of time then suddenly that same old sin starts springing up in your life again, it’s a sign that you’re drifting away from the Lord.
It’s the power of the Holy Spirit that causes us to stop sinning. Not through our strength but His strength. We have to rely upon Jesus.
Paul put it this way:
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing.
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 7:18-8:4)
(photo credit: dead berries by Kevin Wardrop)