To be successful in our pursuit of a holy life, we must remove the power sin has over us. We are told in Romans 8:13 to “put to death the misdeeds of the body”. And we also read in Colossians 3:5 to “put to death what belongs to our earthly nature”. while we are given these specific commands, we must realize that this is not something we can do on our own. We are to work hand-in-hand with the Holy Spirit to purify ourselves. As He reveals sin in our lives, we must confess these sins and make the necessary changes in our lives to live holy.
So our first step is that we need to believe that it is God’s will for us to live sin-free. Even those little sins that seem unimportant must be dealt with. Hebrews 12:14 says “without holiness no one will see the Lord”. The convictions of sin come to us through the Word of God. That is why it is so important to daily immerse ourselves in God’s Word. Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Deuteronomy 17:19 “It (God’s law) is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees.” John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” God’s Word must be the presiding influence in our thoughts, attitudes and actions. Psalm 119:11 teaches us that one way to live by God’s Word is to hide his teachings in our hearts. We do this through memorizing scripture. And once we have His Word hidden in our hearts, we then act on it.
Consider these four verses when making decisions. 1 Corinthians 6:12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. – Is what I am considering helpful to me or others physically, spiritually, and mentally? 1 Corinthians 6:12 “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. – Does what I am considering bring me under its power? 1 Corinthians 8:13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall. – Does what I am considering bring harm to anyone? 1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – Does what I am considering bring glory to God?
So when deciding on whether to pursue something, the question may not be is this certain thing in and of itself holy, but instead is our reaction to it honoring to God? For instance, media. The Internet, TV, movies, video games may have good qualities and not all have bad influences. However, our use of them may prove to be harmful. How much time are we devoting to them opposed to face-to-face interactions with our family and friends? There may also be a question of morality in what we are viewing. If something isn’t “too bad”, we may be tempted to indulge just a little. But it is the “little foxes that spoil the vine” (Song of Solomon 2:15).
We need to also be aware of how our actions are effecting others. What may not be a sinful problem to you may be something that a friend is having trouble with. Maybe they have a strong conviction about what they eat, or they may not own a TV set, or listen to certain types of music. If we do not have the same convictions and are encouraging them to participate with us, we may be leading them to give in to sin. Or if the area isn’t clearly a yes/no type of situation, we may be causing confusion in their lives. Let’s be mindful of how our actions are coming across to others.
The last point for today is to emphasize our level of commitment to living a holy life. When the Holy Spirit beings to our mind an area of sin that we are to deal with, are we quick to repent and commit to living differently, or do we choose to hold onto that sin because we think it doesn’t really matter that much? We must be committed to saying no to temptations every time. If we don’t, it will become harder to say no the next time. 1 John 2:1 “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.”