Let me get this straight. We can’t overcome our sinful nature, so we can’t stop sinning? Stop and think about that. If true, then Satan is more powerful than God. If true, then everyone is saved in their sins. If true, then Jesus didn’t need to come and die. If true, then the Bible and Christianity are a lie. If true, then there is no God!
But there is a God. He is God Almighty. (Gen. 17:1) And the truth is that Almighty God is more powerful than Satan, and the claim that we can’t overcome sin in our lives is a lie. Sadly, it is a lie that people want to believe, want to hear, want to proclaim and want to defend. Why? Because it’s effortless-you can receive salvation without taking up your cross and crucifying self, without putting to death the sinful desires and deeds of the flesh. Since you don’t have to overcome sin because you can’t, just believe and you shall be saved. Right? How clever, how appealing, how easy. Come one, come all. Enter sinless Heaven without leaving sinful world. You can have both. The broad way of such a false gospel will lead multitudes to destruction. If you don’t believe that you can and must overcome sin in your life, then you won’t. Satan wins.
What kind of God would ask us, command us to do something that we couldn’t pdssibly do? When God did not accept Cain’s irreverent offering, the Lord told him “Sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”(Gen. 4:7) You must master it? Is God serious? And through His servant Moses, God declared to His people “For this commandment (to keep the laws of God) which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach.”( Duet. 30:8-11) Not too difficult? And after forgiving a woman caught in the very act of adultery, Jesus told the woman “Go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11) Sin no more? God is not asking the impossible when He tells us to obey His voice, to keep His commandments and to be holy as He is holy. God is only asking us to love Him with all of our heart, mind and soul.
Before His crucifixion and death, Jesus told His disciples “Take courage, for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Jesus defeated Satan and all the temptations and evils of this fallen world. Now as Christians, we must ask ourselves-if Christ is truly living in us by the power of the Holy Spirit, how is it that we cannot overcome sin in our life? How is it that we are not able to be victorious over this world of sin? Are we powerless? The apostle Paul warned that men would hold to a “form of godliness, but deny its power.” (II Tim. 3:1-5) Do not men deny the power of God when they claim that they can’t overcome sin and they continue to live in it? The answer is shamefully obvious.
In the book of Revelation (ch. 2-3), Jesus sent letters to seven churches. In closing each letter Jesus gave a special eternal promise that contained the exact same condition- “to him who overcomes.” And in telling of the new earth and new Jerusalem, God promises that “He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” (Rev.21:1-7) What? Overcome? Overcome what? The truth is-we shall either overcome sin, or sin shall overcome us. Take up your cross.