Have you ever wonder why despite that fact that the new man in Christ is no longer a slave to sin, MANY are still struggling with sin, habits and addictions? What makes sin stronger?
The truth about the new man in Christ will forever remain that he is no longer a slave to sin because of the death of Christ on the cross, the new man in Christ is dead to sin and alive to God by Jesus’s resurrection.
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” – Romans 6:6 KJV
But despite this truth, why is this hardly a reality for some, if not a lot of believers? Many are still struggling with the flesh and its desires.
The responsibility of the man in Christ is to put to death the desires of the flesh. And he can do this because the flesh is dead already. It’s like the work of a mortician.
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” – Colossians 3:3, 5 NIV
Here are a few things that make sin stronger and harder to mortify.
1. Excusing it (or Justifying it)
You can never get over a habit or an act you constantly excuse. There will always be a reason why you can’t live up to something or couldn’t accomplish something. But there is a big difference between acknowledging that your failed and need to try again, put in more effort or try a different approach and making an excuse to why you failed.
Excuses will never make you better. It will keep you on the same spot.But there is a big difference between acknowledging that your failed and need to try again, put in more effort or try a different approach and making an excuse to why you failed. Click To Tweet
There will always be a reason to justify bad behaviour, but decide that no reason will be good enough to excuse or indulge the flesh, something Christ died to liberate you from.There will always be a reason to justify bad behaviour, but decide that no reason will be good enough to excuse or indulge the flesh. Click To Tweet
2. Keeping it a secret
Sin thrives in secrecy. Yes, it takes a level of hardness of heart to sin boldly in the light, not minding what anyone says. No one is really proud of their bad habits or addictions, so the natural thing to do is to keep it a secret. But I believe this shame that comes with sin is the devil’s strategy to keep us in it and prevent people who could help us from finding out.
Sin thrives in secrecy. It is very easy to backslide when you have zero accountability. Click To Tweet
It is very easy to backslide when you have zero accountability.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. – James 5:16
Confess your sins to each other, don’t keep your sins a secret, tell someone who can pray with you, who can counsel you. Yes, I know that not many people are capable of keeping your secret, or even capable of counselling and helping you out of the struggles, but search till you find one. It will forever be better to be vulnerable to receive help than keep alone in a bid to be safe.It will forever be better to be vulnerable to receive help than keep alone in a bid to be safe. Click To Tweet
3. Not feeling guilty about it
Anyone who truly understands the gospel of God in Christ knows that we have not been redeemed to continue in our sin. We were redeemed by the death of Jesus, bought with a price worth more than any gold, and we were recreated in Christ Jesus to do good works, not to continue in our old ways.
Paul told the church in Ephesians and Colossians that they should leave their old life/man behind. So anytime we fall into sin, we should feel guilty, but not hopeless because John writes-
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate before the Father— Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. – 1 John 2:1-2
So we know He has made provision for all our sins, all the sin we’ll ever sin by the sacrifice of his blood –
But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God…because by a single offering He has made perfect for all time those who are sanctified. – Hebrews 10:12, 14
Many have gotten to a point where they are unmoved when their flesh wins. They have gotten accustomed to that life, that they don’t even take note anymore when they sin. That’s becoming unrepentant.We were redeemed by the death of Jesus and recreated in Christ Jesus to do good works, not to continue in our old ways. Click To Tweet
Don’t wallow in the guilt of sin, boast and be confident in Christ’s sacrifice for your sin. But don’t act like sin is not bad and wrong. Which leads to my next 3 points.Don't wallow in the guilt of sin, boast and be confident in Christ's sacrifice for your sin. Click To Tweet
4. Not seeing how it affects you
We have been saved from sin and its hold over us. We are truly dead to sin, but we are not free from its physical/earthly consequences. Often times, we don’t see how sin affects us.
We are too quick to think God hates man by giving us so many dos and don’ts, but in essence, if you look carefully, one of the reasons God gave all those commandments are for the good of man, they are for our good, not evil. (more on that in the next point).
Sin does to us what it did to Adam and Eve, we feel unworthy, unloved by God, so we result to hiding ourselves, living separate from God, and like water to a fish, we can’t live without God, He is the natural habitat we were created to thrive.
Why do you think you find it hard to pray or study the bible when you have sinned? Whereas praying and studying the Bible should be your immediate response to a sin.Sin does to us what it did to Adam and Eve, we feel unworthy, unloved by God, so we result to hiding ourselves, living separate from God. Click To Tweet
Not to even mention the emotional, physical, relational…consequences. Why do you think some commandments in the bible are also morally and legally accepted by people who don’t even acknowledge or honour God?
5. Not seeing how it affects others
I bet we can all agree that the world is the way it is because of sin. Just imagine if no one killed another, no one steals or cheats, no one rapes, won’t it be a perfect world?
That’s why 5 out of the 10 commandments were about our relationship with other people, do not kill, do not covet what’s not yours and the rest.
When you fully and unselfishly consider what your sin will do to others, then maybe you’ll think twice before doing that thing, but then sin in itself is selfishness, so no one considers others, just themselves.
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now,” – Rom. 8:20-22.
6. Not seeing how it hurts God
God is not unconcerned about our sin or sinful state, if He wasn’t, he wouldn’t have paid the ultimate price; the death of his son to get us out of it. Remember that the wages of sin is death, and like it is with law, only an innocent person can pay for the sin of the guilty, no man is innocent, so God became man to take up our punishment for sin which is death, then He came back to life, overcoming death, to give us perpetual victory over sin and death.
I bet we have all heard that God cannot behold sin, He hates sin. Yes, for all those who are in Christ, when we sin, He doesn’t see our sin, He sees the blood of His son, but he isn’t carefree. If he is, he won’t be a righteous and just judge. Even asides from that, how are we going to see as a father who has purchased all his son will ever need live in poverty?
7. The fear/Shame of getting exposed
This is very similar to the point about “not keeping sin a secret”, but this is more about the fear and shame of getting exposed. Yes, you know what you are doing is wrong, you feel guilty, and you know that God is not pleased, but instead of embracing all these to renounce and repent, and get help, you choose to stay quiet out of the shame of people knowing you about your sin.
Remember what Jesus said about gaining the whole world and losing your soul? Think of gaining the whole world the same as gaining or retaining people’s affirmation, and a good image in people’s eyes while your soul is suffering.
Don’t trade a good people impression for a suffering soul.
I hope this has been a worthwhile read, kindly share any other points you think keeps people in sin. Read also;
Can I Go On Sinning Because Of Grace and Since All My Sins Have Been Forgiven?