The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has been given all the resources he/she needs to prevent them from sinning. Yet if one tries to “control their sins in their own power,” they will fail miserably. Paul wrote of this in Romans 7 where he tried to keep the Law in his own strength. He says in verses 14-20, “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me” (NASB). Paul is describing the conflict between the two natures in the believer. The new nature gave Paul the desire to do what is good, but the old nature (which he refers to as “sin which dwells in me”) caused him to do just the opposite. In a word, he did not have the power to control his sins and thus the old nature won the battle every time.

Thankfully Paul’s experience didn’t end there, for in Romans 8:2 he brings out the secret for victory over sin; the indwelling Holy Spirit. It reads, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” In chapter 7 Paul tried to keep the Law and quit sinning by his own power, but in chapter 8 he discovered that it is the Spirit who can prevent us from sinning by occupying us with the life that we have in Christ Jesus. If we allow Him to, the Spirit will keep us focused on the glory of Christ and not the Law, yet in doing so we will find ourselves obeying the Law and not sinning. Romans 8:4 speaks to this, “So that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled us in, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Galatians 5:16 echoes this same truth, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

We have seen that the believer has a New Nature (which gives him the DESIRE to please God) and the Holy Spirit (which gives him the POWER to please God). What other “resources” has God given to us to prevent us from sinning? Let’s consider several more, though this is not a complete list.

1) We have the WORD OF GOD. In Psalm 119:11 David wrote, “Thy WORD have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”  God’s Word in our heart will keep us from sinning! Jesus said in John 17:17, “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” God’s Word will “set us apart” from the ungodly world all around us.

2) We have the THRONE OF GRACE. Hebrews 4:16 states, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Prayer is showing our weakness and dependence on God. If we approach God’s throne of grace in prayer we will be given all the grace we need to keep us from sinning.

3) We have CHRIST IN THE GLORY. Jesus said in John 17:19, “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” When Jesus took His place at the right hand of God He was “setting Himself apart” as an OBJECT FOR OUR HEARTS. We saw in Romans 8:2 that the Holy Spirit wants to keep our eye of faith fixed on Christ. When we allow the Spirit to teach us of Christ through the Word we will be “set apart” and become more like Christ. In other words, we will be set free from sin. 2nd Corinthians 3:18 declares, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

4) We have THE LORD’S COMING (as our blessed hope). 1st John 2-3 reads, “Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (NKJV). The Lord Jesus could come for us at any minute to take us home to glory where we shall be “like Him” forever! When our hearts are set upon this “blessed hope” it will have a purifying effect; we will be kept from sin!  (207.3)  (DO)