I keep falling into the same old sins
One of the biggest problems for Christians, who are trying to stop sinning is not knowing how sin works. This site has many articles about stopping sin to help. Below is some of the biggest issues I have had over the past 25 years of helping Christians.
It is time to get your Bible out and test yourself to see if you are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). Allow me to point you toward God’s answers found in His Word. Praise God.
Repent, confess, hear the Word, believe in your heart
When a Christian says that they are hopelessly stuck in sin, it usually means two things. They don’t know what the Bible says about sin, and they still have a conscience, because they want to stop sinning. Praise the Lord.
If I had everything to do over again, and found myself homeless, sleeping on top of a school to get away from bugs and night-time animals, the first thing I would do is confess my sins to the Lord.
3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah 5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah NKJV
We can confess our sins to each other also (James 5:16), but I would confess mine to the Lord. If He would not listen to me, then I would seek help.
The next thing I would do read New Testament scripture out loud so that I could hear it in my ears. Why? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17), and we gain access to grace through faith (Romans 5:2).
I usually have people who haven’t been reading their Bible, start with James, 1 John, and 1 Peter because those books are so jammed packed with godly principles. I have them read one in the morning, one at lunch, and one after supper, or a variation of that schedule to fit their schedule.
If they have time to read it straight through, I have them read from James through Jude. If not, then I have them split it up into one book at a time, all during the day.
For those who have been reading their Bible, I have them read the books that identify their problem, and that solve their problem, all in the New Testament.Everything we need for this life comes through our knowledge of God, and we receive it by participating in the promises found in scripture (2 Peter 1:3-4).
I have them read those books out loud, straight through without worrying about comprehension or interpretation. I’ve seen people do their reading that didn’t remember anything they read, but they still received grace after a few days.
I’ve worked with a lot of Christians since 1993, and if they do their reading, then I know they will receive grace, Lord willing its just a matter of time, but more than a few do not do their reading as instructed for whatever reason.
I’ve also had people who claimed to be doing their reading, and didn’t receive anything, but I later found out they were not doing their reading, or they were reading something else, like a book out of the Old Testament. I’m not saying that reading the Old Testament is wrong, but God’s new way of righteousness is explained in the New Testament, and so is the Kingdom of God (Luke 16:16).
I’ve had some who would stop every few verses to look up references from all over the Bible, and I’ve had some who have gotten hung up with the interpretations found in study Bibles. None of them received grace as expected.
There is only one thing that I have seen work consistently, for people who haven’t been reading their Bibles, and that is reading from James to Jude every day, out loud, straight through, and doing that twice a day, if they have time being careful to believe what they read in their heart.
That’s because they started back continuing in their faith (Colossians 1:21-23). If you think about what God wants every Christian to do after we get saved, then the first order of business is Romans 12:1-2; offer our bodies to God as a living sacrifice, stop conforming to the world around us, and be transformed by renewing our minds with the truth.
If you take a Christian, who has been saved for a while, but they have not been renewing their mind with the truth, and you get them to start doing it or start back doing it, them they will experience grace, Lord willing.
The ones you are going to have problem with are the ones that already attend Bible study classes, that do not read whole chapters, or that spend their study time listening to someone talk or to each others wisdom like a round table type of meeting. The reason that doesn’t work is because worldly wisdom takes the power out (1 Corinthians 1:17).
When you tell them that you want them to study the Bible, they’ll be thinking that they already do that, but there won’t be any evidence of grace. So, they have to relearn the scriptures they quote that are mixed with worldly wisdom; learning to quote them in-line with how they are written.
Evidence of receiving grace
After about three days, the first sign of change is usually getting cleaned up. In other words, they will have a desire to get clean, and many of them will cut their hair, beards, shave, etc.
Within a few days after that, worldly things will begin to fall off. They just won’t be a necessary any more, and they will begin to have a desire to help out, or help people in need.
Years ago I would describe grace as undeserved favor first and foremost, but today I would say that grace is “God given ability” first. That’s because grace will not only teach us to live righteously, soberly, and godly, right now in this present age, but it will also make us do works of faith (1 Corinthians 15:10 below).
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. NKJV
1 Corinthians 15:10
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. NKJV
We’ve got to have grace in order to live this Christian life. In other words, grace gives us to ability to do it.
Two things to keep in mind about grace. #1 we gain access to more grace through faith (Romans 5:2). #2 Grace reigns through righteousness (Romans 5:21).
Therefore, if we could teach anyone with a sin problem, which is all of us, to be careful to hear the Word of God straight out of the New Testament on a daily bases, and to believe that Word in our hearts, then we will have everything we need to be set free from sin’s control (John 8:31-36).
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. NKJV
17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. NKJV
Let me tell you a few other things about grace that i have noticed.
The absence of grace will always reveal itself with the presence of worldliness. That’s because grace itself teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly lust (Titus 2:12 above). People without grace will conform more and more to the ways of this world, while people who are receiving grace will turn further away from the things of this world.
Therefore, if someone comes to me for help and they are full of worldliness, but they tell me that they are studying their Bible on a daily bases, then I know they are not hearing the pure Word of God in their ears from the New Testament, or they are not believing what they are hearing, or instead of reading the scriptures they are reading study notes or devotionals with little or no Word in them. Therefore, they are not receiving the grace (ability) they need to live the Christian life.
We’ve all been told that our lawless deeds are forgiven and our sins are covered, and so we just assume that everyone who walks in the door of a church is forgiven, and their sins have been taken away, as far as the east is from the west. However, lets re-visit Romans chapter 4.
If we just opened our Bibles and read verses 7 and 8 to the people, and then closed the book and went home, we would all leave thinking our sins are covered no matter what!
7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.” NKJV
However, if we asked the question, who is he talking about, and are there any conditions, then we would have to take a closer look? Please read the following passage and answer the questions.
3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.” NKJV
He is talking about a person to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works (verse 6 above). The conditions are that we would have to believe God as Abraham believed God, and then our faith would be counted as righteousness, without doing the works required to have our faith to be counted as righteousness.
In other words, we learned in Romans 2:13 that if we could keep the Law we would be righteous, but in Romans 3:10, we learned that no one could, so there are non who are righteous by Law. In Romans 3:21 we learned that God’s righteousness comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, and now we have learned that we can be imputed (credited) righteousness if we believe God as Abraham believed God.
We also learn in Romans 4:13 that the promised inheritance does not depend on the Law, but on the righteousness of faith, and that works of faith are according to grace, according to Romans 4:16. Therefore, we eagerly await through the Spirit for the righteousness of faith in which we hope (Galatians 5:5).
5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. NKJV
The righteousness of faith is different than being imputed righteousness. After Abraham’s faith and actions (works of faith) were working together to make his faith perfect, that’s when the scripture was fulfilled that says “Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness” (James 2:23-24).
However, let’s talk about imputed righteousness for now, since that is what Christians with sin problems desperately need, because grace reigns through righteousness (Romans 5:21).
Imputed righteousness does not apply to unbelievers
Before we can receive what is promised in Romans 4:7-8 above, we have to believe God as Abraham believed God and then our faith will to be credited righteousness, so we have to have faith as well.
If we do not believe God as Abraham believed God, then we cannot possibly be imputed (credited) righteousness. Believing is not an act of the Law, its an act of faith, and acts of faith are according to grace (Romans 4:16). Grace makes us do works of faith (1 Corinthians 15:10), such as baptism, repentance, forgiving people, etc.
The reason Abraham was imputed righteousness was because he believed. He was fully convinced, or fully persuaded that what God said He was also able to perform. That’s why it was imputed to him, and that is why we will be imputed righteousness.
21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, NKJV
In other words, we are imputed righteousness in the same way that Abraham was imputed righteousness, and our sins are washed away, if we believe just as Abraham believed. That’s why belief is so critical.
Therefore, if I am working with someone who has not continued in their faith (Faith comes by hearing) and they do not believe this, or that book of the Bible or this or that particular verse, but they can quote Romans 4:7-8 from memory, then I know it’s an up-hill battle.
Darkness blinds our eyes so that we could be thinking one thing, but the actual Word of God says something totally different (John 12:35-36, Proverbs 16:25). Sometimes we just have to start over from scratch, so that we don’t leave anything out.
I hope that this article has given you some insight into the most common problems I have seen in the past 25 years. I believe that this site is full of information that will help you get on the right track. Start with the main articles, Can We Stop Sinning, Should We Stop Sinning, and How To Stop Sinning, and then view the articles in my Sunday School Class.
Allow your Bible to identify your problem
The Bible will eventually identify any problem as we renew our mind with the truth.
It explains every problem we will face and what to do in order to escape trouble. I have already mentioned several solutions in the writings above.
Like me, as you read the New Testament and believe, you will begin to see why certain things have been happening to you all your life. And like me you will begin to say, “I didn’t know that.” Right, none of us did, and we all brought about our own problems because of it (Proverbs 19:3).
God’s people experience destruction in their life because we do not know something (Hosea 4:6). In other words, spiritual principles work whether we know them or not. We don’t have to know them, but we will never take the right path if we don’t. The wrong way will always seem like the right way for people who do not know the truth for themselves (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25).
Proverbs 14:12, 16:25
12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. NKJV
For example, if we do not seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness first place in our life, we will live with all kinds of worries (Matthew 6:25-34).
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. NKJV
That verse works both ways. God will supply the needs of those who seek His Kingdom and His righteousness first place in their lives, but those who do not seek His Kingdom and His righteousness first place in their lives will have plenty of things to worry about.
Imagine what would happen if instead of just feeding a poor country for hundreds of years, this spiritual principle were taught to everyone. Our God is able (Ephesians 3:20).
Some will say that we do teach them about Jesus, to which I will say great, praise God, but that is not what that promise says. One of the first things to check if nothing is working like it is expected to is if we got the instructions right. Always remember to double check the instructions.
God has already given us what we need for this life, but we have to participate in the promises in order to receive it.
2 Peter 1:3-4
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. NKJV
So, how many promises can you name right now? Think about that. That shows just how much you have been participating. Perhaps you have been focusing on church, or serving others, or even preaching, and those things are great and needed, but remember that Mary chose what was better above the things that had to be done, and it would not be taken away from her. First feed yourself.
38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” NKJV
There are a lot of things that “have to be done,” but none of them come before we hear the Word of God. They will always need somebody to do this or that, but when can we see clearly enough to help our brother get the spec out of his eye? According to the Bible, after we get this plank out of our eye, then we will be “able to help our brother with his speck.”
3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. NKJV
Do you see how easy it is to go too fast and miss out on the important stuff? What’s important is that you get some promises living on the inside of you, and I don’t mean that you should just read a book of promises or a promise Bible. Nothing wrong with learning promises, but allow me to show you what usually happens.
There are a lot of people quoting promises, and you may be intimidated by that if you could not name any. However, every promise comes with conditions. Most people don’t pay any attention to the conditions. Remember Matthew 6:31-34 above? What are we supposed to seek and when are we supposed to seek it in order for God to give us the things we have a tendency to worry about? Did you forget?
Do you see how easy it is to miss the instructions? Like I said, I used to have to write them down, and I still have notes everywhere; on walls, in my car, everywhere. Get the instructions right first!
Our part is to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Kingdom teaching is only found in the New testament according to Luke 16:16, and God’s righteousness, which is by faith, is revealed in the New Testament (Romans 1:16-17).
If you learned Mathew 6:33 from a promise book rather than reading your Bible, then you may not have known where to seek. That’s why I ask people to read at least five chapters out of the New Testament every day. I wish everyone read ten a day, but five will have an effect.
I’ve met people who close their eyes while they open their Bible to whatever page, and they actually believed that is where God wants them to read that day. Jesus wants us to abide (remain) in the Word until we know the truth, and the truth sets us free from being a slave to sin (John 8:31-36). He wants us to be sanctified and cleansed with the washing of water by the Word (Ephesians 5:26).
Some get stuck in the Old Testament for a very long time and wonder why things are not working out like they are promised. Jesus is the Mediator of a better covenant built on better promises.
6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. NKJV
Always check and double check the instructions to make sure that the promise you are quoting is addressed to you and what the conditions are. Every promise in the Bible has at least one condition; we have to believe.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. NKJV
I have wasted so much time with people who do not believe. I’m talking about months and months; years. Now I’m reaching out to people who want to learn what the Lord has shown me. Yes I will “try” and help anyone, but my limit is a whole lot shorter than it was. I have learned that I can’t force people believe.
Have you learned anything worth your time? There is a lot more to learn, but I hope that you are well on your way to having all the things you worry about given to you as a result of your faith. Remember that we have got to participate in the spiritual by using the promises, and every promise comes with at least one condition or more.
If you have any questions, ask. I’m Alan Ballou; a servant