LEAVING SIN BEHIND—The Natural Side
2 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV) His [God’s] divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith:
- Goodness [gracious (beneficial/selfless) acts]; and to goodness,
The root of all sin is selfishness. Don’t focus on sin, focus on goodness. Just this will cause a bunch of sin to fall of your life.
- Knowledge [discernment—to recognize a thing to be what it really is]; and to knowledge,
Romans 12:2 (NIV) Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
This will cause even more sin to fall of your life.
- Self-control [mastering/managing desire]; and to self-control,
James 1:13-15 (LOVETT) When a person finds himself being tempted, he should never say, “God is tempting me,” as if to blame God for an invitation to evil. Sure, there are many temptations in the world, but none of them comes from God. Evil has no appeal to Him, therefore He would never try to make it appealing to you. He never temps anyone, for temptation moves people in the wrong direction . . . . When a man is tempted it is always by something which draws him away from God’s ambition for him . . . these inner drives lure him into a second look at something he knows to be wrong. When he does, his resistance begins to crumble and the sin becomes more enticing than ever. When the evil notion is finally approved by the will . . . sin then moves in his mind to produce things which can only end in death.
We master desire by (1) realizing all desires can be fulfilled in God, (2) limiting exposure to the sinful alternative, (3) setting up protections and, (4) accountability—invite others into the process.
James 5:16 (NIV) Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
- Perseverance [consistency/hopeful endurance]; and to perseverance,
You are starving that area until the desire loses strength. Whatever you feed grows. So stop feeding it. Consistency will bring you to the next place . . . .
- Godliness [Christ-likeness, worship, devotion]; and to godliness,
- Mutual affection [brotherly love/cherishing each other’s friendship]; and to mutual affection,
- Love [agape – divine love – a love you will prefer].
2 Peter 1:8-10 (NIV) For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble.
You cannot move forward by looking backward.
Isaiah 43:18 (NIV) Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.