How Do We Work Sin Out of Our Lives?

Work Out

Along with eating well, working out is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Recently, there has been an upsurge of both. If not in the culture at large, at least with my social media friends. It is hard to go a day without seeing someone’s cross fit feats plastered across my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram feeds. Seeing those got me thinking: How do we work sin out of our lives? The answer I came to is that we do and we don’t.

The Work of God

The main way sin is worked out of our lives is through the Holy Spirit working in our lives. As we are freed from sin’s reigning power in the gospel, we are also given the Holy Spirit, who takes up residence in our bodies. He then works to sanctify us by: Convicting us of sin and enabling and empowering us to deal with sin. In addition to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, God allows circumstances to occur that help us to grow spiritually (James 1:2-4).

The Work of the Believer

Even though the Holy Spirit is working in our lives and God the Father is working everything out in His sovereign plan, we must remember that we are not removed from the fight. We cannot and must not be passive in our pursuit of holiness (Philippians 2:12-13). We must still preach the gospel to ourselves, memorize Scripture, pray, and seek accountability from other believers.

What We Can’t Forget

While we must fight, we must not forget that we can’t get rid of sin by simply trying harder. We must always come back to the gospel and the work of God in our lives. While we can’t be passive, we also can’t be prideful. We must remember we need God.

A Seven Step Process to Dealing with Sin in our Lives:

In his book, Respectable Sins, Jerry Bridges offers 7 steps to dealing with sin that I believe is useful.

  • (1) Apply the gospel
  • (2) Depend on the Holy Spirit
  • (3) Recognize your responsibility
  • (4) Identify specific sins
  • (5) Memorize and apply appropriate Scriptures
  • (6) Cultivate the practice of prayer by planning consistent times and spontaneously praying when dealing with specific sins
  • (7) Involve one or a few other believers with you [2]

If we remember God’s role, and our role, and practice these seven steps, I believe we will be well on our way to working sin out of our lives.

Resources

[1] Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins, 51.

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