The Power of God’s Word to Battle Sin (Psalm 19:12-13)

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The Powere of God's Word to Battle Sin

The struggle with sin is the oldest struggle we humans face. Indeed all of our challenges find their root in sin. As we continue our journey through Psalm 19, David turns his attention toward the sins that beset our hearts.

Hidden Faults

Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Psalm 19:12

You have probably come across an unexpected photograph of yourself somewhere, especially in this age of Facebook. You log in and suddenly a picture pops up that makes you cringe. “I look like that?” you think in surprise.

Or perhaps it is a video. The voice that comes out of your mouth on the screen does not sound anything like the voice you hear in your head when you speak. You experience a disconnect. It seems that perhaps the person you imagine you are, and the person others know, aren’t quite one and the same.

Because we live in our own heads, it can be difficult for us to fully perceive ourselves. This reality affects not only our physical perceptions, but also our mental perceptions. Many of us have faults we are not even aware of. These are the hidden faults to which David refers.

It is often through our closest relationships that our hidden faults are revealed. Perhaps you have a tendency toward impatience, or maybe a complaining tone, and didn’t realize. Even hidden faults can trip us up, and they certainly impact those we love.

As painful as it is to have those hidden faults pointed out, it is a blessing to become aware of them.

David asks God to declare him innocent from hidden faults. Isn’t encouraging to think that as He brings each hidden fault to our attention, we can acknowledge our brokenness and be washed clean?

Presumptuous Sins

Yet it is presumptuous sins that are most alarming!

Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
Psalm 19:13

What are presumptuous sins? Charles Spurgeon explained them thus:

“A sin that is committed willfully against manifest light and knowledge is a presumptuous sin.” – Charles Spurgeon, Sermon 135

We all sin…”for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23.) When we have become aware of our sin and we continue in it knowingly, we are willfully walking away from God. David acknowledges the power such sins can have when he asks God’s help in restraining him!

Some of the most obvious sins are those that are laid out for us in scripture, often referred to as acts of the sinful nature:

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. Galatians 5:19-21a

We are in a battle for our souls, and the battlefield lies within. Every single day we face choices that lead us toward God or away from God. Each of us has his or her own areas of weakness, and each of us needs to daily suit up for the battle!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. Ephesians 6:10-18a

The reality is that we can not win this battle on our own. Like David we are compelled to plead, “let them not have dominion over me!”

We Need God’s Word as We Battle Against Sin

It is not accidental that these verses about sin follow directly after five verses about God’s word.

Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Psalm 19:11

More than anything else, it is through the word of God that we become aware of and our hearts become convicted of our sins.

And not only does God’s word convict, it also helps us fight our battle against sin. You may have noted that in the spiritual armor presented in Ephesians 6:10-18, the one offensive weapon is “the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

As Jesus demonstrated when Satan tempted Him in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11), scripture has great power to help us resist temptation.

Ultimately it is All About Jesus

The struggle against our sins will be a lifelong battle. We would be hopeless without Jesus Christ:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
Romans 5:8-9

We won’t be free of sin this side of heaven, but instead of walking in sin, walking away from God, we can turn back to Him (the meaning of the word “repent.”) Because of Jesus’ great love, in Him we become in God’s eyes, as David prayed, “blameless, and innocent of great transgression.”

God's Beautiful World and Perfect Word {a Psalm 19 study}Read the entire series on Psalm 19

No Condemnation – Romans 8:1

Romans 8:1. Visit DoNotDepart.com for more shareable scripture graphics! #SpreadTheWord

 

Romans 8:1. Visit DoNotDepart.com for more shareable scripture graphics! #SpreadTheWord

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

- Romans 8:1-11 (ESV)

Every day this month the Do Not Depart team will be posting a scripture graphic that you can use to spread the Word of God. Share it on social media, print it out and write someone a letter, email it to someone who needs encouragement.

You are free to share our image with Romans 8:1 above. If you have questions about how to download images, just ask in the comments (be sure to tell us what type of computer/device you are using.)

Visit DoNotDepart.com for more shareable scripture graphics! #SpreadTheWord

WRAP UP of Purity for Today’s Christian Woman

Wrap Up Purity for Today's Christian Woman

Does purity really matter? That’s the question we considered this month. As we said when August was just getting started, “If we’re going to talk about God’s truth, we have to talk about Purity for Today’s Christian Woman.”Wrap Up Purity for Today's Christian Woman

We hope the Bible study tools this month have challenged and helped you as they have us. Before the month slips away and we turn the page on the calendar, let’s wrap up with a look back at resources to help us apply truth to our need for living pure, holy lives.

Purity for Today’s Christian Woman WRAP UP

We hope this month helped you know what God has to say about our purity. Our team loves to share tools and resources for personal growth and for use with others in your circle of influence.

May God be glorified as we live more holy lives to reflect Him to the watching world in our homes, places of work, neighborhoods, and communities!

Holy habits for everyday life

Holy habits everyday life

We’re already practicing holiness, to one degree or another. People might say you’re “all in” when it comes to letting God’s holiness drive your habits.  Others might say you’re one of those who keeps God’s holiness and your habits in separate categories.

But what does God say? Does He leave it up to us to decide how holy we want to be, practically speaking? Or does He gives us any kind of a picture to show us how holiness looks in the everyday life of His followers?

The first part of Ephesians spells out our identity in Christ; the second illustrates how that identity matters. As we change who we were, contrast who we are, and imitate who the Father will always be, our new holiness in Jesus changes everything.

Holy habits everyday life

Holy habits due to change

Do you describe your dietary choices with words like “vegan, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, or sugar free?” A lifestyle change impacts how we spend, what we talk about, what decisions we make, and how we think. A lifestyle change is no small choice … if it’s authentic.

True followers seek “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

No one follows Christ without making a genuine change. Ephesians 4:22-32 shows us how a life of loving the Holy One requires putting off our old self and putting on the new. Old habits like lying, sinful anger, stealing, corrupt talk, and unforgiveness have to be put away. Like cleaning out Twinkies when we choose to go sugar free, past routines fall away as we take on holy habits in their place. True followers of Christ Jesus change.

Holy habits due to contrast

Sports seasons inspire fans to bring out team flags, wear jerseys, do cheers, and follow players. Devotees don’t follow every team; just their own. They may be aware of others, but they don’t buy into others. Real followers want their loyalty to be known. It’s the same for real Christ followers, “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:8)

Instead of continuing to let darkness reign in our practical life, new life in Christ means the light of the Lord shines into every area of our personal everyday. The fruit of the Spirit within us comes out in how we talk to customers, discipline of our children, respond to hardships, solve financial problems, react to our mate, view our computer screen, deal with family relationships, see our culture, choose reading material, conduct our sexual life, participate in our local church, and get dressed daily. God’s light where darkness once reigned shines into every crack of our lifestyles.

The contrast brought by Christ can’t help but create holy habits where darkness once reigned.

Holy habits due to imitation

Reflection reveals the authenticity of our admiration. After all, isn’t imitation the highest form of flattery? A child’s mimicry on Fathers Day shows how much they watch, idolize, and strive to follow dad … or not. God’s unchanging holiness only requires a change in those who call Him “Abba,” Father. Our imitation brings Him praise.

For the children of God, holiness in practical living is the only believable response to the Father. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God,” (Ephesians 5:1-2).  Our growth in practicing holy living reveals the genuine nature of our adoption as sons of God.

Before we joined God’s family through Christ’s holy sacrifice, we were “sons of disobedience.  When our father was the Devil, we imitated him. Once we’re adopted into God’s holy family, covered in a righteousness not our own, our Father is God, and we imitate Him through obedience. Like a child who grows older, revealing more and more of their father’s nature in the way they look, talk, walk, smile, laugh, and do life, so a child of God imitates the heavenly Father in holiness more and more.

A child of God has changed, lives in contrast to the world, and imitates the Father through holy habits in practical ways in everyday life.

Would you be willing to pray this prayer?

Father, You are my Father. I want to imitate You, like a genuine child who reflects Your nature. Would you make me alert to practical areas of my life where I need to mimic You more? Help me see where I’m acting more like the old me than the new me. Show me how to apply holiness in all of my life habits.

New beginnings start with history

new beginnings start with history

Based on reliable information, I was destined to be a real hell-raiser. But before I could grow up to write a long, empty, broken history, God spared me and drew me to Himself. Like many others who began a relationship with Jesus as a child, I don’t have many sordid tales to convince you I was on the path of destruction. Maybe you have a testimony of early salvation and you’ve struggled with how to tell a story of life change and new beginnings that seems rather dull compared to those of dramatic transformation.

Look no further than your own family history for the answer to your dull dilemma.new beginnings start with history

With the ease of accessing information, there has been a resurgence of interest in genealogy and family history. God can use this to reach people! Online sources like Ancestry.com have taken away the barriers of discovering our ancestors. Author George Orwell spoke truth when he said,  “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”  Without looking at our history, both recent and far, we fail to shape a solid case for sin. As we uncover our lineage, we trace the pathway of the footsteps we were destined to follow.

Who were you on track to become before you began a new life in Christ?

Out of a love for history and a longing to connect with family, I began a search for my history, hoping to find something noble and redeeming.  What I found was evidence left to me by generations back to the late 1500′s. Instead of a long line of saints, I found a yearbook of lost, empty, broken, lives. I needed a new beginning.

I was not only born to “look” like them, but to LIVE like them.

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, emphasis mine)

I know we’re all born as sinners and destined to die because of it, but my family history proves I was born onto a trajectory that set me on a course for vices like alcohol, anger, and abuse. I had no hope of being a fine, upstanding citizen on my own. You?
When God intervened in the life of my parents and then in my life, He saved me from a future that was as sure as my history. He washed me, changed me, and declared me righteous because of what Jesus did. He is the God of new beginnings. Only Jesus can change the course of a life.

Praise God He can and does change the course of lives every day!

So, what’s in your story? Who were you destined to become?

New Beginnings Series - donotdepart.com