Now on post four of our five-part series on killing sin, we see how Christ and the church can help us in our battle against sin. Remember John Owen’s words, “Be killing sin, or sin be killing you.”
Christ as Helper
Temptations will come. Yet, Christ, who has won the battle bringing us to victory (Romans 8:37), went through temptation as we do (Matthew 4:1–11; Mark 1:12–13; Luke 4:1–13). It is because of this that He can come alongside us and say, “I know exactly what you are going through. I’ve been through it too. But I have defeated it. Let me help you.” We learn this as the writers of Hebrews so eloquently puts it:
“For since he himself has suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18, CSB).
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15, CSB).
Don’t attempt to fight sin apart from the power of Christ, for you will fail each and every time. It is Christ who knows what you are going through, who can help you the most. It is he who has stood victorious over sin by condemning it in the flesh (Romans 8:3).
Church as Helper
Though Christ has perfectly defeated sin and man is sinful, our brothers can still aid us in very helpful manners. The first and foremost is in the cliché language of an accountability partner. When I think of a brother or sister struggling through some sin or even through life, I always come to Paul’s words to the Corinthians, “So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). If a brother or sister is hurting through a divorce, I hurt with them. If they rejoice in the salvation of their little girl, I rejoice with them. This applies to temptation also. If they struggle with any form of temptation, my heart hurts and desires to help. We can then edify one another. The diversity of the body is helpful as it is likely another brother or sister has struggled through the same thing with which we struggle. They will be able to come alongside you and fight with you.
James commands us to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another, for “The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect” (James 5:16, CSB). If we do not confess our sins to one another, our brothers and sisters do not know how or what to pray for us. We must be open and honest with one another for the sake of our souls!
In simple terms, Hebrews summarizes it as such,
“And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24–25, CSB).
How else do we best watch out for one another than to provoke love and good works? One way this is done is through confessing of sins and praying over one another. We are so quick to wonder why we can’t defeat a sin, but even quicker are we to make sure those sins are secret and not seek practical measures of help. Don’t be afraid to tell a brother or sister of your struggles, for they should want to help you and pray through the situation with you and for you.
The next post will cover practical measures to take in killing sin and keeping it dead.