The Daily Struggle With Sin

It is written:

“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)

And again:

“Don’t be controlled by your body. Kill every desire for the wrong kind of sex. Don’t be immoral or indecent or have evil thoughts. Don’t be greedy, which is the same as worshiping idols.” (Colossians 3:5)

Many believe and teach that when a person obeys the Gospel of Christ, all desire for sin and vulnerability to temptation somehow magically disappears. Yet the Scriptures make it clear that this simply is not the case. The “old man” is constantly desiring to reassert itself, and so we must be continually working to subdue it with its’ passions (cf. Romans 6:16).

This attitude has been especially counterproductive towards addicts who attempt to over drug addiction. As one author has so well written:

“After detection and, if necessary, detoxification, the work begins. Many families, friends, and churches err at this point. Sin, slavery, and idolatry do not go away overnight. There is a Christian myth that change is an event rather than a process; that it is more like a light switch that is turned on than a battle that must be engaged. For some reason, we tend to think—wrongly—that immediate liberation from the slavery of addiction is more glamorous than the gradual process of taking a little bit of land at a time. Such expectations have implicitly encouraged addicts to tell great, though fabricated, stories of liberation instead of simply being honest about their struggles, and finding in that honesty something highly praiseworthy. We must remember that for everyone, the Christian life is an ongoing battle. It is a daily process of mortifying the flesh. We must “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Heb. 3:13). To our shame, Alcoholics Anonymous has a better understanding of the need for daily exhortation than the church.” (Edward T. Welch, Addictions: A Banquet In The Grave-Finding Hope In The Power Of The Gospel, 112 (Kindle Edition); Glenside, PA; The Christian Counseling And Educational Foundation)

The church needs to work to become a place where Christians can minister to each other, confessing weakness and sin and finding helpful support together (James 5:16-18).

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