Faithlife Sermons

Avoidance of sin

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God calls his people to avoid sin, and through Jesus Christ gives them the inner power to be victorious over it.


God’s people are to resist sin

1 Peter 2:11 ESV
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
See also Ps 97:10; Pr 4:23–27; 1 Co 15:34; Eph 4:25–5:20; Jas 1:21

The Christian life is a constant struggle against sin

Hebrews 3:13 ESV
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
See also Ac 20:28; Ro 7:14–25; Eph 6:10–18; 1 Pe 5:8–9

God helps his people to resist sin

Release from sin through Jesus Christ’s death

1 Peter 2:24 ESV
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
See also Ro 6:1–7; Ga 2:20; Ga 5:24; Col 2:11–12

The avoidance of sin through new life in Jesus Christ

1 John 3:9 ESV
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.
See also 2 Co 5:17; 1 Pe 1:23; 1 Jn 3:6; 1 Jn 5:18

Believers co-operate with Jesus Christ to avoid sin

Philippians 2:12–13 ESV
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Believers are to put to death what is sinful in them

Colossians 3:5 ESV
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
See also Ro 6:11–14; Ro 8:13

Believers are to exchange sinful for righteous behaviour

Ro 13:12–14 The words used here, and in similar passages, are those used for “taking off” old clothes and “putting on” new ones.
See also Eph 4:22–24; Col 3:7–10; 1 Ti 6:11; 2 Ti 2:22

Believers are to allow the Spirit to inform and direct their conduct

Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
See also Ro 8:5–8; Ga 5:16–25

Practical steps for overcoming sin and temptation

Meditation on Scripture

Psalm 119:11 ESV
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
See also Ps 18:22–23; Mt 4:1–11; 2 Ti 3:16–17

Prayerful dependence upon God

Matthew 6:13 ESV
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
See also Ps 19:13; Mt 26:41; 1 Co 10:13; Heb 4:15–16

Active seeking of the good

Romans 6:19 ESV
I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
See also Ps 34:14; Is 1:16–17; Am 5:14–15; 1 Th 5:22; 3 Jn 11

Incentives for avoiding sin

The fear of God

Proverbs 16:6 ESV
By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
See also Ex 20:20; Pr 3:7; Pr 8:13

The holiness of God

1 Peter 1:15–16 ESV
but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
See also Le 11:44–45; Le 19:2; Le 20:7; 1 Co 6:18–20; 1 Th 4:7

The expectation of Jesus Christ’s return

1 Peter 4:7 ESV
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
See also 2 Co 5:9–10; 1 Th 5:4–6; 2 Pe 3:10–14

A consideration of the consequences of sin

Galatians 6:7–8 ESV
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
See also Mk 9:42–48; Ro 6:21–23; Heb 6:7–8; Heb 10:26–31

The need to be a good witness to unbelievers

1 Peter 2:15 ESV
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.
See also 1 Pe 3:1–2; 1 Pe 3:15–16

The role of others in avoiding sin

Bad company is to be avoided

1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
See also Dt 7:1–4; Ps 1:1; Pr 1:10; 1 Co 5:1–13

A good example is to be followed

1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
See also Php 3:17; Php 4:9; Heb 12:1–3; 1 Pe 4:1–3

Believers are to support one another

James 5:19–20 ESV
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
See also Mt 18:15–17; Ga 6:1–2; 1 Ti 5:20; Heb 3:12
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