As believers, we are told to avoid sin, but this is incredibly difficult given we are sinful beings. One of the reasons is that we enjoy sinning, though we don’t like to admit it. It feels tempting to sin right before it’s done, then we feel overwhelmingly guilty after it’s done. While it is very difficult to avoid sin, we should all be aware that God wants us to strive for a sinless life. God gives us the blueprint to live a godly and righteous life in Christ. We have been given the power to say “no” to all sin and all ungodliness. The Bible tells us we’ve also been given a new nature and identity, one that is not compelled to sin. Here are six surefire ways to kill sin.
Recognize what triggers your sin.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come” (Luke 17:1). Jesus is stating a very serious truth here, and we need to apply it to our lives and also change our behavior accordingly. If we want to kill sin, we must understand what triggers our sin and recognize our own responsibility. The first step we need to take is repenting of the sin, learning why we sinned in the first place, and calling on God to mend any weak places in our hearts, souls, and minds. When we do this, we refuse to live a life where we are victims of our sin.
Take joy in your salvation.
Joy is imperative in our victory over sin. In Psalm 51:12, David implores with God, “Restore to me the joy of my salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” David wrote this after he had fallen into the grave sins of murder and adultery. Look at how David asks God for a return of the joy of his salvation. This is a key step in our victory over sin. We should know that God sustains us with a willing spirit. If we want to combat sin, take joy in being saved. God takes great joy in saving us.
Pay attention to the law.
Often, people think that removing sin from their life means adding more rules to their life. We shouldn’t look at it like this. God ultimately gave us the law so that we would be aware of our sin and turn to Him. Romans 3:19 says, “Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God…” Ultimately, the law is good and is a reflection of the nature of God.
Seek the Holy Spirit.
Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit can be “grieved” and “quenched,” as referenced in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 and Ephesians 4:30. This is why we must walk in constant communion with God and also be willing to repent when we are aware of our sin. Too often, we hide our sins in the closets of our hearts. We’re too afraid to confront our sins. We don’t even want to talk about our sin with God. The truth is if we want to be filled with the Spirit, we have to be willing to open the closets of our hearts and invite God in. Seek the Holy Spirit for your strength against sin.
Turn to others for encouragement.
If we want to kill sin, we have to involve others in the struggles we’re dealing with, so we can overcome them. It’s especially important that involve other Christians who can also walk alongside us. The Bible says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). If you’re feeling alone, you will feel vulnerable. We must remember that we were not created to go through this journey of life and sin alone. We are called to love and serve one another. When we do this, we can truly find strength in the face of our sin.
Resist the enemy.
If we are trying to kill sin, it’s imperative that we resist the devil and all his empty promises. As Christians, we have to be aware of evil's reality and its constant presence around us. We will struggle to stand firm in our faith. Even the most steadfast believers do. We must see that our enemies aren’t just human ideas. They are the true source of darkness. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” One of the realist weapons we have to fight the devil and sin is our wisdom, faith, and knowledge of God and His Word.
We will struggle against sin daily, but we are blessed to have a Father who loves us, even in our sin. First Corinthians 15:56-58 says, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” The only real way to break the cycle of sin is to accept that we can’t stop sinning. This may sound contradictory, but if someone doesn’t stop trying to save themself, there is no way they can rest in the knowledge of their own salvation. The true joy of our salvation comes from accepting how God’s grace covers us. When we truly understand this, sin loses its power.