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How To Overcome Sin — Part 4 (Obeying)

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)

The fourth, and final, step to overcoming sin that we will consider in Romans Chapter 6 is the most obvious, yet typically the one that seems to give us the most trouble: obeying. How do we overcome sin? By obeying God. Easier said than done? Perhaps.

Obeying God is something that, up to this point in the book of Romans, hasn’t really been mentioned. The Apostle Paul has been previously discussing Salvation, of which our ability to obey God does not play a role. We are not saved by how closely we follow God’s Commandments and, as the case has already been made in the first 3 chapters, this is a good thing since none of us are capable of perfectly obeying the Law of God. If our Salvation was contingent on our obedience, we would all be doomed.

In contrast to this, it is now revealed that the fulfillment of our Sanctification, however, is contingent on our obedience. We are declared righteous by the grace of God, secured by faith in Jesus Christ alone; but in order for us to actually become righteous, we are going to have to obey God. We are declared holy by a holy God based upon what He has done on our behalf, but if we are to actually live a holy life, we must obey God’s will.

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:7)

Before we came to faith in Christ, it was absolutely impossible for any of us to really obey God — even if we had the desire to do so. But once we are in Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells us making obedience possible. It is as we walk with the Spirit, obeying the will and commandments of God, that our Sanctification takes on new meaning. We are set apart for the use of God (sanctified) the moment we accept Christ, but that Sanctification can only become a practical reality in our lives as we obey Him.

Those final words of Romans 6:16 show what it is that ultimately leads to a righteous and holy life: “…obedience unto righteousness.” We can know, reckon, and yield all we want, but it is obeying God that defines and results in a righteous and holy life.

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:14)

Regardless of how complicated we make it, obeying God is simply living with a singleness of purpose: that we will live to please Him and not to fulfill the desires of our flesh. This means that we will have to say no when temptations arise (and they will most definitely arise); we will need to choose to follow God’s agenda for our lives rather than living for our own gratification. Though this may seem at times to be far too daunting of a task, and we will all stumble from time to time, the Holy Spirit of God empowers every believer with the ability to stand against any temptation. Residing within every child of God is the Power to overcome sin, to trust in Jesus Christ for the deliverance from the power of sin just as we trust in Jesus Christ for deliverance from the penalty of sin.

“…And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19b)

Let us obey the Lord Jesus Christ and live a life that is holy and pleasing to Him.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

 

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5 responses

  1. Thank you, Loren, for another great part to overcoming sin . . .obedience. :) I’m a big fan of obedience. I know that sounds crazy, but I really appreciate knowing what to do and doing it. You encouraged me with this post by assuring us that it isn’t as hard as it sounds. We can know what pleases Him and do it. For me, sometimes I don’t know exactly what to do, but as I go forward, there will be a peace about what I’m doing and I’ll know that I’m walking in obedience. (or not, and I’ll have to stop and do differently! ha!)
    God bless you and yours, Loren! So thankful for you and the truth that you get out there for us all!

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  2. Thank you, Loren
    “Regardless of how complicated we make it, obeying God is simply living with a singleness of purpose: that we will live to please Him and not to fulfill the desires of our flesh.”
    Amen, and amen.

    As someone once told me, we work really hard to make the simple things complicated :-)

    Thankful for His finished work which brought us the ‘simplicity’ of our salvation.

    Blessings
    ann

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  3. “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)

    The great theme of the entire Bible is God’s love for man, expressed perfectly in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Even in the great Old Testament book of the Law, Deuteronomy, God’s love is woven throughout. Those who do not really know the Lord mistake His commandments as cruel oppression (much as my kids think that my “commandment” to hold my hand when we cross the street is mean and unreasonable). But God gives His commandments and statutes out of His love for us, out of His desire for our well-being and safety. And we obey His commandments because we love Him. I guess I am saying that I am really a big fan of obedience, too :)

    There is definitely a peace that comes only when we are walking in harmony with God’s will. How awesome is that?

    Thanks, Deb, for your faithful obedience to the Lord; your obedience and dedicataion to fulfilling His will in your life is a blessing to so many :)

    Loren

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  4. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3 ESV)

    Oh, how complicated we tend to make it! The Lord said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:21). It is amazing that we struggle with it as hard as we do :(

    “Thankful for His finished work which brought us the ‘simplicity’ of our salvation.”

    May we love Him and obey Him with simplicity, never complicating our walk with Him.

    Thanks, Ann, for everything you do and your obedience and faithfulness to the Lord :)

    Loren

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  5. […] How To Overcome Sin – Part 4 (Obeying) (answersfromthebook.org) […]

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