Sin in the Life of a Christian

Rom 6:12 “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”

Sin comes from one of these three areas found in 1 Jn 2:16

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”  That’s what tempted Eve in the garden and that’s how the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness.  Temptations always involve the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh or the pride of life.

Notice that two of these areas of temptation are from lust, which is what James 1 says”

“13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

Lust is to have an eager, passionate, and especially an inordinate or sinful desire, as for the gratification of the sexual appetite or of covetousness.

Notice that lust resides in the flesh – as I Jn 2:16 says, “… the lust of the flesh” – Eph 2:3 says, “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

When you get saved, you are still living in your fleshly body, which means that you are going to have to contend with the lusts of your flesh and eyes after you get saved like Rom 6:12 says.  Gal 5:17 says much the same, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

So, since we have these lusts in the flesh and in our eyes, it is important for us to realize that these things don’t go away after we get saved.  They are still the strong desires of the flesh and they always want to be satisfied.  However, have you ever noticed that fleshly lusts are never truly satisfied?  What pleasure is derived from fulfilling the lusts of the flesh is always temporary.  If you give the flesh what it wants, you will have to give it what it wants again, as soon as the effects of the former sin have worn off.  The flesh is never satisfied.  It usually must have more and have it in greater proportion as time passes.

Consider this illustration.  A great bar of steel weighing five hundred pounds, eight feet in length, was suspended vertically by a small chain. Nearby, a common cork was suspended by a silk thread. The plan was to show that the cork could set the steel bar in motion. It seemed impossible. The cork was swung gently against it, but no sign of movement. It was done again and again, until at the end of ten minutes the bar gave evidence of uneasiness; a slight tremor was noticed. At the end of half an hour the great bar was swinging to and fro like the pendulum of a clock.  Likewise, fulfilling the lust of the flesh and the eyes may seem that it will not move you away from the Lord.  But with repeated fulfillment, you will find that your sin will have you tossed to and fro.

A certain tyrant sent for one of his subjects and said to him, “What is your employment?” He said, “I am a blacksmith.” “Go home and make me a chain of such a length.” He went home. It occupied him several months, and he had no wages all the time he was making it. Then he brought it to the monarch, who said, “Go and make it twice as long.” He brought it up again, but the monarch said, “Go and make it longer still.” When he brought it up at last, the monarch said, “Take it, bind him hand and foot with it, and cast him into a furnace of fire.” These were the wages of making the chain.  Likewise, fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and of the eyes will cause you to be trapped in the bondage of your sin and destroyed.

So, what are we going to do about the lusts in this flesh so that sin won’t reign in our mortal bodies?  There are several things. The first things are negative and the second things are positive


Make no provision for the lusts – Rom 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

Deny worldly lusts – Tit 2:12, “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”  1 Pet 2:11 puts it this way, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.”

A tall cowboy was sauntering around a large department store. A salesgirl asked him if she could be of any assistance. “No, ma’am,” he replied, “I reckon not; I ain’t never seen so many things I could do without.” There are many choices which sin offers, but we can do without them all.

Put off the old man – Eph 4:22, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”

Flee youthful lusts – 2 Tim 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

Avoid the deceitfulness of riches – 1 Tim 6:9, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” Verse 10 says, “… the love of money is the root of all evil …”


Walk in the Spirit – Gal 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”  The beauty of this is that after a while you are going to begin to experience a satisfaction in Jesus and in the Spirit of God that is lasting, satisfying, enjoyable, not guilt ridden and not corrupt – rather it is holy, righteous and deeply satisfying.  A lady to whom we are ministering said recently, “I still like my old sin” even though she knows that she can only “enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” – she needs to learn the pleasures that are at the right hand of God Ps 16:11 – she’ll be more satisfied with these and her desire for her old sin will diminsh.

Do the will of God – 1 Pet 4:2, “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”

Live the crucified life – Gal 5:24, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”  See and read carefully Gal 2:20.

Stay under sound doctrinal preaching and teaching – 2 Tim 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”

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