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How do you stop sinning?

Yes we have all inherited a sinful nature and this nature will be with us till the day we die. This nature sins, because sin is all it can do. So we are helpless to improve our sinful nature. We cannot please God or do anything considered to be righteous with this nature.

But there is something we can do because it depends on what you want and what and who you choose to serve. Listen to what the scriptures say, and you will see how it is actually possible to stop sinning and do righteousness.

First of all lets have a look at what Paul wrote in Romans 7:18
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Sounds familiar. Well this was written by the Apostle Paul and he pretty much has said what you have said. So how do we get the victory against such impossible odds. How are we converted then? How do we do acts of faith which please God.

Listen to what Jesus Christ said in John 3:3
In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.[ 3:3 Or born from above; also in verse 7] "

So what does it mean to be born again. Do we start life all over again as a child or perhaps we get a clean slate. But even if all our sins are forgiven from that moment, it is obvious that we will sin again and we will be back to where we started.

Let's have a look at this problem. First of all it is taken for granted in the scripture that Man is composed of body, soul and spirit. The body is the vessel that gives us access to the physical world or it is the 'physical conscious' part of us. We can see, hear, taste, smell and feel the physical environment around us. Our soul is the 'self conscious' part of us. We can think about the environment and also understand who we are. The soul is really who we are. Finally, the spirit is the 'God conscious' part of us. But naturally speaking our spirits are dead and the connection between God and us is severed by sin. So when we talk about being born again or born from above, we are talking about being given a new spirit from God that is untainted by sin.

Before the coming of the Christ, King David of Israel cries out for this new birth in Psalm 51:10
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

See Ezekiel 36:26
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

and Titus 3:5
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

When we receive a new spirit from God, at this point we not only become aware of God, but our soul can now be guided by light instead of groping in the darkness. This light gives us understanding and we will also know who God wants us to to and be, because his light will light up our soul. At this point your Soul (you) is saved because God is living inside you, you are his temple, for God cannot dwell in sin.

See 1 Peter 1:9
for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Or James 5:20
Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

So what about your body? Well the truth is that God isn't interested in trying to save this sinful physical body, that is why it continues to degrade and eventually dies. Some religions try to subdue the sinful nature by torturing the body, or with intense practices of discipline. But these works are useless. Our sinful nature is just that, sin. Yes you can perhaps sin in smaller ways, but it is still sin, and sin separates us from God, regardless of the sin. Instead we are promised a new spiritual body when we die. See 2 Corinthians 5:1
Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

And1 Corinthians 15:42-45
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;
43 it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
45 So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

So how do we stop sinning.

Well it is much easier than you think. First of all I want you to look at the second part of Romans 14:23
............... and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

So everything of faith is pleasing to God and everything that is not is sin. Now if you have been born by the Spirit of God, then you have 2 natures living in you. So your soul can now choose to live by either nature. Yes sin is very strong and compelling, but so is righteousness from God. Both natures are strong and your soul not only has a choice, but also a fighting chance because you are now being compelled by 2 natures, not 1. Now if you choose to live by the Spirit you will have eternal life.

See Romans 8:13
For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,

See 2 Corinthians 4:12
So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you

Now each nature is in conflict.

Galatians 5:17
For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

But if we choose to live by the Spirit then we cannot sin. We cannot have faith and sin at the same time. We can do both in our lives, but not at the same time. So how do we stop sinning. We simply do what God wants us to do, and at that precise moment, we will not sin. Lets face it is impossible to do nothing at all, and if we just simply abstain then we are still being lead by the sinful nature. But when we live by the Spirit we cannot sin, for if we did sin, we were not being lead by the spirit in the first place.

See Galatians 5:16
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

In other words instead of abstaining from sin, which is impossible, we should supersede the sinful nature with the nature of the Spirit. It's a bit like the Law of Gravity. We can fight it and we can try to beat it, but it will always have it's way. But when we fly in a plane, the Law of Gravity is still there, but it is simply being superseded by another law, the law of Aerodynamics. Now see Romans 8:2
because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

So the Law of the Spirit is superseding the Law of Sin. Now if we choose to follow the Law of sin, then Romans 8:8 tells us the following:
Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

But we must choose to live by the Law of the Spirit if we want to belong to Christ. See Romans 8:9
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

We have a choice and in the end, that choice determines who we choose to follow. This choice is similar to the choice that God gave to Adam and Eve, when he put two trees in Paradise. Now we can no longer blame Adam and Eve for our sins, because we too have the same opportunity that they had. God's nature or the sinful nature and both are compelling.

Romans 8:5
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

AndGalatians 5:24
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

It's really up to you. What do you desire the most. Eternal life with God, or temporal enjoyment of sin and then death. But realize this, that sin has lost it's sting and power. Now you have a fair choice. You do not have to be a slave to sin anymore.

1 Corinthians 15:56
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

Romans 8:3
For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,

Now if you truly love God, you will choose to live by his Spirit right? If you choose to live by his Spirit, then you are no longer condemned.

Romans 8:1
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

If we choose to live by God's Spirit because we love him more than sin, then we will still sin from time to time, because we may not always have our minds fixed on him. We have 2 natures and at times we will live by the other nature. In these times we have a deal with God. See 1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

And back to Paul, who said in Romans 7:18
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

He concludes in verse 20 with
20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

It's up to you and ultimately you will live by the one you love the most, and herein lies your decision as to who you will follow. Remember God took care of it all for you. You just need to choose who you will follow and to be obedient to him which is a privilege because He is Love.

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