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Do You Believe You Can Win Against Sin? | How To Break a Stubborn Habit #5

Many of us are stuck in a rut by our sinful behavior. But we can say “no” to sin because of the resources we have in Christ. Pastor Lutzer discusses how we can stand firm in the work Jesus accomplished on our behalf. If we have no obligation to follow the sinful desires of the flesh, what keeps drawing us back to the demands of our old life? 

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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” Thanks for joining us again today. We’re doing a very brief series, entitled, “How to Break a Stubborn Habit.” And we stressed various elements that have to go into our disciplined life, and today I want to stress the role of faith. You know the Bible indicates that God does not expect us to do anything that he has not first of all done for us. In other words, if we’re to say no to sin, the reason that we can do that as believers is because in Jesus we were given the resources to believers is because in Jesus we were given the resources to say no to sin. And it’s a matter of faith to receive those resources and to apply them.

In order to illustrate what I think the scripture is teaching in Romans 6, let me give you this illustration. Let’s suppose that you had a landlord and you had this apartment that you were renting from him and he would come and he would harass you and he would increase the cost of the rent and he would hold you accountable for things that you didn’t do and he would do everything that he possibly could to make your life as miserable as he possibly could. Then let us also suppose that a new landlord were to come and to purchase that apartment and perhaps other apartments that are part of the complex. What would you do if this new landlord who is a very wonderful man who did not demand from you anything that was unreasonable, a landlord who was interested in your welfare — what would you do if your old landlord knocked on the door, insisted that you pay him rent again, and began to harass you? Well you might not take him on directly one on one, and the reason is because he might be stronger than you, but what you would do is you would call the police, you would work through the authorities and that landlord would never show up on your doorstep again. If you’re a believer in Jesus Christ he has purchased you. You no longer belong to Satan and you no longer belong to yourself. You belong to him.

Now this is what the scripture says in the book of Romans. “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” Imagine that. New ownership. A new landlord. No obligation to the flesh. No obligation to Satan.

Now, my friend, don’t do what a lot of Christians do. What they will do is they’ll pray to God and they’ll say, “Oh God, crucify the flesh. Oh God, I pray that I might not be enslaved to sin.” And somehow that doesn’t work. Why? Because they lack faith. You read the text. It says this is something that God did for us when Jesus died on the cross. God put us into Jesus so that his death figuratively speaking became our death and he has won the victory over the flesh and over the devil and one of the ways in which we participate in that victory is to stand firm in what he has revealed and to thank God that the work has been accomplished.

I want to emphasize the way I began this session when I said that God does not expect us to do anything that Jesus Christ has not already done for us. In other words, we have a basis for the transformation of our lives and the transformation of our stubborn habits into something that is pleasing to God. Now, of course, there’s a battle involved. Satan is involved. We can’t get into those details except that we must stress this: God is on our side. And the way we access the blessing of God and the strength of God is through faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.”

As we’ve been studying together, in the first episode we stressed that victory is possible and we must believe that. Second episode we stressed that God is good. We must believe in the goodness of God and that following his way is best. Number three we need to deeply repent. Number four we need to worship. And today we have stressed the need for faith. You say, “Well, Pastor Lutzer, what is the sixth going to be?” Well, you tune in next time and we’ll give you point number six.

Thank you so much for joining us today. I hope that you’ll take time to subscribe, follow, and share but as for today, you just go with God. 

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