There is no truth like the truth of the indwelling sin that set me free. You know, I used to think that Satan was the one who made me sin against God. Oh, yes! I used to rebuke him one million times a day but that didn’t seem to solve my problem. I then heard that Satan’s angles are billions, so I thought at least half of those billion of Satan’s angels are staying with me. So, I continued rebuking them like a lunatic, sometimes looking like a person with a black belt in karat, if you know what I mean.
Then I learned that my number one enemy actually lives in me. Some theologians call it “the original sin.” Listen to this:
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that GOOD ITSELF DOES NOT DWELL IN ME, THAT IS, IN MY SINFUL NATURE. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 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.” (Romans 7:15-20 -Capitalization is mine)
Christianity is then the process of putting to death this indwelling sin by living in Spirit.
“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (Hebrews 12:4)
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:12-13)
So, a Christian is always in war with this indwelling sin but not by keeping list of things to do and not to do, such as:
1. I am not going to masturbate today,
2. I am not going to watch porn today,
3. I am not going to have sex with my boyfriend today,
4. I am not going to watch that addictive show today,
5. I am going to pray for two hours, fast for the whole day and read 20 chapters of the Bible today.
Nah! No one can sanctify him/herself by following this kind of list. That is why Christ came so Holy Spirit does the sanctification work in us. Instead we starve the sin that lives in us to death by living in the Spirit. Listen:
“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. ” (2 Timothy 2:22)
“Pursue” is the key word here that most of us don’t give that much attention to. We usually get consumed by the thoughts of how to run away from our sinful deeds but we tend to forget pursuing the life of Christ, pursing love and peace with other brothers and sisters in Christ by building a meaningful, purposeful, authentic and transparent relationship with them.
Most people who are slaves to lots of filthy and sinful acts are the ones who try to run away from sin without pursing the life of Christ with others. They may live with others, come to church and get involved in the church ministry, but they never share their life struggles with others. So, they are totally lonely.
Are you that person? If you are, let this word of God speak to you today. Remember, Jesus left us example how to live a Christian life by living with three of His best friends (Peter, James & John) to whom He revealed His true identity on the mountain (Matthew 17). ///
P. S. From all the authors I know, I think John Owen is the one who extensively dealt with this topic in many of his books such as: “Indwelling Sin in Believers,” “The mortification of Sin,” and “Temptation.”