Why Stop Sinning?

Why Stop Sinning?  This is a very important question.  Are you doing your best not to sin?  Why?  When it comes to motive, there are two major categories:

1)   Motive 1 – To earn God’s favor, to clean yourself up and make yourself right with God.  You want to stop messing up because you know you should stop messing up.  You want to make sure that you are as obedient as possible so as to be able to give a positive report regarding your behavior when the Day of Judgment comes. Your motive is a driving force, a mixture of guilt, fear and anxiety fueling you when you battle your desires.

2)   Motive 2 – Because you have been made into a new person who hates sin.  You actively try to avoid sinning, and even when you do sin, the pleasure is fleeting because you recognize it for what it is.  You are increasingly compelled to separate yourself from sin in the same manner you used to be increasingly compelled to indulge in sin.  The avoidance of sin is now a part of who you are because you are saved, with no thought being given to the idea that your obedience will save you.  Your motive is a love of Christ who saved you, and obedience is an increasingly large part of your nature.  Your desires are changing and becoming more and more in line with those exhibited by Christ.

So which is it?

Folks, if the reason you are trying to stop sinning is more in line with Motive 1, well, you have a problem, and it’s a big one!  The problem can be summed up by this verse:

For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight Romans 3:20

Avoidance of sin and the performance of good works never saved anybody.  So if this is your motive, it is a hopeless pursuit!  Indeed, this has been the lie of every false religion throughout the ages.  Even today, this is the message found in many churches that call themselves Christian.  Don’t believe it!  Scripture makes it clear that salvation comes through faith alone.  It comes when you cling to Christ’s work on the Cross in the belief that He paid the penalty for your crimes against God.

Motive 2 is the motive of the true believer.  The reason for this can be summed up in these passages:

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:25-27

The true believer recognizes the truth of this verse:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast Ephesians 2:8-9

When a person is made a new creation, it is part of their new nature to obey.  They obey out of love, not out of an incessant striving to make oneself right in God’s sight.  They are not perfect, and they still sin, but the reason they fight sin is very, very different.  They have the assurance that they are saved, so they don’t have to keep trying to get saved.  They know their works will do nothing to earn a salvation that they already have.

So… Why are you trying to stop sinning??

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3 Comments on “Why Stop Sinning?”

  1. Robert Lloyd Russell Says:

    Excellent reminder of a basic Biblical truth.
    God bless you.

    Reply

  2. revivalandreformation Says:

    “Because you have been made into a new person who hates sin…”

    My sin put Jesus on the cross and continues to do so to this day. Calvary didn’t stop at the hill, He died for our sins past, present AND future. Are our sins adding to Christ’s sufferings? I shudder to think about that, but we must!

    Reply

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