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Breaking the Cycle of Sin in our Lives

posted Jun 1, 2014, 2:53 PM by Website Administrator   [ updated Jun 1, 2014, 2:54 PM ]
May 11, 2014                            
Key Passage: Romans 6:1-23

“Breaking the Cycle of Sin in our Lives”

Quick question: how many of us feel like we’ve been set free from the power of sin (and let’s be candid here - save the “Sunday School” answers for later)?  Really, how many of us feel dead to sin?  If you’re like me, it often seems we’re not the master – we’re the slave in this area.  And it doesn’t seem to matter how much we pray about it, or how much counseling we get, or how many articles we read or sermons we hear – we just can’t seem to conquer this area.  It could be anger, porn, materialism, gossip, or a critical spirit – but it’s in control, and we’re not.  Eventually, you get bogged down with a sense of guilt and weakness that’s hard to understand, given our standing in Christ.  Of course, this all boils down to feeding self rather than feeding the Spirit God has given us … and the flesh can be brutal, cracking a remorseless whip and driving us to even greater depths of depression.  Mastering self is the key difference between possessing eternal life (which all Christians have), and possessing that abundant life Jesus came to give.  And isn’t that what each of us really wants?

2 Secrets to an Abundant Life (starting with the “end in mind,” let’s first read 2 Corinthians 2:14-16)

1.  Romans 6:11-23 Breaking the cycle of sin that entangles and chokes the life out of us

Romans 6:16-19  Fact #1 – Sin makes us a slave Here’s a profound psychological fact: human beings are made to be mastered.  Somebody has to master us.  God is at work in us, and so is Satan.  We’re given basically two choices in life: who will we serve?

Romans 6:20-21 Fact # 2 – Sin will make you ashamed No matter how small or great, sin always leads to shame.  For Christians, it’s called conviction; for others, it’s condemnation.

Romans 6:22-23 Fact #3 - Sin leads to death Sometimes it leads to a physical death (addictions; horrible choices); however, it always leads to spiritual darkness.

2.  Romans 6:1-10 Get your facts straight, and trust them rather than your “feelings”

Romans 6:1-5 Fact #4 – Our Position in Christ God never asks us to believe something without first giving the facts.  This is the great foundation of our Christian faith: IT RESTS ON FACTS.  Our old nature died with Christ – in fact, it not only died, but was buried as well – totally put away.

Romans 6:6-10 Fact #5 – The Authority of Sin is Gone See if this sounds familiar: we try to be good, but choose to do wrong and then we confess.  Then we do it again, and confess that.  Finally, we’re ashamed and give up, deciding that the best thing is simply to keep up as good an appearance as possible.  We actually become content with defeat.  But it’s not supposed to be this way – sin’s authority is gone!
Q:  What do you do with the flashbacks and voices in the night that keep reminding you of past sins?
Q:  How does the knowledge of your death to sin affect your struggles with sin?  Your prayer life?
Q:  What does the phrase, “what you believe dictates how you will behave” mean?

Bottom Line: The abundant life is not about you doing your best for God – it’s about Christ doing His best through you!  Keep in mind, what you believe dictates how you behave.  It’s vital for us to understand and believe the truth about ourselves from God’s point of view – not ours, or our feelings.  We must see ourselves as those who are dead to sin and alive to God.  This is what dying to live means.  The question, then, becomes: who are you going to believe?  God’s Word or Satan’s whispers?  The devil comes along trying to convince you that you don’t have the power to resist sin.  Who will you believe?