There are pulls on our heart that want to keep us from living out what we know God wants from us. Sometimes, we deny those pulls. Other times, we fail. Some sins are an occasional slip up. Some are more regular struggles. There are some wandering desires that are deeply entrenched in our hearts. These struggles can be so entrenched that we even lose the desire to fight against them. The Bible is filled with warnings about the effects of sin in our life. In my own fight against sin, I have found these warnings helpful. So, I want to give you six biblical reasons to fight against sin in your life:
1. Our sins done in secret are not so secret. “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops” (Luke 12:2-3). Many sins we struggle with are private struggles. We think no one is watching. But, all of our sins are seen and will be made known.
2. Our sins embarrass and shame ourselves. “But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death” (Romans 6:21). In light of the first one, whether our sin is found out in this life or the next, sin will end in sadness. The happiness we think sin will bring is quickly fading, leaving shame in its place.
3. Our sins make us lose out on what God wants to do in our life. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). Sin is not just violating a list of rules. It’s primarily a break of a personal relationship. We grieve God by our sin. We resist what he wants to do in our life. When we realize that God wants to bring us happiness, joy, fulfillment, fruitfulness, and satisfaction, it helps add perspective to our choices. Choosing the opposite of God’s plan brings the opposite of what God wants to bring us.
4. Sin hardens our hearts. “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13). Sin makes us less sensitive to God’s work in our live. It stifles our desires for righteousness, for enjoying a relationship with God, and for God’s mission in the world. One sin can make another sin more likely. Sins can very easily become patterns in our life that begin to enslave us.
5. Sins give a position of power to the enemies of our soul. “And do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27). A foothold in rock climbing is a place to put your foot so that you can advance further up the mountain. Whether this means that our sin gives Satan more ability to tempt us or dissuade us or whether it means that it gives him more opportunity to accomplish his purposes in the church or in the world, both are bad. One defeat may give way to worse defeats. A small victory may keep out an influence far worse in our life.
6. Sin produces death. “For the wages of sin are death” (Romans 6:23). Sin makes us less than what God created us for. It wrecks havoc on relationships, the world, and our souls. If we follow sin to its end, we will find eternal chaos and destruction. We get little tastes of that now. Sin deteriorates what God created to be whole.
I use these biblical passages to wake myself up when I’m being tempted. It’s not all the Bible says about resisting temptation, but it’s a bit of the warnings of what sin wants to do in our life. May God strengthen us to fight this enemy of our soul.