Knowledge is the key. God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). I have created this page, Living Water, for that purpose. Can We Stop Sinning, Should We Stop sinning, and How To Stop Sinning are all coved on separate pages.
Behind every sin there is an evil desire. That's because sin starts at the point in which our evil desire is conceived, imagined, or visualized in our mind, as if we were living it out (1 John 1:13-15). Once we have planned an evil desire out, as if we are going through with it, or once we have visualized it as if we were living in it (happening right now), we sin.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. NKJV
Most of us think we sin only after doing something that is wrong, but as you can see, according to the verses above, sin actually starts long before that. We need to know that, if we plan on stopping sin in our life.
Sin is tackled in our thinking long before it becomes action. Listen to the Word of Jesus below.
27 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. NKJV
As you can see, sin starts in our thinking, and we can sin in our thinking, and the more we sin, the more we will be given over to sin’s control (Romans 6:16-18). That’s why the best time to talk to a person on drugs (for example) is not when he is about to participate in it, but back on Tuesday, when he starts thinking about the paycheck that he will receive on Friday.
Wisdom is at the crossroads (Proverbs 8:2). In other words, his ability to see where his decisions will take him is only visible before he makes his mind up to take the path he is on. Once his mind is made up he sins, and the general direction of his path is set; destruction. You may be successful in bending his path somewhat or delaying it, but his direction will not change until after he reaps the suffering (Galatians 6:7-10). Suffering changes character (Romans 5:3-5).
Things such as drugs and alcohol or usually not the main sin, but the controlled sin (Romans 6:16), or the way and means of destruction. To place all, or even most of our focus on the destruction is the same as fixing a car after the wreck, but never fixing the driver. However, fixing the driver is most important. We could almost ignore the car once the driver is corrected, because the driver will repair the car himself.
A good tree does not bear bad fruit (Matthew 7:18). Stop focusing on the fruit, until you fix the tree. An orange tree is supposed to bear oranges. You can tell it to bear apples from now on, and you can force it to sit in an apple field, but if you leave it to itself, it will have oranges on it.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. NKJV
33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." NKJV
We have to make the tree good. How do we do that? We have to change what’s in the heart (verse 34 above). How do we do that? If a person is willing to change, have them read the pure Word of God from the New Testament, out loud, all day long, to the point of knowing the truth (John 8:31-37), or to the point of retaining it (Romans 1:28-32).
If they are unwilling to do that, then you are wasting your time. Sure, we can help a person fit into society a little better, but the bottom line is that they will not make it in the end. I am so sorry.
Renewing our mind with the truth is very important (Romans 12:1-2 below). That is our first order of worship after coming to the Lord. In fact, no one can test and approve what God's will is until they first renew their mind.
12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. NKJV
It’s our reasonable service, or in other words, our duty to give the rest of our life as a living sacrifice to God after what He has done for us (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). What does He want us to do? Verse 2 above tells us exactly what to do and how to do it.
Do not be conformed to this world, but instead be transformed by renewing our mind. That’s our first order of service back to God after being saved. Only people who renew their minds and stop conforming to the world are transformed into a new person. They are the ones who die with Christ, and they are the one who will have a resurrection from the dead like Christ.
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. NKJV
Can you see the word “if” at the beginning of that verse? Those who overcome are not hurt by the second death (Revelation 2:11, 1 Corinthians 3:15), and only those who are not hurt by the second death participate in the first resurrection (Revelation 20:5-6). Most of us have been lied to for years about the coming of Christ, but here on this website my main focus is to help people turn from sin (James 5:19-20).
I know people who stop conforming to this world, but did not renew their mind, and I know some who renew their mind, but still conform to the world around them. I want you to know that neither of those work and it only leads to confusion. When people can’t figure out why they cannot stop certain sins, that’s the first question I will ask. Have you stooped conforming to this world, and renewed your mind with the truth?
You may not wear fine jewelry or waste money on the things of this world, but have you renewed your mind with what is actually written in your Bible? On the other hand, you may you may be like I was. I could quote Ephesians 4 and 5, 2 Timothy 2, and Romans 6 from memory, but I was worldly, and because of that, things were not working out.
God’s instructions work, just like they are written. Take out one little part and something is going to be missing in the results category. We stumble because we disobey the message (1 Peter 2:8). It will work, but we will have to be careful and follow all of the instructions.
Do not conform to this world. That means do not imitate, do not follow what they do, do not obey this world’s customs, and do not be like them. Why did Jesus call Peter Satan?
23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. NKJV
Why did Jesus call Peter Satan? He had his mind set on the things of men, or the things of this world and not on spiritual things.
This is the point during a seminar on sin that people begin to complain and say things like, “Jesus went to a wedding, so why would we have to always be thinking about scripture and the things above?” My first response is that Jesus Christ didn’t have a sin problem. He could go wherever he wanted to go and not sin, and most of us are not in that position yet, but if you will allow me to teach I will show you how to get there, Lord willing.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 teaches us how to fight like Christians. Do Christians fight? Yes sir they do (Hebrews 12:4). They fight against sin, and they do it in their thinking.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. NKJV
Christians fight by casting down imaginations and anything that exalts itself (elevates, raises, come up) in their thinking that is against the knowledge of God to the point of bring every thought into captivity. Imagine that. Read the next passage of scripture and notice who will have life and who will have enmity (hostility) against God.
3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. NKJV
The carnal (fleshly, worldly) minded person is hostile toward God (verse 7 above). Why? He doesn’t want to stop conforming to the world around him. He doesn’t want to “live according to the Spirit,” but according to the flesh because it feels good. It does feel good to the flesh, but only those who walk in the Spirit can stop sinning.
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. NKJV
According to those verses, only those who walk in the Spirit or in a position to stop fulfilling the lust of the flesh. Sin starts with a lust (desire) in our thinking (James 1:13-15 above). The flesh and the Spirit are contrary to each other. In other words, they desire two totally different directions. Therefore, we can’t just do whatever pops up in our thinking, but we have to fight in our thoughts and choose the Spirits desires. In this way we put to death the miss deeds of the body through the Spirit.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors — not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. NKJV
Now I know that you are not going to be able to flip a switch and make that happen in the next thirty minutes. No, it takes practice, and a good starting place is to accept and believe scripture just like it is written. This is another reason why renewing our mind is so important.
If you have a question about the things I have covered please contact me. This is explained in more detail in my book, “How To Stop Sinning any type of sin,” and "Stop Sinning and Be Healed." Both are 99 ¢, but I will answer your questions for free.
I'm alan ballou; a servant.