LIFE DOMINATING SINS
BCF Notes Quiz: What is the “________________” passage for LifeDominating Sins? As we read through the emphasized or “boxed” notes in our BCF text, what Scripture keep showing up as the key passage or “go-to” Scripture for understanding how to deal with, and overcome Life Dominating Sin?
Page 354: When you willingly or unknowingly are under the control of any power other than God’s Holy Spirit (e.g. drugs, alcohol, sex, another person, your peer group, a false religion, a self-centered habit such as gossip or laziness, or a self-oriented desire for power, food or wealth), you are in bondage to sin. However, God has broken the power of sin through the Lord Jesus Christ, and you can overcome sinful habits by depending on His strength and being obedient to His Word (based on John 8:34-36; Romans 6:1-7, 6:11-22; Romans 8:11-15; Galatians 5:16; 2 Peter 2:19b; 1 John 3:23-24, 5:1-5).
Page 355: Whenever you practice a particular sin, you place yourself under its control. While enslaved by that sin, you cannot legitimately claim to be wholeheartedly following Jesus Christ. If you persistently continue to practice this sin and do not take biblical steps to overcome it, you have reason to doubt the genuineness of your salvation. In spite of your own inherent inability to overcome the bondage of a life-dominating sin, God’s grace, mercy and power have been provided for you, as a sincere believer in Jesus Christ, to overcome any sin. Furthermore, as you overcome sin’s power by God’s enablement, the character of Christ is developed in your life (based on Psalm 119:9-11; Romans 6:1-14, 8:2; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20; Ephesians 2:1-10; 2 Timothy 2:22; Hebrews 10:26-27; 2 Peter 1:2-10; 1 John 1:6-2:6, 3:4-10, 4:4, 5:5).
Page 356: Only after you experience a spiritual new birth and then continually obey Scripture will you be able to recognize and overcome a life-dominating sin in a manner that pleases and glorifies the Lord (based on Romans 6:6-7, 6:11, 6:16-18, 8:8; 1 Corinthians 2:14, 6:9-12, 6:19-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 5:14, 13:20-21; James 1:21-25; 1 Peter 2:2-3, 2:12; 2 Peter 1:2-11).
Page 361: To determine the effects of a life-dominating sin, you must examine the way it is demonstrated in all areas of life. If you practice a life-dominating sin, it will eventually affect all relationships and responsibilities. Other life-dominating sins are often developed and practiced to “cover up” (practice deceit) for a primary life dominating sin (based on Psalm 36:1-4; Proverbs 1:24-32, 2:11-15, 4:19, 5:22-23, 12:20a, 13:6, 14:14a; Romans 6:16; Galatians 5:16-21; James 1:22-24; 2 Peter 2:20- 22; 1 John 3:4-9).
Page 362: Satan, the primary adversary of God and man, has great and evil power as the prince of this world. Part of his diabolical plan is to deceive all mankind, to accuse believers before the Lord, and to cripple God’s children by encouraging them to sin. Jesus Christ, through His redemptive death and victorious resurrection, has overcome the power of Satan. This victory has been given and is readily available to those who are in Christ (believers) (based on Romans 6:5-6; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2, 6:12; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 3:8, 4:4, 5:4-5; 5:18-19; Revelation 12:10).
Page 365: This lesson’s homework provides encouragement as you are reminded that God has provided sufficient resources and power for you to overcome any lifedominating sin through the Lord Jesus Christ (based on Romans 6:1-7, 8:11-18; 2Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 2:14-15; 2 Peter 1:2-11; 1 John 4:4, 5:4-5, 5:18).
The “Go TO” Passage for ________________ Dominating Sins
What passages do you find in all six of those noted paragraphs of the BCF text? Write the chapter and verses in the space below: _____________________________ : __________________________________________________________
So that means that anytime you are personally struggling with some area of sin defeating you regularly; or you meet someone anywhere who needs help with any of these areas plaguing them: They have somehow gotten under the control of any power other than God’s Holy Spirit (they are struggling with: drugs, alcohol, sex; they are dominated by the will of another person, or their peer group; they are blinded by a false religion of works; they have gotten enslaved to a self-centered habit such as gossip or laziness; or they have slowly become driven by a self-oriented desire for power, food or wealth). All of those “Life Dominating Sins” and situations can be addressed from this passage of Scripture in Romans 6.
Now as we continue with this lesson we need to be:
Understanding Romans 6, __________________________ & the Spiritfilled Life of Victory We, as believers, have been set free from sin by Christ’s redemption. We are now free to live a life pleasing to God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our redemption price is the precious blood of Jesus. He alone makes it possible for a righteous God to justify us, when we as believing sinners come to Him through Christ’s redemption that satisfied God’s
justice. We are redeemed to become God’s slaves. We are set free from the bondage we had to sin. We are no longer under the control of our old master Satan. Christ’s redemption now allows us to experience the fellowship with God, and ministry for God we were created for. The plan to make our lives lived out for God glory is presented in Romans.
The Book of Romans
As we head to Romans 6 in our Bibles, note the flow of the chapters in Romans , which is so instructive:
• Chapter 1 reminds us of the decline of the human race since the Fall of mankind into sin (Genesis 3).
• Chapter 2 reminds us that God sent His Word through His chosen people of promisethe Jews.
• Chapter 3 reminds us we all are sinners.
• Chapter 4 declares that faith is the key to salvation in Christ.
• Chapter 5 describes the greatest doctrine of salvation: justification.
• Chapter 6 reminds us that salvation is tied to redemption: all we who experience the justifying death of Christ, find that it unleashes for us His sanctifying life.
Knowing God: Justifying & Sanctifying Us
We are now going to survey what I call one of the “war chapters” of God’s Word, Romans 6:1-14—and there we find the tactics God left us to win. God has defeated our enemy, armed us with superior weapons, and offers to lead us into victory every time we obediently follow Him! There are two divisions to this passage:
1. Know what _______________ has Done (6:1-10)
2. Know what ________________ must do (6:11-14)
Just before we read what Paul wrote, may I again remind you of the two sides of the coin of salvation? We could call the two sides: faith and works, as James does. Another way would be to use Paul’s words from Romans—justification and sanctification.
J _________________________ & S _______________________________
To best understand what Paul is asking us to do in Romans let me contrast and explain justification and sanctification.
• Justification is what Christ did for me on the cross–sanctification is what Christ is doing in me because of the cross.
• Justification is immediate and was completely finished in me the instant I was saved—sanctification is an ongoing process never completed on earth until I meet Jesus face to face at death or His coming.
• Justification is activated the moment I trust in the Person of Christ Jesus and His finished sacrifice of the cross—sanctification grows with each obedient choice I make empowered by the Holy Spirit.
• Justification is my position declared right in God’s sight—sanctification is my practice made right by becoming more conformed to Christ’s image.
How did I get saved? By trusting, believing, clinging to the truth that Jesus Christ took my sins, and stood in my place and bore the punishment of God’s wrath I deserved. The guiltless One took my guilt; the sinless One took my sin; the holy One took my wretchedness and on and on I could go. But did I see Him there personally? No, it was by what? Yes, faith. I believed the truth of God’s Word and God changed me forever.
First, We Must _________ Ourselves Of What GOD Has Done (6:1-10)
The same way we were saved is the same way we live the rest of our lives. Remember that lesson last time from Colossians 2:6?
Colossians 2:6 (NKJV) As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,Was I saved because I completely understood the Gospel? No, I am still understanding more and shall until glory!
Was I saved because I felt that God saved me? No because sometimes we feel that He couldn’t have really saved us because we are so unworthy and sinful—does that unsave us? NO. Then we get to chapter 6:6, and Paul picks right up where Christ Jesus left off. Paul said that we who are redeemed by Christ’s blood must no longer allow ourselves to go back to slavery to sin. Romans 6:6 (NKJV) 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.
The Choices Redemption Prompts
Redemption makes us no longer slaves to sins, but only a series of correct choices allow us to enjoy the benefits of our liberation.
Romans 6, starting with v. 7, is all about the choices we are allowed to make each day, as freed men and women. Either we choose to surrender of bodies back to the daily control of our new master, or if not, our old master begins to reassert his control upon us. Listen to Paul’s plea on behalf of God in v. 7-10:
Romans 6:6 (NKJV) For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Because Christ freed us, by redeeming us “out of” the slave market,; and then adopted us into His family, and declared that we are never for sale again: v. 11 onward has some powerful words about the choices our Redeemer expects from us on a daily basis. Second, we must remind ourselves of what ____ must do (6:11-14) So apply that faith that you and I have for the work of Christ on the cross in our place and apply it now to the rest of our walk. Join me in Romans 6.
• Romans 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV)
• Romans 6:11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
• Romans 6:11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (NASB)
The Six Imperatives of Romans 6
1. Christ in us means we can: ____________________________________________
Now that I am redeemed I can choose to increasingly say yes to my new Master, and obey Him more and more of each day. Romans 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV) Reckon is the Greek word: logidzomai ‘operate on what you know is true’.” I can resist sin, resist my besetting sin, and resist my long-term patterns, because God has given me the strength to do so.
2. Christ in us means we can: __________________________________________
Now that I am redeemed I can choose by grace and through faith to say NO to my old master and deny my flesh more and more each day. Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. (NKJV) “Don’t be so foolish as to try to be what you are not!”
3. Christ in us means we can: _________________________________________
Now that I am redeemed I can choose to STOP the patterns that my old sins led me to follow, like: wasting my time, neglecting God’s Word and prayer, and avoiding the sanctifying habits of Scripture memory and accountability. Romans 6:13a And do not present your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness to sin, (NKJV)
Paul told the believers that they had to put a stop to those patterns that displease God. It is our choice, enabled by God, but made by us: that breaks the patterns of sin. For example, if you struggle with time in the Word you call out to the Lord in prayer, and ask for help to break the old habits that keep you from God. Then, make a plan to read the Bible and pray before the smart phone or computer, or TV. Put your Bible out in plain sight, maybe right where your phone is plugged in, or by your keyboard.
Then as you wake up, or come home and it is time to make a choice: right then with the two choices in front of you of either: God or TV, God or FaceBook, God or gaming, right then you cry aloud and ask God for help. Which leads directly to the next choice:
4. Christ in us means we can: ___________________________________________
Now that I am redeemed I can choose to ask God to help me START a new pattern of holy habits. Romans 6:13b but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness to God. (NKJV) This means asking the Lord to change your appetite. This means asking the Lord to give you the strength to get rid of things that enslave, entangle, and trip you up. There may be cable subscriptions that need to be canceled. There may be an online accountability that may need to be set up. There may need to be an agreement with someone you love and trust to hold you accountable for your new habit of time in the Word, or listening to your Scripture memory.
5. Christ in us means we can: _______________________________________
Now that I am redeemed I can choose to firmly deny my OLD master any place in my life. Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (NKJV)
6. Christ in us means we can: _____________________ ANEW TO OUR NEW MASTER
Now that I am redeemed I can choose to Surrender again and again to my NEW MASTER. Romans 6:19 I speak in human [terms] because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members [as] slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness [leading] to [more] lawlessness, so now present your members [as] slaves [of] righteousness for holiness. (NKJV)
Preaching the ____________________ to Yourself
Now, in simple faith that saved you repeat that to yourself. (Just like my old pastor John MacArthur always used to tell us ‘preach the Gospel to yourself!’) Say something like this, even if I do not feel it, understand it, or even at times want it: “Lord, I WILL by faith, believing YOU: consider myself dead to sin”.
“Lord I want to operate on what I know is true, you have made me dead to sin.”
✚ ✜ ✚
Around your tables, take turns reading this study guide you are holding, and looking up and reading any Scriptures as needed. When I truly prayed, asking in simple faith for Christ to save me—whether I felt a strong emotional feeling or not, God began His work within me. I started changing from the inside out. The same is true with these imperatives. God never commands me to do what He hasn’t already given me the grace to accomplish by faith through His Spirit!
Now go through the same process the rest of the way through Romans 6—
• I will not let sin reign…
• I will not present my members…
• I now by faith present myself to You God…
• I present myself to You Lord as your slave…
• I ask You to enslave my members (my mind, my emotions, my desires, my body, what ones are out of control? If they are out of control they aren’t under Christ’s control…)
The Result is Spiritual Strength
The New Testament epistles call us to personal purity or holiness, and are built around dozens of imperatives (or requests). Remember that God never asks me to do what He hasn’t already given me the grace to accomplish by faith through His Spirit! Look up Titus 2:11-13, and read it aloud. Now think about what grace from God can do in our lives: “teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts” (Titus 2:12). Then, go back to points 3&4 above, in the imperatives; and listen as someone reads them. As you review in your mind those lists of things that can push God out of His rightful place in our lives, ask God in your heart to convict you of what needs to change.
Our Responsibility to Pursue Holiness
Now read these words below, and discuss them around your table:
“Our participation in the process of sanctification comes only after we’ve been totally accepted and made right before God through faith in Jesus. So yes:
§ We work hard at obeying God’s word.
§ We read our Bibles.
§ We pray.
§ We memorize and meditate on Scripture.
§ We share the gospel.
§ We serve in our church.
§ We fast.
God commands us in His Word to do many things; and our obedience is both pleasing to Him and brings His blessing to our lives. But not one adds to our
justification, our standing before God, our eternal life. Only grace sustains lasting change and sanctification. Through the cross we overcome not only the guilt of sin, but the power of sin as well1.
Make Your Choice Today
Sanctification is like being healthy spiritually. Just like our body needs proper nutrients combined with exercise, so our souls need regular intake of the Word mixed with choices to obey. These two elements: the Word and active obedience to the Word is how the Holy Spirit works. He uses the power of His Word and fellowship with other believers, to peel away our desires for sin, renews our minds, and changes our lives. Each day Christ calls us to renew our desire to respond with these 4 choices to renew our sanctifying habits:
1. I want to: Listen to God DAILY through His Word.
2. I want to: Respond to God throughout the day in prayer.
3. I want to: Make sacred vows to obey His plan for my life.
4. I want to: Share my burdens with another believer so they can encourage me.
And all of these choices to seek, follow, and obey the Lord are only valid if they are prompted by love. We love Him when we have His commands and do them (John 14:21).
Seal Those Choices in Prayer
Close with prayers of choosing to renew some choice from the list above to seek the Lord each day and grow in Him.
1 C. J. Mahaney, The Cross Centered Life, Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2002, p. 31-34.