Being a Christ follower and dealing with nagging sins seems so conflicting at times. You can desire holiness and righteousness while also giving in to sin in your life. Paul describes the internal battle like this:
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
— Romans 7:15
So how do we gain control over our flesh? How do we overcome the battle in front of us?
It all starts and ends with the gospel.
The gospel has given us all of the resources that we need to fight and become victorious over sin. One of them is the perfect patience of God.
But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
— 1 Timothy 1:16
Even in the middle of your darkest hour, the creator of the world has not given up on you. He still believes in you and loves you as much as he will ever love you or anyone else. Even when you feel like you have given up, your God is there, believing and knowing that you have victory.
Another resource that the gospel has given us is forgiveness. We cannot out-sin the grace of God.
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.
— Romans 5:20
There is freedom in knowing that you are already covered and forgiven by your creator. You are seen as perfect because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Not only does this remove you from sitting in guilt, but it opens your eyes and your heart to the beauty of who Jesus really is. And when there is adoration, there is worship.
The gospel has also equipped us with actual power to overcome sin in our lives. You do not fight this battle on your own. You are not equipped with just human weapons against the flesh of this world. We have been gifted with a spirit of power, love and self-control. Through the Spirit, we have been given power that is beyond ourselves to overcome sin. Through the Spirit, we can truly…
not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
— Romans 12:21
Stand strong in the gospel. It provides all you need to defeat the sin in your life. And finally, do not lose hope. God is always working to sanctify you and make you more like Jesus.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
— Romans 5:3–5
Have hope in the promises of God. They are all yes and amen through Christ. You will never be let down or put to shame for having hope in the Lord. He will make you more holy and, in the end, give you victory.