Bible Studies & Devotionals

From Olive Branch Ministries

By Mark and Tinsley Baker

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Overcoming Sin

James 4:17. "Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."

"What is sin?" If you were to ask most people that question today, you would get answers such as, "well, it is evilness or wickedness; not keeping the Ten Commandments, or not obeying some religious laws."

Sin is lawlessness or transgression of Godís will, either by not doing what Godís Word says we are to do, or by doing what it forbids.

Did you know that the Bible makes a difference between the sins of unbelievers and the sins of believers?

1 John 2:1-2. "My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world."

Jesus was sent to be a propitiation for our sins. That simply means that Jesus died on the cross, to pay the price for our sins, so that we would not have to pay with our eternal lives.

When you accept Jesus and confess Him as your savior, you are accepting the "blotting out of all your sin.

Isaiah 43:25: "I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins."

Everything you did before you got saved is gone - God forgave you, covered it with the blood of Jesus and He does not remember it anymore!

2 Corinthians 5:17: "Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new."

When you accepted Jesus, you became a new creature! Everything you were, everything you did before, is gone- God does not remember it, it doesnít exist, You are brand new!

Does that mean after you are saved, you wonít sin anymore?

NO! When you are born again, it is you inner man, you spirit that is reborn, recreated, not the outer man, you flesh or your mindÖ That part of you is not reborn. Your flesh will be recreated when Jesus comes again, now your new man must live inside your old self.

So what does that mean? It means that Godís nature had recreated your spirit but your fleshly natural still exists and is influenced by your surroundings. What you see, hear, feel, taste or smell. Your natural man, your body and mind are ruled by the natural, your spirit man is ruled by the spirit.

Romans 8:8-9. "People controlled by human nature cannot please God. However, you are not being controlled by human nature; you are being controlled by the Spirit--if God's Spirit lives in you. If anyone does not have Christ's Spirit, this person does not belong to Christ."

You will be tempted everyday of your life! You will be tempted to sin, to not walk in the ways of God. Remember sin is not doing what you know is right or doing something which is forbidden by the Word of God. Stealing is forbidden by the Word of God, murder is forbidden by the Word of God, anger, strife, greed are all listed as sinsÖ Have you been guilty of doing one of these things? If you stole something, or told a lie, that was a sin. If you got upset or let your feeling get hurt over something and you got angry, that is a sin. Everyday of your life you will come up against something that could lead you to sin!

1 Corinthians 10:13. "But remember this--the wrong desires that come into your life aren't anything new and different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you. And no temptation is irresistible. You can trust God to keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it, for he has promised this and will do what he says. He will show you how to escape temptation's power so that you can bear up patiently against it."

Everything you are tempted to do, everything you come up against is not new!

Every Christian throughout time has gone through the same temptations in some form or another. The enemyís (Satanís) goal is to cause you to stumble, to cause you to walk in defeat by getting you to give into the lusts and desires of the world. He wants to destroy you and your Christian walk. He wants to weaken you and your faith until you totally walk in the flesh and not in the ways of God.

What do I mean, walk in the flesh? Your flesh is your natural self. It is the part of you that responds to the world. It includes your physical body and your mind. Your flesh wants to reason, experience things, to find out whatís going on, to have "fun" etc.

Your flesh is controlled by your five senses. What you see, hear, taste, smell and touch feeds information into your body and mind. Not everything we see, hear, feel, smell and taste lines up with the Word of God.

Galatians 5:19-21. "Human nature does things which are wrong. These are clear: committing sexual sin, not being pure, having orgies, worshiping false gods, practicing witchcraft, hating people, making trouble, being jealous, becoming too angry, being selfish, making people angry with each other, causing divisions, envying others, getting drunk, having wild parties, and other such things. I warn you now, as I warned you before: The people who do these things will not inherit God's kingdom."

Romans 8:8. All these are things that you will be tempted to do in your life here on earth.

But we are not to give into the desires of the flesh or the desires of human nature!

" People controlled by human nature cannot please God.".

Romans 12:1. "And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy--the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? "

How do we present our bodies to God, a living sacrifice?

It is a choice you make! You have to read the Bible everyday, learn what it says about you, and your rights as a Christian, what Godís promises are to you as a believer and then you

Claim that promise, receive it and do it! You have to learn what the Word says is right and that what Godís Word says is right will always override the natural way of looking at things and doing things. Godís Word says that "greater is God that lives in you than Satan who lives in the world"!

1 John 4:4. "Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."

1 John 5:4-5. "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"

Because you have Godís nature dwelling in you- you have overcome the world and the things of this world.. YOU just have to accept it and believe it!

You overcome because you have Godís strength in you! Think on these things:

2 Samuel 22:2-3. "He said, "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence."

Psalms 27:1. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; he protects me from dangeró

whom shall I fear? "

Psalms 31:24. "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."

Psalms 37:39. "But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble."


If you truly want to know for sure that you are a child of God, then I would like to invite you to earnestly pray this prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),

So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).

I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).

I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),

And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!

I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!

Glory to God!!!! Amen.