Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj
If it is not possible to overcome besetting sin in our lives as believers, the Bible will not even call us for it. But it does! Hear the writer of the letter to the Hebrews: “Therefore, seeing we also are compassed by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 KJ21).
There are those who are merely satisfied with the cleansing work of the Cross. Does the Cross cleanse us from sin? Of course! Apostle John wrote, “the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all Sin” (I John 1:7 ESV).
The Cross of Christ does more than just PURIFICATION. It gives us POWER over habitual sin. The Cross of Christ does more than just WASH away sin. It gives us the wherewithal to WALLOP sin! The Cross of Christ does more than just CLEAN sin. It enables us to CRUSH sin’s grasp over us!
The connection between the Cross of Christ and victory over besetting sin is so clearly established in Scripture that we will have to be stone-blind or be heavily influenced by cultic hyper-grace hell-populating teaching not to notice it.
Apostle Peter expressed it clearly. He wrote, “He(Christ) himself bore our sins on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (I Peter 2:24 ESV). Apostle Paul penned the same thing using different words and imagery: “Those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). And when he wrote in Galatians 6:14, “the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and to the world” he was saying this: “thanks to the deep work of the Cross in my life, the besetting sin of worldliness is now dead (crucify here means death) in me!” Jesus died so that we might have victory over sin in our day to day lives.
Let me talk about various “P”s that help us understand how the blood of Christ gives us victory over daily, besetting sin.
PEACE & THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
Prophet Isaiah wrote, “the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him” (Isaiah 53:5). When we choose to sin against the Lord as a believer, the first result is a loss of peace. The knowledge that we will lose our peace when we sin should strongly deter us from walk down the familiar path of sin. Yes, that journey to watch a web series full of erotic scenes is not worth it for it destroys our peace which was given to us because of the work of the Cross. Yes, that online affair outside the boundaries of marriage is not simply worth it because our serenity goes for a Six (to borrow a Cricket imagery)! Apostle Paul wrote, “we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (Romans 5:1 NLT) on the Cross. “When I commit a wanton wickedness against my Lord, my peace will go for a huge Six. I don’t want that to happen. So, I will overcome the temptation before me by tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit!” That is what we should say. That is what we should do.
PRECIOUSNESS & THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
The Bible says, “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ” (I Peter 1:18-19). When we realize the preciousness of the blood of Christ, we will realize how atrocious it is when we keep returning to same old sin (that porn-watching, that drunkenness, that abusive language, etc.).
Hosea’s wife left him to go to the Red Light area for prostitution. But that did not put a red light (stop) on his love for her. He bought back his wife from the Red Light District operators by paying 15 pieces of silver, five bushels of barley and a measure of wine (Hosea 3:2). These things were by no means cheap those days. They were very expensive. Exodus 21:32 and Zechariah 11:12 tells us that the price of slave in the Jewish slave market was 30 shekels of silver. Translate that into today’s world where to ‘buy’ a kidney also you need to shell out a bomb. Imagine the price of one full individual, then! Hosea paid this monstrous amount, part in silver (15 pieces), part in agricultural produce (five bushels of barley and a measure of wine). After redeeming her, Hosea told her not to return to the Red Light area as a prostitute (Hosea 3:3). She had to put a ‘red light’ (stop) on her life of sin having experienced a love from her husband which did not stop even though she went into the red light area! Having been bought with something far more precious that Prophet Hosea paid for his wife, which is the precious blood of Jesus, we must also take efforts to overcome sin. Since we were “bought” with a price – the utterly precious blood of Jesus – we must glorify God in our body, the Apostle Paul wrote (I Corinthians 6:20). We must stay away from sinful habits that destroy our souls and bodies – torrid habits such as masturbation coupled with porn-watching, alcohol/drug consumption, sexual activity outside marriage, etc.
THE PROFANING & THE BLOOD OF JESUS
The author of the book of Hebrews wrote these powerful lines: “How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned blood of the covenant by he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of Grace?” (Hebrews 10:29 RSV). And when do we profane the blood of Christ? The same author answers this question very directly: “when we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth” (Hebrews 10:26 NIV). So, when we are tempted to watch that profane web series that is showing in that popular streaming service (Netflix and the likes) we must tell ourselves this: “If I watch that, I would profane the precious blood of Jesus which I do not want to do. So, I will overcome that temptation empowered by the Spirit!”
Yes, it is possible to beat besetting sin through the blood of Jesus!
THE PERSECUTION & THE BLOOD OF JESUS
John observed in the Book of Revelation this: “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not lives even unto death” (Rev. 12:11). Yes, end-time believers overcame “the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world” (Rev. 12:9) through the blood of the Lamb (the Lord Jesus Christ). The Devil tried to threaten these believers with severe persecution but because they were inspired by the blood of the Lamb they did not “love their lives so much that they were afraid of death” (EXB version of Rev. 12:11). Jesus was extremely bold as he marched toward the Cross. While his disciples ran helter-skelter when the Roman arrest party came, he very boldly marched towards them saying, “I am he (the one you have come to arrest)!” (John 18:4-6). His bold voice threw the arrest party on the floor. They were flabbergasted. He was that bold! So, his blood gives us the courage in the face of persecution that can came to us for saying ‘no’ to sin. Therefore when we say ‘no’ to sin inspired by the blood of Jesus this complaint that the writer to the Hebrews made about his congregation will be no longer true about us: “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Hebrews 12:4 RSV). Instead of compromising with sin trying to escape the brickbats, inspired by the blood of the Lamb we will conquer sin despite the onslaught of severe persecution which may come from the Government, from your boss in the place of work.
Keep connecting the above-mentioned four “P”s – Peace, Preciousness, Profaning, Persecution – with the Cross of Christ! Habitual sin, which the Bible clearly warns us against (I John 3:6), will be a thing of the past!
This article was published in Evangelical Fellowship of India’s AIM magazine (April 2021 edition). Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. He has preached by invitation in over 20 Indian States and in five nations, in a ministry that has spread over three decades. His book, STRAIGHT TALK (on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, Sexting, Phone Addiction, wise life partner choice, happy marriage, and More), is seen by some as a Reference Text Book on what the Bible has to say on these Taboo Topics, and is available on Amazon and Google Books. Alternatively, you can reach out to him via WhatsApp at 91-8886040605 or email to email@example.com to buy a copy.