Summary: An explanation of the New Testament words for sin: harmatia, parabasis, paraptoma, anomia, and opheilema and means of overcoming them.
How Faith Helps Us Overcome Sin (I John 3:9,10)
"No one born of God continues to deliberately, knowingly and habitually practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him. His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him and he cannot practice sinning because he is born of God... No one who does not practice righteousness, who does not conform to God’s will in purpose, thought and action is of God , neither is anyone who does not love his brother his fellow believer in Christ."
Quote: Sin hurts. I would not consume poison or jump out in front of a truck, why then would I sin knowing that he who sows to his own flesh reaps corruption?
Why do you suppose that so many people struggle with the sins of omission, commission, faulty disposition and attitudes as well as presumptuous sins? Perhaps it the failure to appropriate the new life of Christ in us through faith. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Active faith facilitates the putting away of disbelief, disobedience and destructive thinking patterns. True faith has the miraculous capability to help us realize that in the world we will have tribulation but we can be of good cheer because Christ has overcome the world, the flesh and the devil and through His power we can too. (John 16:33)
Illustration: What Happens to a Backslider?
Attention-getter: The Christian who harbors secret sin in his life is looking for trouble.
1 John 1:8-9—”If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
When a True Christian sins, what happens?
1. His Fellowship with God is severed. David, when backslidden, mourned, “Day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer” (Psalm 32:4). As Clouds hide the sun for days, so Sin comes between the soul and God.
2. The Joy of salvation is lost. One loses all relish for spiritual things: the heart is empty. David, in this condition, confessed, “My sin is ever before me” and “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit” (Psalm 51:3, 12).
3. Power for service is lost. The Holy Spirit’s power is Essential for any real witness for Christ. It cannot be Faked. David prayed, “Thou desirest truth in the inward parts” and “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:6, 10).
4. The Christian invites divine chastisement. Hebrews 12:6-7—”Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth....What son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Psalm 89:32-33—”I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless, my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.”
5. There is loss of reward. (Read 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.) Out of Fellowship means out of Service—out of service means that one is failing to lay up treasures in heaven. He is building of “wood, hay, and stubble” which cannot endure the test of the rewarding day (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Many will be chagrined in that day by suffering Loss of Reward.
Keith L. Brooks, Essential Themes, (Moody Press, Chicago; 1974), pp. 48-49
Let us examine five words in the New Testament that teach us about overcoming sin:
1. HARMATIA - This is the most common word for sin which originally meant missing the target or the mark God set for righteousness, truth and love found in Christ. For a person to fail to hit the target may mean that we are only off a few degrees in any direction. Yet, Paul wrote, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom 3:23;6:23)
Harmatia means that sin has disallowed one from seeing, believing and doing all that God expects of us. Faith helps us live up to our potential in Christ through the enabling power of the word and the Holy Spirit.
Believing people are able to maximize their potential by fulfilling God’s plan for their life by displacing destructive tendencies with constructive ones. Faith helps us keep God’s target in mind in what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent, admirable and praise-worthy and then puts those attitudes into action. Through prayer, meditation and active obedience I can experience victory over my own tendencies to stray from God’s intended pathway. Faith allows us to perceive the essentials and over-ride and not over-react to all of the distractions from what I need to focus on. Do not let sin obscure your vision but fix your eyes on Jesus as the author and perfecter of your faith. (Heb 12:1-3)