Summary: How to live a holy life, and be victorious over sin.
HOW TO LIVE VICTORIOUSLY
1. God expects his children to be holy. That means they must live victoriously over sin, “Be ye holy, for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16).
2. God promises that we should be victorious. “Thanks be unto God which always causes us to triumph in Christ” (II Corinthians 2:14).
3. Victory over sin has two aspects. First, turning from sin and, second, turning to Jesus. A fireman on a hook an ladder couldn’t get any closer to a little girl on the ledge of a burning building. He said, “You grab my arm and I’ll grab you . . . jump and trust me.” She grabbed him, just as he grabbed her. In a picture of salvation we grab God just as He grabs us. In a picture of holiness, we let go of sin (repentance). God grabs us and gives us His power to live for Him.
B. VICTORY MEANS LIVING AN ACTIVE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
The main emphasis in the Christian life is the active tense. The Bible is written not in the passive but in the active. God expects action.
1. An active Christian lets his new nature control his life. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: all things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17). Counting to ten when you get angry is not God’s way of victory. The new nature has power, therefore, we are to allow the new nature to give us victory over sin.
the power of a new car carries you, not walking.
the airplane carries you, no effort.
2. An active Christian shows gratitude to Christ. “Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). The greatest dishonor to Christ is to continue to live by old sinful habits. We honor Christ by living for Him. The bible calls unsaved people “children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).
3. An active Christian protects himself from sin. Separation is turning from sin and yielding one’s self to God. However, separation does not mean isolation. A Christian still lives among sinners and has to come in contact with sinners every day. Jesus prayed, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15).
4. The active Christian avoids temptation. An alcoholic cannot fellowship with his old buddies in the tavern without being tempted. “Lead us not into temptation” is one of the most important requests in the Lord’s Prayer.
“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall . . . but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (I Corinthians 10:12-13).
5. An active Christian maintains a strong testimony for Christ.
a. Many new Christians are worried about the influence of their old buddies on them after they get saved. However, if a new Christian has a strong testimony for Christ, the old buddies will either get saved, or never come around again. “Abstain from all appearance of evil”