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Habitual Sin: What is Habitual Sin? (Stuck in Sin) - How to Deal With Habitual Sin?

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

Habitual Sin: What is Habitual Sin? (Stuck in Sin) - How to Deal With Habitual Sin?

"This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, host Dr. Josh Philpot speaks with Dr. Richard Caldwell about habitual sin. What is habitual sin? Is a habitual sin different than other sins? Is practicing sin the same thing as habitual sinning? Is someone who habitually sins an unbeliever? Are there differences between how a believer and an unbeliever deal with habitual sin in their lives? Dr. Philpot asks Dr. Caldwell to help us gain insight into the differences regarding practicing sin, habitual sin, and sinning habitually. Dr. Caldwell says that where there is new life there are new desires. It results in new hatreds and new loves. Where eternal life has come, the believer has received a new nature. That new nature is internal, and it desires to please God. Before this, we were unregenerate, living in the flesh, slaves to sin with no power to overcome it. But with new life in Christ, the power of sin has been broken. So even though the flesh still abides with us as believers, we are no longer enslaved to it. We now battle sin daily through the power of the Spirit. The trajectory and direction of our life have been forever changed. That change results in a new lifestyle and a new course of life. While we still sin, we aren’t just given over to it; we don’t revel in it; we battle it. As we grow in the Christian life, there is maturing that takes place. And through it, we learn what it is to overcome sin, though, in this life, we will never be sinless. Dr. Caldwell turns to 1 John 2:4-5 and shares from it to help us understand what the pattern of growth should look like in the life of a believer. Next, Dr. Caldwell turns to 1 John 3:4-5, reading and sharing, from this passage. He explains that salvation brings with it respect for God’s authority. Before we are saved, we don’t respect God’s law, His commandments. Instead, we cast off these things and live our lives as if there is no authority over us. Salvation changes all this; we do not go on making a practice of sinning. Anyone who goes on in their sinning reveals they have no regard for the authority of God. That is not what belongs to a believer’s life. Dr. Caldwell picks up again at 1 John 3 and reads from verse 6 to verse 9, which he tells us teaches us about our new nature. The new nature we receive has changed everything. Not only should we not practice sin as a pattern, but we can’t if we are born again. In fact, says Dr. Caldwell, this is what verse 10 teaches us. As believers, we pursue righteousness, not sin. We have a respect for the Word of God and desire to be submitted to the authority of God. We don’t make a practice of living to our flesh in habitual, ongoing, unrepentant sin. However, as previously mentioned, this doesn’t mean that believers are sinless; 1 John 1:8 makes this clear. The Christian knows they sin. They grieve over their sins, want to be free from them, and long for the day when the battle will be over. Until then, we engage in war against it, seeking to put sin to death. When it comes to whether we are a believer who is dealing with habitual sin or an unbeliever who is just habitually sinning, there are differences. Dr. Caldwell gives a few examples of how we can understand these differences. One he has already mentioned. Believers want to be out of their sin; they want to be rid of it. For them, it involves grief, godly sorrow, and repentance that turns to God in faith to deal with it. The unbeliever is not troubled over their sin. But if they are, it is usually related to remorse. This reveals itself in sorrow over being caught in the sin and sorrow over the repercussions of the sin. It is regret that does not look to God; there is no solution. The result is that the unbeliever goes on sinning because there is no power to overcome it. The unbeliever has no faith that looks to God to overcome sin. The battle to mortify our sin as Christians is a life-long engagement. We are to be killing sin, or sin will be killing us. We cannot claim to know Christ and live in disregard to our sin, the Bible is clear about this. We either know Christ and are in the Spirit, controlled by the Spirit seeking to please God, or living in the flesh controlled by the flesh and cannot please God." from video introduction. #extraordinarygod

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