Properly Dealing with the Sin Nature
We do not fight the sin nature alone. The Holy Spirit provides the strength to overcome the sin nature by giving us desires to do what is righteous and making it impossible for us to fulfill the desires of the sin nature when we walk with Him.
But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not fulfill (bring to their intended end) the desires of the flesh, Galatians 5:6
walking is referring to how you conduct your life. A spiritual christian is one who has a mind focused on who they are in Christ and is living that out by using the fruit of the Spirit.
You have died with Christ and are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life
or are you ignorant that as many as have been immersed into Christ Jesus into His death they have been immersed? Therefore, we are co-buried with Him through the immersion into the death in order that just as Christ was raised out from the dead through the glory of the Father, thus also we in newness of life should walk, Romans 6:4
Our co-death and co-resurrection frees us from slavery to the sin nature – that part of us that desires to do the works of the flesh and be independent from God.
Experientially knowing this that our old man has been co-crucified in order that the body of the sin [nature] should be rendered ineffective resulting in us no longer being slaves to the sin [nature]. Romans 6:6
Count the fact that you have died and raised with Christ to be true.
Thus also you reckon yourselves on the one hand to be dead the sin [nature], on the other hand to be alive unto God in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans 6:11
Yield your members to righteousness
Stop letting the sin [nature] reign in your mortal body resulting in obedience to it, or present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to the sin [nature], but present yourselves to God as living out from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God, Romans 6:12, 13
Dos and Don’ts Fighting the Sin Nature
Law gives the sin nature strength.
The sting of the death is the sin [nature], and the inherent ability of the sin [nature] is the law, 1 Corinthians 15:56
In Christ we are not under law so law cannot be what we live by to have victory in life.
The Armor from God will not effectively overcome the sin nature because it is designed to protect us against the methods of Satan. This is the same for the defense we use against the world system. Both of these enemies have different ways of attacking us than the sin nature.
The defense against the sin nature requires us to yield to God. We do not fight it, but refuses to obey it by yielding our members to God and righteousness. The Holy Spirit is the One who helps us by giving us stronger desires to do what is right that do not allow the sin nature’s desires to be fulfilled.
The Holy Spirit overcomes the sin nature by giving us desires that are contrary to it. By following Him the sin nature is not able to bring to completion its desires.
but I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not fulfill (bring to their intended end) the desires of the flesh, Galatians 5:16
What you allow your mind to focus on and maintain directly affects what you do. To properly identify when the sin nature is attacking we need to have a mind that is focused on who we are in Christ. This allows us to easily identify a thought that is contrary so we do not accept is, but put up the proper defense against it.
You cannot sin in your mind. Just because you have a thought does not mean you are defeated. Deal with it properly so that it does not become something you desire to perform.
this type of testing is not to get you to fail, but to identify what is good in you. Are you taking God at His Word? How will you know if you are never tested? If we fail then we know we are not really taking Him at His Word and need to correct ourselves. When we success we see the power that God has given us to overcome because we did it His way, not ours.
Know Your Enemy
Using the wrong defense against the sin nature will only lead to frustration and failure.
The works of the flesh are described in detail for us in Galatians 5:19-21.
And the works of the flesh are manifest, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanliness, lasciviousness (lacking morals), idolatry, religious superstitious awe, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfish ambition, divisions, heresy, envy, murder (Senseless slaughter), drunkenness, excessive carousing, and such like.
When we are struggling with these types of desires we are fighting with the sin nature, not Satan, or the world system. God has provided to us a specific defense against each of these enemies that is only effect when used properly against the one attacking. The desires from Satan and the world system are different, even though both use the weakness of the sin nature. Lying is not an attack from the sin nature, it is not one of its works; rather, it is from Satan, where as the pride of life – one who thinks they are better than another because of where they live, the family they come from, the color of their skin, etc. – is from the world system.
Adultery – sex with another person other than your spouse
Fornication – sex outside of marriage
Uncleanness – sexually defiling and dishonoring the body
Idolatry – it is covetousness
Religious superstitious awe – method used to impose a state of superstition in people for the purpose of deceiving them.
Heresy – teaching false information as truth
Selfish Focused Desires
Licentiousness – having no morals, living in excess indulgences
Enmity – acting hostile towards others
Strife – contention, debate, quarrelsome
Jealousy – envious and contentious rivalry
Anger – an inner burning anger
Selfish Ambition – putting oneself forward above others
Division – being divisive
Envy – seeking ill towards another
Murder – senseless slaughter (not just of humans)
Drunkenness – intoxication
Other desires that are like these
The Process We Go Through To Sin
Sin is an act that results from a mindset that is focused on fulfilling the desires of the flesh. Sin is not within the mind; rather, it is the result of of a trespass that is performed.
…but each one is tempted (solicited to do something that lacks in character) by his very own desires, being baited and lured, then when the desire has conceived it births sin, and the sin, being brought to completion, births death, James 1:14, 15
A desire is presented to you from one of your enemies. At this point you have neither trespassed or sins. When you take that desire and accept is as your own, then determine to fulfill it you have trespassed because you have not taken the way of escape God provided and are offending Him. Sin is the next step, when you perform the desire.
Sin is not in the mind
Flee fornication! every sin which perhaps a man does is exterior to the body, but the one fornicating sins because of his own body, 1 Corinthians 6:18.
but the things proceeding out of the mouth come out from the heart, these defile the man, Matthew 15:18
A Trespass is within the mind and before a sin happens
A trespass and sin are distinct in Scripture
and you, being dead in the trespasses and the sins, Ephesians 2:1
Since sin is clearly an action, and the trespass happens before the sin, it is then in our mind that we offend God.