Our sanctification is accomplished by faith (Heb. 11:6) through the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Thess. 2:13, 1 Pet. 1:2). The apostle Paul writes: “but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11, NASB).
Jesus produces in us lifelong growth in holiness, bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit within us. Our being changed into His likeness “comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18, NIV).
Read Galatians 5:16-17. What does Paul tell us in these verses?
There is a battle going on in every believer. The tension we all face stems from the fact that sin dwells in us (Rom. 7:20). The apostle Paul knew about this battle when he declared toward the end of his life: “I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14, NASB).
Read Hebrews 12:1-2. What is the fight of faith that we are to wage against sin?
The battle we are called to fight is to fix “our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (Heb. 12:2, NASB). Too often we are self-centered in our religion. We focus too much on our victories and on our defeats rather than on God, who alone can give us victory over sin. When the Holy Spirit helps us to look unto Jesus, we will have no desire for sin and everything that so easily entangles us is put aside (Heb. 12:1). But when we focus on our sins and shortcomings, we look at ourselves and not to Jesus. This leads to easy defeat because, by beholding our failures, we can so easily get discouraged. However, by beholding Jesus, we will be encouraged and can live victoriously.
|If someone were to ask you, “How do I get the victory over sin that is promised to me in the Bible?” what would you answer, and why? Bring your response to class on Sabbath.|