The Overcoming Believer's Life
John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have
overcome the world."
Dear reader, God wants you to live an overcoming life! Please read the following lesson with faith, not in yourself, but in God. The Believer's life
is an overcoming life. Even though we will definitely have problems and personal struggles in this life, we will be able to overcome because of
Jesus. Because of Him, we have victory over the world, including sinful habits, bitterness, loneliness, guilt, fear, and discouragement.
This "Daily Maintenance" is essential for all believers, not just beginners in hopes of becoming a new creature fashioned by the Holy Spirit.
The proof is in what John was told to tell the church of Ephesus:
"I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are
apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and
have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you
have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place unless you
repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.''
NKJ Revelation 2:2-7
The Nicolaitans were the early Gentile syncretists, who felt they could build communities of believers with the mortar of compromise or political
correctness. These were the false teachers that crept into the church, who disguised themselves as followers of Christ – who professed to be His
ministers and servants – but who led the people astray.
Our prayer is to become "Overcomers" through the power of the Holy Spirit. The "Overcomer's Series" is a gem written by Tyson S from scribd.
Lesson 1 - Overcoming sinful habits
Philippians 1:6, "… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
As a Christian, you are an entirely different person than before you accepted Jesus. Now, you are forgiven your sin and are justified. You have
been born again spiritually, and the Spirit of God lives in you. However, we still have sinful habits that God wants to change. In order to become
more mature and established Christians, God will help us to overcome our sinful habits.
What are sinful habits?
Habits are any routine we feel compelled to follow. Some habits we developed when we were children, such as washing our hands before eating.
Some habits are because of addiction, such as smoking or gambling. Other habits we developed because of bad influences or environment, such
as cursing and swearing.
Obviously, some habits are sinful and can be very harmful to ourselves and other people. If we keep hold of sinful habits, we give the devil a way
to destroy our lives. For example, if you have a habit of criticizing others or saying sarcastic words, then the devil can use that to destroy your
friendships and family relationships. Sinful habits are like bits in the mouths of horses; Satan can use them to control us in the same way the rider
controls a horse.
The truth is, without God, we will never be free from the bondage of sin in our lives. Because we are born with a sinful nature, we will always be
slaves to sin unless God comes to set us free. When we become a Christian, God begins a work to change us.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11, "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually
immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor
slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you
were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
Some of the Corinthian church had very sinful habits, attitudes, and addictions before God worked a miraculous change in their lives. God is the
same yesterday, today, and forever, and what He did for the Corinthian believers, He will do for you as well!
How to overcome our sinful habits
1. Truly repent of our sins
The first step to overcoming our sinful habits is to recognize those actions are sinful. The devil may try to tempt us by making those sinful habits
seem insignificant, but God cannot tolerate any sin. The devil’s goal is to pull you away from God, and he will make the sin seem small.
Remember how the devil talked to Eve in the Garden of Eden? He lied and tried to make the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
seem desirable. Eventually, Adam and Eve decided eating the fruit was better than obeying God.
Proverbs 3:7, "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil."
Therefore, do not love your sinful habits! Don’t be wise in your own eyes like Adam and Eve, and think your sinful habits are insignificant.
Actually, every time the Holy Spirit reveals some sin to us, we should be ready to change. If we do not, then eventually our hearts will become
calloused and we will go deeper and deeper into sin. If you haven’t already, take some time now to pray to God and repent of your sinful habits.
Ask God to forgive you and cleanse you by the blood of Jesus.
2. Receive God’s Word
When we read the Bible and listen to preaching and teaching, God’s word will change us. The Bible says the word of God is living and active, and
reveals our inner thoughts and attitudes. The word of God is compared to a hammer that breaks rocks in pieces, like a double-edged sword that
pierces our soul, and like water that cleanses us. It is God’s tool for changing our hearts. When we read the Bible or listen to the word being
preached, we should open our hearts to change. God will use His word to cleanse us and mold us into His image.
Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and
spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
God’s word is also like spiritual food. We want to be strong spiritually so that we can win the spiritual battle against sinful habits. Therefore, we
need to read the Bible and listen to the sermon CDs frequently.
3. Depend on strength from God, not ourselves
Overcoming sinful habits in our lives is difficult, and so we need to pray and ask God for help. This principle of depending on God’s strength is
the key to a successful Christian life. In fact, even Paul the apostle depended entirely on God’s strength to overcome problems and personal
struggles. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul wrote about a “thorn in his flesh” that made him depend on God. Even through all of his hardships, Paul
was not defeated by difficulties, but prevailed over them because he depended on God.
Practically, we can learn dependence on God by fasting and praying. When we fast and pray, we learn to say “no” to our flesh, or sinful desires,
and say “yes” to the Holy Spirit. Of course, fasting and praying is difficult, but it trains us to not easily give in to temptation, which often comes
through physical senses: we want to touch, taste, or see something. Fasting and praying trains our body to obey our spirit.
When we pray to overcome sinful habits, we should not give up, but rather keep asking God for help. The person who wrote Psalm 121
understood what it was like to completely depend on God for help:
Psalm 121:1-2. "I life up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and
4. Live Spirit-filled lives
The Holy Spirit is like a fire inside us that cleanses us from unholy things, including sinful habits. In Matthew 3, John the Baptist says that Jesus
will baptize with the Holy Spirit. When we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit is like a fire that burns up sinful things in our lives.
Matthew 3:11-12, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not
fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor,
gathering wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
We should be filled increasingly with the Spirit so that God can change us quickly. Our sinful desires conflict with the Spirit of God; either you
crave sinful things or you will hunger for more of the Holy Spirit. When one hunger becomes stronger, eventually the other will grow weaker. Paul
wrote to the Ephesians not to crave alcohol, but to hunger for the Spirit and be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18, "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit."
Christians who hunger for the Spirit and are continually filled with the Spirit naturally produce the fruit of the Spirit, which is defined in Galatians 5:
22-23 as: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
In order to be filled with God’s Spirit, we should stay in fellowship with other Spirit-filled Christians, and wait upon God by praying during personal
time and in the service.
5. Replace the old with new
Finally, simply stopping our old sinful habits is not enough—we must replace them with godly habits, such as reading the Bible, learning worship
songs on the guitar, and fellowshipping with other Christians. Anything you enjoy doing that gives glory to God is a terrific “godly” habit!
Similarly, we should also stop receiving negative influences and receive godly influences. Our environment and community makes a big impact on
our daily life. For instance, if we continue to hang out with friends at the bar, then we will continue to be subject to temptations. Instead, we should
seek out fellowship with other Christians who can encourage us to give up our sinful habits.
This is one reason why caregroup and discipleship are important. We need to have godly relationships where we can practice “bearing each
other’s burdens” and encouraging one another. If we really want to overcome our sinful habits, we should seek out good Christian fellowship.
Hebrews 10:24-25, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting
together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
What should we do with our non-Christian friends? Well, if these people are associated with sinful habits, then you need to be careful to not
relate to them in that context any longer. Instead, offer to do something else with them and invite them to join your caregroup or church activities.
6. Don’t give up
One last thing to remember: God will always be on our side as we struggle against sinful habits. Therefore, we should never give up because we
stumble or feel discouraged. Don’t give up, because God does not give up on you.
Practically, it is good to set specific goals, such as focusing our efforts day-by-day or week-by-week. We should also remember to replace the old
sinful habits with new godly ones. You can also share about your challenges with Christian brothers or sisters that you trust and ask them to keep
We all have sinful habits that Satan uses to pull us away from God. But with determination to turn away from our sin, the truth of the word of God,
and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can eventually overcome sinful habits.
1. Do you think you still deal with sinful habits?
2. What are the results of sinful habits in your life? Do they interfere with your relationship with God or other people?
3. After learning this lesson, how do you plan to overcome sinful habits?
4. Do you believe God can set you free from sinful habits?
5. What are some godly habits that you need to encourage?
Daily Maintenance: Overcoming Sinful Habits
|"Balancing the Goodness of Torah with the Grace and Mercy of Messiah"
Congregation T’shuvat Yisrael-Daily Maint: Busting Sinful Habits
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