1 Thessalonians 4:3
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:”
The doctrine of sanctification is a very important doctrine in the believer’s life in order to live a victorious Christian life. Sanctification is the action and process of being freed from sin so that you can be more like Christ. Every believer should live their life daily trying to be more like Christ. However, one of the main problems that many face is the challenge to overcome the sin that besets them. Many have vices or sinful habits and actions that hinder them from this process of being sanctified. What is that vice or sinful habit in your life that is keeping you from being more like Christ? What is that thing that has conquered you for years that is killing your confidence to be what you are supposed to be for Christ? I want to challenge you to overcome whatever it is that is hindering you from being more like Christ. Seven things you must do if you are going to win this sanctification challenge.
First, you must realize that it is God’s will to be sanctified. In other words, it is a sin for you not to overcome the habit or action that continually hinders you from being who you are supposed to be for Christ. You cannot live the sanctified life as you should if you give excuses to justify your sinful habits and actions. Admitting they are a sin is critical to winning this challenge.
Second, realize it is a battle. If you are ready to accept this challenge, you are going to have to be ready to fight to make it happen. You cannot be passive in the fight against sinful habits and actions; you must face them as a life or death battle. No other mindset will conquer these sins.
Third, abstain from what would keep you from being sanctified. In other words, you must practice restraint if you are going to conquer your sinful habits and actions. You must tell yourself “No.” There can be no “cheat days” in the battle against sin because every “cheat day” is a losing day and a day of sin.
Fourth, control yourself. Self-restraint is a critical component of conquering your flesh. Verse 4 says, “…know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;” In other words, learn the triggers that lead you into the sinful habits and actions, and avoid anything that causes you to do them. You must not allow your flesh to control you, but you must yield to the Holy Spirit of God’s control.
Fifth, know your position in Christ. Verse 7 says, “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” It is much easier to control yourself when you realize who you represent all the time. My friend, you are always on duty as a disciple of Christ which demands that you do right all the time. Recognizing your position in Christ will help to do right because of who you represent.
Sixth, realize it will make you a better person to those you love. Doing right makes you a better husband to your wife, wife to your husband, parent to your child, child to your parent, friend to your friends, or whatever relationship you have with others. The choice becomes clear of what you should do when you realize you are choosing between the ones you love or your sinful habit and action.
Seventh, stay busy serving the LORD. The best way to overcome sin is to stay so busy doing right that you don’t have time to do wrong. The busier you stay doing right, the more you change your appetite from wrong to right.