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Breaking the Cycle of Sin?

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So, the other day, I was talking to a friend of mine about how living the Christian life can be quite the struggle Particularly in overcoming those shortcomings, we have that are always rather consistent

You know, the sins that we try to avoid, that we think we get over, but that we wind up doing anyway Now, he and I began to kick around this question, is there any way to have this cycle broken in a Christian’s life? And that is what we are going to explore here in this video My name is Charles, and this is a Simple Not Shallow Video A video for those who want a deeper faith, not a confusing one That is what our name is all about, keeping faith in Christ simple

Well, simple enough that a child like myself can understand it and yet, very not shallow, ok, that’s probably not very good English, but I'm going to stick with it, very not shallow Because, when the storms of life hit, we want a faith that will not have to run aground We want our faith… to be like a good cup of coffee Simple, strong, full of flavor, and richly satisfying Oh yeah

Here we go As my friend and I talked about this, I was reminded, right away, of something Paul says in Romans 7 This is where he tells us that he does what he does not want to do and what he wants to do, he is not able to do it Both my friend and I agreed that this, rather embarrassingly, was an accurate description of our own experiences Yet also in this chapter, Paul indicates that Jesus has already saved him from this cycle of helplessness

So, there has to be a way to break this seemingly unbreakable cycle After all, Paul also says that we can choose to not let sin reign over us, that sin is not our master, and that we have been set free from it Have been set free Let me say that again, have been – past tense – have been set free John even goes on to say that he writes the whole letter of 1 John, with the expressed purpose, so that we will not sin

Both of which put me on the path of thinking and investigating I know… I know… I know, it's always a dangerous to do But I wanted an answer Now, and this is rather important, the Bible makes it quite clear that this is nothing I can do on my own For the limits of space and time restrictions here, I’ll only refer to two specific passages

The first is Paul’s statement, that we already looked at in Romans 7, which shows the need for Jesus to break this cycle and the second passage is Jesus’ very own statement in Mark 10, where he says that such things are only possible for God to make happen So, we are powerless to stop sinning by ourselves, yet sin has no power over the Christian How is this? It is God that makes this happen The question now becomes, how does he do this? How is this cycle broken? And why does it seem to take so long? While investigating this, I came across something that I would like to offer to you as a suggestion for your consideration I have found it to be quite the viable solution in my own life

John says something very interesting He says that whoever loves a brother is both full of light and that “there is no occasion for him to stumble, there is no occasion for stumbling in him" This seems to say that if I love others, I am free from the power of sin Which reminded me right away of something in Matthew Matthew 22, the passage about the 2 greatest commands ever given , to love God with our entire being and our neighbor as our self

Specifically speaking, the passage that came to mind was the one that says that, "The whole law and the prophets are summed up in these two commands” Which also brought to mind passages in both Romans and Galatians; both of which tell us why these two fulfill the whole of the law Simply put, they say that if I am loving, I am fulfilling the whole law because love does no harm to our neighbor And if I am doing this, I am then not sinning Now, track with me for just a second, please

Next, I stumbled onto something in 1 Corinthians Here, Paul talks about this love He says that no matter what he does, religiously speaking, if it is not from love, he ends up being obnoxious sounding, he is nothing, and he gains nothing All his religious effort, if not from love, is worthless Efforts done without God’s love is the essence of doing nothing, of meaninglessness

Then he says something that is mind-bogglingly simple He says, love is patient, it is kind, it rejoices in t he truth, and it always protects, it trusts, it hopes, and it perseveres And he tells us what love is not He says it's not envious, it's not boastful, it's not proud, rude, self-seeking, easily angered, it is not a record keeper of wrongs done, and it takes no delight in evil I am beginning to see why John can say there is nothing that can cause a person to stumble if that person is centered in love

Which brings up one of my favorite Bible chapters of all time, John 15 Which, of course, is the chapter about abiding in Christ Verses 9-17 speak about God’s love, and remaining, that is abiding, in it Here Jesus says that if we obey his commands, we will be abiding in him and our joy will be complete He says, "And this is my commandment to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you” (John 15:12)

If we love one another we are abiding in Christ and are in his love; we are then full of his light and there is nothing to cause us to stumble into sin How simply profound As I look back over my life, it is precisely at those times when I was most focused on loving God and becoming centered in him and his love, that my struggles with sin stopped And it is exactly, precisely when I was no longer intently focused, for whatever reason, on this that the struggles resurfaced That the shortcomings came back

I am not saying that this is a magic wand that you wave over your head and presto change-o no more struggles, no more sin What is being said is that this takes growth, this takes time; all strong and vital relationships always do What I’m saying is, that this, choosing to be centered in love, is a way of life Abiding in Christ is a daily choice, it is a moment by moment choice, it is a choice that involves growth on your part And as human beings, we tend to grow slowly

We just do But we do grow And the more we grow, the less we will struggle with the same short comings Now, others may arise, but that is a topic for a different video So, back to the question, how is this done? How is focusing on loving God done? Well, I have recently been studying the Psalms and I think I found an answer to this question in the very first one

It says, “But, if the law of our Lord is his delight and on his law, he will muse day and night; he will be happy He will be as a tree planted by channels of water…” Musing on God and his law, day and night; that is, to muse on loving God with our entire being and your neighbor as your self, day and night To delight in loving God and our neighbor is the way of happiness; it is the way of being blessed, it is the way of having this cycle broken Isn’t that interesting? The more you do this, muse on God's love and on loving your neighbor, the more God’s love will fill your heart, the more you will not be self-seeking, and so the more this cycle of sin will be gone from your life Removed by God as each and every day you choose to love him and allow his love to fill you

And make no mistake about it, it is God who removes the sin, not you It is as his love fills you, engages you, motivates you, drives you, and becomes the lens that helps you stay focused on him, that it silently removes your tendency to choose sin; to choose your self-interests over God's If we do this, then one day we will look back in amazement, realizing that we were not even aware of it, but the unbreakable cycle had been broken That is simple and very not shallow Well, what do you think? Please take a second and tell me in that comments section below

Also, in the description box below, I will list all the Bible passages I referenced in the order that I referenced them That way you can check me out and make sure that I'm not making any of it up Or standing way, way, way out in left field Also, if you liked this video, please click the like and the subscribe buttons and then make sure to tag that grey notification bell icon that shows up and tell youtube that you want to be notified each time a new video is posted Also, if you would like, you can now take a podcast version of this video with you wherever you want to go

Simply go to simplenotshallowcom and you can download it there, Or you can subscribe to The Simple Not Shallow Podcast, through the podcast service of your choice Be that iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or whichever you'd like That way, you can listen to this podcast while driving your car, walking your dog, taking your morning jog Wherever, whenever, however you'd like to listen

Thank you for taking me with you Yes, thank you, thank you very much And I'll catch you next time

Source: Youtube

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