Jonathan Edwards and Resolutions (56): Don't Despair in Your Fight to Kill Sin
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it while you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you - John Owen (Overcoming Sin and Temptation)
13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13 NKJV)
If you are in Christ, you are forgiven of your sins- past, present, future. Christ Jesus took your sins upon Himself (2 Cor. 5:21) and God's holy, just wrath was leveled against His only Son so that you could have your sins forgiven and be clothed in the righteousness of the resurrected Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.
You stand forgiven. I stand forgiven. Happy is he whose sins are forgiven (Ps. 32:1). Yet, while we are forgiven fully in Christ we still do wrestle with the sins of our former self- the old man (Eph. 4:22-24). We wrestle with sin as one in Jesus. We confess our sins and repent of our sins in light of the finished work of Christ. We are day by day cooperating with the indwelling Spirit of God and putting to death our sins- mortifying our sins.
And for some of you reading this, you may be wrestling with sins you believe you should have overcome a long time ago. The Accuser who is the Devil would have you drop your head in defeat, self-pity, and despair. You may even be tempted to withdraw further into your sin. Repent of this vicious cycle.
Find comfort in the example of Edwards who though he continued to sin, resolved to not slacken his hatred toward his personal sin. He resolved not to give up his fight to mortify his sin as Paul instructs us in Romans 8 and John Owen encourages us in his book Overcoming Sin and Temptation.
Believer if you are in Christ you are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). You can fight your sin as one who is forgiven. You can fight knowing that your sins were left in the empty tomb of Christ Jesus. You will sin today. You will sin tomorrow, but do not despair and cease to drag your sins into the light of the gospel. Savor Christ. Confess your sins. Savor Christ. Repent of them. Savor Christ. Remember the finished work of Christ. Savor Christ. Repeat.