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Overcoming Sinful Habits - Bible Study Lesson

Overcoming Sinful Habits - Bible Study Lesson

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Published by tsupasat
This series of short lessons is meant for personal, one-on-one, or small group Bible study. The lessons provide biblical guidance for overcoming personal challenges, including: sinful habits, trials and temptations, critical attitudes, resentment, loneliness, and low self-esteem.
This series of short lessons is meant for personal, one-on-one, or small group Bible study. The lessons provide biblical guidance for overcoming personal challenges, including: sinful habits, trials and temptations, critical attitudes, resentment, loneliness, and low self-esteem.

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Published by: tsupasat on Jul 02, 2009
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06/14/2013

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The Overcoming Christian Life
"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." 
The Christian 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.Dear reader, God wants you to live an overcoming life! Please read the followinglesson with faith, not in yourself, but in God.
Lesson 1 - Overcoming sinful habits
… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on tocompletion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Introduction
As a Christian, you are an entirely different person than before you acceptedJesus. Now, you are forgiven your sin and are justified. You have been born againspiritually, and the Spirit of God lives in you. However, we still have sinful habits thatGod wants to change. In order to become more mature and established Christians, Godwill help us to overcome our sinful habits.
What are sinful habits?
Habits are any routine we feel compelled to follow. Some habits we developedwhen 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 becauseof 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 devilcan 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 unlessGod 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 bedeceived: 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 youwere 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 aresinful. The devil may try to tempt us by making those sinful habits seem insignificant, butGod cannot tolerate any sin. The devil’s goal is to pull you away from God, and he willmake 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 seemdesirable. Eventually, Adam and Eve decided eating the fruit was better than obeyingGod.
 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 likeAdam and Eve, and think your sinful habits are insignificant. Actually, every time theHoly Spirit reveals some sin to us, we should be ready to change. If we do not, theneventually 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 willchange 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. Itis 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 andmold 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 wecan win the spiritual battle against sinful habits. Therefore, we need to read the Bible andlisten 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 successfulChristian life. In fact, even Paul the apostle depended entirely on God’s strength toovercome 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, Paulwas 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 wefast and pray, we learn to say “no” to our flesh, or sinful desires, and say “yes” to theHoly Spirit. Of course, fasting and praying is difficult, but it trains us to not easily give into temptation, which often comes through physical senses: we want to touch, taste, or seesomething. Fasting and praying trains our body to obey our spirit.When we pray to overcome sinful habits, we should not give up, but rather keepasking God for help. The person who wrote Psalm 121 understood what it was like tocompletely 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 earth.
 
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 withthe 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 HolySpirit 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 usquickly. Our sinful desires conflict with the Spirit of God; either you crave sinful thingsor 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.

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