How Can I Avoid Sin?

Question: 

My parents both work weekends and we are unable to attend church. I have trouble keeping away from sin. I was about to be baptized before we stopped attending church, and I am glad I wasn’t since I have not been good enough to be a Christian. I don’t want to go to Hell, but I need help staying out of sin. Any advice you could give would help.”

Answer:

Your goal is excellent. But if you want to stay out of sin and please God, you must turn around and go the other way. Everything you are doing now (or not doing) will not keep you from sin; it will lead you deeper into sin.

Christians assemble to worship for many reasons. An important reason is to build each other up so we can face the world and its temptations. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:23 – 25; New American Standard Bible).

When Christians give up on worship (for any reason) they will lose strength, not gain. To hold fast your faith in God, you need to be in the company of active, faithful Christians.

Secondly, delaying your baptism will not help you avoid sin. It will keep you firmly in sin’s grasp. Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).

As long as you delay your commitment to Christ, you are surrendering your life to sin. You will not avoid sin by staying away from Jesus; you will continue to be its slave.

But when you decide to be baptized in Christ, your life will go in a different direction. Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3, 4).

Baptism will give you a new life, a new way of facing sin, of coping with sin, of being free from sin’s power. Outside of Christ you have none of that.

The important thing is to be washed by the blood of Jesus. Once forgiven by His sacrifice, you can walk with God and be right with God (in spite of the fact you are not perfect). Everyone (even Christians) commit sin. None of us can ever claim to be without sin. But in Christ we have mercy offered to us constantly, in spite of our weakness and failings. . . 

But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:7 – 9)

When the blood of Jesus washes you, you are free from sin and its power. That does not mean you will not sin, as John says. It does mean your sins will be quickly and completely forgiven.

You are trying to do on your own what only Jesus can do. You will never avoid sin on your own strength or will. You must surrender to God’s will. Find a way to get to the assemblies of the church. Be baptized right away. Then you will find the forgiveness you seek, the power over sin you desire and the resources in other believers to encourage you.

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