You Can Win in Your War Against Sin
James Fitzpatrick, Chapel Speaker February 18, 2010
“If I only had 15-20 minutes left to my life, I would read the book of Romans, chapters 6 through 8,” said Dr. James Fitzpatrick, addressing students, faculty and staff of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. “While we’re always told to live a holy life, Romans 6:11-14 tells us how to do so. You can win in your war against sin.”
Dr. Fitzpatrick is a Doctor of Ministry graduate of Golden Gate Seminary, an adjunct professor at the Seminary’s Pacific Northwest Campus, and pastor of CrossPointe Baptist Church in Vancouver, Washington.
“There are three steps to victory over the power of sin,” Fitzpatrick told his listeners. “First, count it.” He explained that he used the word ‘count’ in the context of ‘consider’ or ‘reckon.’ “Act as if it has already happened, that you already have victory over the power of sin.” Fitzpatrick referred to Romans 6:14, “Sin is not your master. As Christians, we are free to go and be, to live a life with Jesus as our master.”
“Second, quit it. You can’t win the war against sin unless you quit sinning,” he said. “It is like a slave going back to an evil master, or a refugee going back to a repressive country.” When we do the things we used to do, sin is in control, he pointed out.
“The third step is to commit it,” Fitzpatrick said. “Commit yourself every day, deliberately and decisively, as an instrument of righteousness.” Fitzpatrick acknowledged it is a daily struggle and a daily surrender to the Lord, and quoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer's observation about how in temptation we don’t have a hatred for God, but a forgetfulness of God.
“These three steps, found in the sixth Chapter of Romans, are telling us what to do, rather than telling us what not to do,” explained Fitzpatrick. “Knowing who we are in Christ, and offering all we have to Christ so he can use us, is a daily surrender. God took you from death to life, don’t forget that. He took us from slaves of sin, to slaves of righteousness.”
Fitzpatrick concluded by urging his listeners to “begin new every morning; to commit yourselves daily and to surrender your body and your mind – to offer yourself before the Lord. That is the way to win in your war against sin.”
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