Article - How to Overcome a Sinful Past

Sometimes in our Christian life we really blow it. We know what the Bible says. We know what we ought to do. Sadly, there are times when we do just the opposite and sin. When a person really messes up, how do they overcome that sinful past?

He must recognize and admit the sin in his life. Unless we are willing to says, “I have sinned”, we cannot be forgiven by God (1 Samuel 12:21ff). The beloved Apostle John said, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9-10). Someone has properly stated that to know yourself diseased is half the cure.

A person must also be ashamed of their sinful past. Too often people who have lived a life of sin go around bragging about the “sins” they used to commit. Sin should be something that should cause us great shame, not give us an avenue to boast (Romans 6:21). How sad it is when we reach a point that we can no longer blush over sin (Jeremiah 8:12).

To overcome a sinful past a person must deal with sin in a God-approved way. The only way to deal with sin properly is through obedience to Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:21; Hebrews 5:8-9). Jesus made it clear that to deal with sin one must believe in Him (John 8:24), repent of past sins (Luke 13:3), confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:10), be baptized for the remission of one’s sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16), and be faithful to death (Revelation 2:10).

Finally, to overcome a sinful past one must put the past behind him and forget it. The Apostle Paul said, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). To overcome the past, we must put the past behind us and look forward to the future. If God has forgotten our sins (Hebrews 8:12-13), can’t we? It has been aptly stated, “Those who live in the past are doomed to repeat its mistakes.”

Dear friend, all of us have made mistakes in life that we are not proud of. The difference between a person who has overcome sin and one who has not is Jesus Christ. Have you dealt with sin a God-approved way? If not, why not? Why not do that today?

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