555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

479. How Does Religion Help One to Get Over a Besetting Sin?

There is first the direct power which God promises to give through Christ to those who sincerely and earnestly seek it Then, there is the subjective power that comes from a soul turning decisively to God. This Chalmers called "The expulsive power of a new affection." It is an over-mastering impulse which leaves no room in the mind for the old enemy. When a man falls again under the power of the sin, he need not conclude that God has not given him the aid. He has more reason to think that the aid was given, but not used. Man must work with God in such a case and must not expect to be delivered without striving, but to be delivered through striving in the new strength that God gives him. But above all there must be firm belief in Christ and his redeeming love. A mere intellectual belief is not sufficient. As James remarks, "The devils believe." Belief in the sense of trusting, confiding, is required. It is the kind of belief that a patient has in his physician when, in a critical illness, he trusts his life to a physician and calls in no other. Or, as when a man charged with murder puts all his reliance on his lawyer and believes in his power to secure his acquittal. Or it is the belief of an outlaw who trusts to a ruler who has issued a proclamation of amnesty. The man who puts himself in Christ's hands for salvation will try to resist all evil and will obey Christ's commands and will seek from Christ the help he stands ready to give to enable him to lead a holy life.