Teaching Pages

Page display options: 1-column; 3-columns

Breaking the habit of sin!

Part 1: Breaking the habit of sin!


Here I answer someone's email who is seeking hope in a situation where a loved one's repentance didn't appear to change anything. I tell why sin continues and show the way out.


A visitor to this web site asked:

For a man who sins, repents and again sins is there any hope?


Pastor Simon emailed back the following answer:

I am so glad you visited my web site and took the time to respond with a question.

Is there anyone who doesn't at times fail to stop sinning after repenting of it? Thank God for His patience with us! Thank God for His mercy! In Lamentations God's prophet Jeremiah proclaims,

Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

La.3:23-24 - NKJV

(Content of this section: A look at the causes of sin continuing in our lives and a reminder of the hope we nevertheless still have in God)


There is always hope in God - hope that we will be saved from the miseries arising from sin now and hereafter as well as hope that we will be delivered from the sin itself.

The believer doesn't have to sin. Christ liberates those who walk with Him from their slavery to sin. Yet often we do sin, even after we have repented of our sin.

What are the three primary reasons for sin continuing in our lives? Firstly, it's through the deceitfulness of sin. Secondly, it's through the weakness of our flesh for sin. Thirdly, it's through ignorance of God's counsel on how to live sin free.

Let me deal with each one of these reasons - or failure points - in turn.

(Content of this section: An examination of the deceitfulness of sin and an example of Christian's continuing to smoke)


Firstly, it's through the deceitfulness of sin. A lot of time the reason people continue in a sin is because they have never wholeheartedly and earnestly repented of that sin. They have been deceived by that sin into considering that it is not all that bad or all that harmful. As a result they don't acknowledge how much they need to stir themselves up to a full and absolute repentance of it.

I have people in my church who continue to smoke. It is not that they aren't saved or aren't spirit-filled. It is not that the sin is so entangling and the flesh is so prone to it. It is because there has never been on their part a total act of absolute repentance of this foolish and dangerous habit. This sin has deceived them into convincing themselves it is not a sin of enough magnitude for them to get adamantly zealous against it to the point of real repentance.

Anyone who is so deceived by sin in this way needs to wake up to what sin is. It is everything that is not in conformity to God's will in purpose, thought or action. This is what the Bible is declaring when it says,

All unrighteousness is sin.

1 John 5:17 - NKJV

(Content of this section: Guidance on how to overcome weakness of the flesh so you can break free of sin)


The one who is continuing to sin also needs to realise the consequences of sin - by sinning he or she is falling short of the glory of God. Ro.3:23.


The second primary reason for continued sin is weakness of the flesh. The flesh is weak towards sin. The answer is to this weakness is to become strong in spirit and have the spirit take authority over the flesh. Paul writes,

I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave.

1Cor.9:26-27 - NKJV

(Content of this section: The role of prayer and God's word in becoming strong in spirit)


How do we become strong in spirit so we can maintain dominion over our flesh? By feeding daily on God's Word and praying in the Holy Spirit. John 6:63; Psalm 119:9; Jude 20.

Through prayer we can also help others in this. We can pray for them to be strengthened in their inner man and so become strong in spirit. Ephesians 3:14-16.

(Content of this section: A look at ignorance of God's counsel leading to a continuance in sin)


The third primary reason for continued sin is ignorance of God's counsel on how to live sin free. John the Beloved under inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote,

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.

1 John 2:1 - NKJV

(Content of this section: Scripture showing us how we can come into a place of not continuing in a sin)


What did he write so we may not sin? He wrote instructing us and declaring to us,

If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (Keeps us clean from sin in all its forms and manifestations - AMP.) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (Everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action - AMP.)

1 John 1:7 and 9 - NKJV


What does this mean to us? It means we don't have to sin! God has made a way for us to walk free of sin.

It has to be faced, nevertheless, that sometimes we do sin. Why do we do this? Because we haven't yet fully walked in the way He has given us.


Is there any hope for us then? Certainly! John the Beloved writes further,

If anyone does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

1 John 2:1 - NIV

(Content of this section: The wonderful news that we have an advocate with the Father and how He puts forward a defence for us)


God has stationed Jesus as our Advocate. Jesus is our defence attorney in the court of Heaven. He counsels us to plead the blood - His blood, the blood of our justification and redemption. The moment Jesus puts in this plea for us God, the Righteous Judge, dismisses the case against us! Satan, the accuser of the saints, loses again!

So should we continue hoping even in the face of sin? Yes, resoundingly yes!

Say to yourself as David said to himself,

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

Psalm 42:11 - NKJV


I trust this will bless you.

Preview of content in next part:

  • A look at what the Bible is referring to when it makes a call to repentance
  • A call to exhort converts to make a commitment that goes beyond simply a confession of sin
  • A definition of the Greek word metanoia which is usually translated as 'to repent'

Related pages

Use the links below to get to other pages on this site that have a similar subject to that which you've read about above.

Suggested eBooks

The following ebooks have been found by some readers of this web page to be potentially helpful to them:

Double Your Church Attendance Teach The Bible To Change Lives Building A House Of Worship