This is the Fifth and Final Post on the Biblical Process of Change.
“I’ve tried everything, I just don’t think that I will ever be able to have victory over this sin,” the young man said to me, tears streaming down his face. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. You’ve confessed your sin, repented of it, you hate it, you want to change! Maybe you even do for awhile, but then you fall back into the same patterns again. Maybe you started with hope, but that hope is long gone now.
Don’t give up! You aren’t the first one to struggle in this way. True change is hard and often painful, but its definitely possible. What’s often missing in the process of change is the final step we will look at today: Disciplined Training in Righteousness. Training in righteousness is the final step in the process for true change found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The goal of change is a righteous heart. Just as God has made us righteous in Christ, the process of spiritual growth is actually becoming righteous in our everyday lives. But the ability to do something, in this case be righteous, does not guarantee that we will any more than the ability to jump high and run fast means someone is guaranteed to be a pro athlete. What we need is disciplined training.
This disciplined training will be different for each individual. What is your particular sin? What are some practical steps that you can take to abandon that sin? How can you get accountability from other trustworthy Christians who will help you? What scripture needs to be brought to bear on your situation? What positive, righteous attributes need to take the place of your sin and how can you start to do these things? What steps do you need to take to bring your life completely under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. These are the type of questions that need to be answered as you set out to discipline yourself for righteousness.
Do not give up hope! Paul reminds us in Romans 6:6, “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be a slave to sin.” Sin no longer has a claim on your life as a son or daughter of God. There is freedom in the Biblical process of teaching, conviction, repentance, and disciplined training in righteousness.
Caleb Land is the director of the Gilmer Christian Learning Center in Ellijay, GA. For more information about the CLC, please visit www.gilmerclc.org.