Besetting Sins

Through various sources, the Lord has recently impressed upon me the fact of what Spurgeon calls, “besetting sins,” and that we will never completely achieve victory over sin while in this life.  First came Spurgeon’s sermon (“Indwelling sin”, #83), with the text Job 40:3-4, which I also related to Paul’s struggle with sin described in Romans 7.  Even long-time Christians, older believers, still fall into sin. Soon afterwards I also heard S. Lewis Johnson’s exposition of Exodus 17 “Then Came Amelek,”  in which he spoke of the Amelekites as an example of the sins and the world that we must contend against.  S. Lewis Johnson noted that we often see this characteristic in the lives of the Kings of Israel and Judah: some of the kings were very godly men, yet when they were old they still fell into sin.  We will never have complete victory over sin while in this life, even after many years.

Then, for good measure, Romans 7 (list 3) was on my reading list soon afterwards.  Soon afterwards I heard a recent John MacArthur sermon, in which he addressed his audience of young people (the 2009 Resolved Conference) and told of a 78-year old man who was dying, who said he still struggled with the sin of pornography.  As MacArthur observed, that’s not encouraging to the 22 year old struggling with that sin.

Obviously the sources of my spiritual food, including the Bible and the above great teachers, agree about the same things, and the Lord has clearly reached me with the point of it, to not despair when I again fall into some of the same patterns of sin.  I again pray for deliverance, that God would keep me from willful sins and lead me not into temptation–especially in my tongue and my lack of patience.

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