Preface

Your War Against Sin

From the booklet How to Be an Overcomer
By Gerald Flurry

God loves sinners.

Jesus Christ died for you. He sacrificed His life for you while you were yet a sinner (Romans 5:6‑8), the greatest act of love ever in the universe.

Many people have heard of that sacrifice. But they fail to understand what it means and what its deep implications are. They don’t realize what it reveals about God and His plan.

Forgiveness for sin is a free gift. We cannot earn the grace of God. However, God does give us a spiritual formula to follow in order to receive it. Many people are willing to accept the blood of Jesus to cover their sins, but they don’t follow what God says in the Bible—so they are not forgiven. Is it possible that you are among those who have made this mistake?

Once God extends forgiveness, He gives responsibilities to the one He forgives. Like Christ said to the adulteress whom He forgave, “Go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). This is essential to ultimately receiving eternal life.

God loves sinners—so much so that He wants to free us from sin and all its terrible effects. Sin enslaves us. Jesus said, “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (verse 34; New King James Version; see also Romans 6:16; 2 Peter 2:19). God wants to bring you out of sin, just as He delivered the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt. He wants to purge sin from your life completely, to remove it as far as east is from west (Psalm 103:12).

God wants to empower you to live sin-free—a totally different, God-centered way, walking in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

This is the life of a Christian. It is a life of blessings—of understanding, peace, fulfillment and joy. But it is not the broad, easy way. Jesus said that “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14; nkjv). This way is full of challenges and trials. It requires learning God’s will and following it, even against temptation and self-desire. It demands struggle and sacrifice.

It is a life of overcoming and conquering sin. The Bible backs this up from the first chapters of Genesis to the final chapters of Revelation. Scripture frequently describes it as a struggle, a fight, a battle. Anyone who has ever stepped through that narrow gate and undertaken a journey on the difficult path to the Promised Land can identify with that description: It is a war.

How to Be an Overcomer is a type of field manual for your spiritual warfare. It helps orient you on the battlefield, equip you for the struggle, and guide you through to victory.

This booklet includes several articles I have written over the years on this vital subject of overcoming spiritually. They contain abundant practical instruction and provide a clear guide for effective Christian soldiery.

To conquer the enemy, you first must identify it. Our most relentless foe is our own human nature. The first three chapters of this booklet will help you better recognize that enemy inside you.

Chapter One, “Repentance Toward God,” shows the attitude and action required to truly target sin in your life. Jesus Christ clearly said we must repent in order to be saved (e.g. Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15). The Apostle Peter said repentance is required in order to be forgiven of sin and to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 3:19; 2:38). But what does it mean to repent? Very few understand this lifesaving process as they should. This chapter gives you the right biblical perspective.

Chapter Two, “Are You Deceiving Yourself?”, helps you avoid a spiritual trap we all easily fall into. It reveals the danger of inaction. So many times we hear the truth and recognize it as the truth. But we don’t allow it to shape our thoughts, choices, words and deeds. We do not act and change.

Chapter Three, “What’s So Bad About Self-Righteousness?”, exposes the huge gulf between your own ideas of what is right—which lead to death (Proverbs 14:12)—and God’s knowledge of what is right, which leads to life. It will help you eliminate patterns of thinking that make you vulnerable to the devil and that prevent you from even seeing God properly.

Chapter Four, “The Meaning of Passover,” is the central chapter. It shows the true Christian how to properly understand and appreciate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for your sins. Shallow or flawed thinking on this subject makes it impossible for you to conquer sin. Right thinking gives you the focus you need for victory.

Chapter Five, “The War of the Wills,” uncovers yet another common misconception that undermines your efforts to overcome. It reveals the true source of power you need in spiritual combat.

The last two chapters draw instruction from successful physical warriors and show how to apply the principles spiritually.

Chapter Six, “The Science of Spiritual Warfare,” gives you four practical points that will help you marshal your forces for effectually besieging your human nature.

Chapter Seven, “Offensive Warfare,” shows you how the ultimate victory can be won: by taking the battle to the enemy. As Christ said in Matthew 11:12, “[T]he kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”

We are all sinners. God loves us and wants to help us eradicate our sin so that we can be close to Him and so He can bring us into His Family and give us eternal life. The war on sin is the noblest war you will ever wage. If you overcome, then in the end you will be able to say, like the Apostle Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.”

Continue Reading: 1: Repentance Toward God