Our battle against sin is exhausting and grievous. Earnest Christ-followers can easily fall into two wrong responses to the reality that we continue to sin. First, we can presume that we can overcome sin by our own focus, discipline, and power. Second, we can react with hopelessness in the face of our persistent sins. If those extreme responses of pride and despair are both wrong and unhelpful, then what are Christians to do in seeking to overcome sins and please God?
We need to know first of all that we can do nothing apart from Jesus (John 15:5) and the Holy Spirit. It is God’s grace that renews our minds, transforms our desires, and empowers our wills. It is God, therefore, that gives us the ability to battle and gain victories over temptation and sin. We should and do act against temptation and sin as God’s Word commands us, yet our ability to fight successfully is incomplete in this life. There is no promise of eradicating our sin in this world. Our hope on earth is that His presence and grace are sufficient to restore and enable us to fight sin moment-by-moment, temptation-by-temptation, and day-by-day.