For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members Romans 7:22-23
John Piper defines the law of sin as “a power or an impulse or a principle that is at work in my body to make me at war with myself and to draw me to do evil.”
The law of sin, when obeyed, rips away our desire for God and fills our hearts and minds with doubt, anger, lust, jealousy, etc. — enslaving us to our sin. It’s at work and it’s being put into practice everywhere.
So if this law is waging war against my mind and making me captive, how do I fight back? How are we to wage war against sin?
- Submerge yourself in the depths of this truth: You are justified, meaning you declared righteous in the sight of God. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Our verdict: Not guilty. All sins forgiven. All guilt removed. All punishment averted because of Christ.
- Understand that victory is not won by our own unaided striving. Victory is won by the work of God’s Spirit in us as we’re being sanctified: “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:2). The power to defeat sin and the pardon to forgive sin are “in Christ Jesus,” not any striving of our own. Yet, we fight, and we fight confidently because we are justified, not trusting in our performance, but in the righteousness found in Christ Jesus working in us.
- Hide the Word of God in your hearts. In Matthew 4:1-11, we see Jesus warring against the devil with Scripture saying, “It is written” four times before “the devil left him.” “All Scripture,” in2 Timothy 3:16-17, “is breathed out by God and profitable for…training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
Here are a few Scriptures to hide in your hearts:
- 1 John, specifically 1-2:6.
- Galatians 5 (memorize verse 24)
- Hebrews 10 (memorize verse 23)
- Psalm 51 (memorize verses 2-4)
- Psalm 79:9
- Romans 13:8-14 (memorize verse 14)
- Romans 6 (memorize verse 1-2; 6)
Informed by the Word of God and empowered by the Holy Spirit, our battles within the war turn from debilitating blows to redemptive victories.
May we stop pretending war isn’t near — acting as though we are safe from its fiery blasts and bloody engagements.
May we fight well in this war waging all around us.
May we never forget our victory has already been won and our position secure as sons and daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.