Have you ever found yourself caught in a loop, trying to figure out how to stop sinning the same sin as a Christian?
It might even seem like, no matter what you do or how hard you try, you end up falling back into the same sins over and over again.
If so, then this post is for you!
In this post, I take you through a step-by-step Bible study to share the truth about breaking the cycle of sin in your life and consistently living a life free from sin—without even trying.
So, even if you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked for you, read this post or watch the video below until the end. I believe it’s going to change your life.
Why Do I Keep Sinning The Same Sin?
The reason you keep falling back into the same sins is because of your sinful nature in the body, which is causing you to live a life against your own desires to do good. This is the same conflict that was happening within Apostle Paul in Romans Chapter 7.
Check out what Romans 7:14-20 says about this:
“14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.”
The first thing I want you to distinguish here is that every time Paul mentions thinking, wanting, or feeling, he’s referring to his mind, will, and emotions—also known as the soul part of him or simply the mind.
For example, when he says, “I do not understand,” understanding happens in the mind. When he says, “What I want,” that is part of the will, and “I hate” refers to emotions.
And every time he mentions doing something, he refers to his body, as actions are performed by the body. For example, when he says, “I do the very thing I hate…”
Now this is the dilemma:
Paul’s soul or mind wants to do what is good by following God’s law.
But No matter how much good he wants to do, He ends up sinning instead.
His body has been corrupted by sin. And now, the sinful nature living in his body is causing him to live out a lifestyle of sins against his own desires.
In fact, he realizes, that although he wants to live out a good and righteous life, his body doesn’t even have the ability to do so.
Why do I keep sinning when I don’t want to?
Romans 7:21 says I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.
Apostle Paul says the reason you keep sinning is due to the principle that evil is present in you. A principle is essentially a law, kind of like law of gravity; which means it works whether you want it to or not.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say that you had big dreams of being able to fly.
One day you get up out of bed and you tell yourself, “I am SO tired of just being on the ground… today, I’m finally going to do something about it.”
You get some duck tape, put on some cardboard wings, and you say to yourself:
“I’m going to fly.”
Next, You find a large cliff with a big runway and get yourself all pumped up.
Then, you start running as fast as you can and when you reach the edge of the cliff you jump and flap your cardboard wings as hard as you can.
And what happens?
The law of gravity pulls you down to the ground and your dreams of flying are shattered.
This is the kind of principle that Paul is talking about here.
Let’s keep reading.
Romans 7:22-23 says:
22 For I joyfully agree with the law of God in the inner person, 23 but I see a different law in the parts of my body waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin, the law which is in my body’s parts.
Now I want you to notice how the language changes here. It’s not just talking about him wanting to do good and living out evil, but these passages are referencing 3 types of laws or principles.
1. The Law of God
The law of God is God’s commandments or the law of Moses, which is Holy and perfect. We know that we are no longer under the law as believers, but this refers to living out a life of righteousness and holiness.
From our earlier example on the law of gravity, The law of God would symbolize the actual act of flying or being airborne.
2. The Law of Sin
The law of sin is the sinful nature in the parts of your body or more specifically your flesh. It’s the part of your body that is causing you to live out a life of sins against your own will and desires.
Think of the law of sin in your body like the law of gravity that is pulling you down to the ground and falling to the ground, symbolizing falling into sin.
Also, imagine the cardboard wings that you duct tape to yourself as your best effort at getting your body to fly, or live out righteousness.
3. The Law of Mind
The law of mind is the law within your soul representing Your mind, will, and emotions. This is the part of you that hates sin and wants to follow God’s commandments or live out a life of righteousness as a believer.
Remember when Paul mentioned in the earlier verses that “the willing is present in me” and “ I want to do good”, he’s referring to the law of mind in those verses.
Think of the law of mind as your dreams and desires to fly.
Now Let’s put this all together with our flying illustration:
As a born-again believer, The law of your mind agrees with the law of God and it desires for your body to live out a life of righteousness because it hates sin.
It’s the part of you that always thinks to yourself:
“Man, I really want to live for Jesus with all my heart and I don’t want to go back to those sins again.”
The part of you that dreams of being able to fly consistently.
So what’s your natural response to those desires?
You say to yourself:
“Hey body, listen up. I need you to stop sinning and start living according to what God says.”
No more porn, no more cussing, no more lying, no more stealing, and so on.
This is you saying: I am done with being on the ground, I’m going to start flying.
Next, You or the law of your mind puts a demand on your body to live according to God’s law by trying different methods to get your body to stop sinning.
You start deleting social media, getting accountability partners, setting up site blockers on your phone, and doing all these other things to avoid falling into sin again.
This represents your attempts at getting your body to fly. It’s you putting on your cardboard wings, getting all hyped up, and preparing to jump off that cliff so you can fly.
Then you run as fast as you can and and you jump off the cliff flapping your wings as hard as you can.
and what happens?
You might be in the air for a few seconds, maybe a minute or two, but it’s only a matter of time before the law of gravity pulls you down to the ground with those cardboard wings on.
That’s because having methods in place is great and all, but they don’t fix the root cause of why you keep sinning.
You always end up falling back into your sins and wondering, why did I do this again?
It’s impossible to get to a place of true freedom and righteousness through methods.
The law of sin will eventually pull your body down to the ground because you are relying on yourself (aka the law of mind) to get your body to live out God’s law.
So what can you do?
The only way you won’t fall down trying to fly is if you find a way to counter the law of gravity with a different law, such as the law of aerodynamics.
In other words, those old cardboard wings just won’t cut it… you need an airplane with an engine.
How To Stop Sinning The Same Sin Over and Over Again
I want to ask you a very important question:
Do you ever have to try to put in effort to sin or is it something that happens naturally for you?
Well if you’re like most people, it happens naturally for you.
That’s because naturally stems from the word nature.
It happens naturally because it’s a part of your fallen nature as a non-believer.
You sin because it’s in your nature to sin.
But wait a minute.
If sinning comes from your sinful nature and I’ve been born again, didn’t Jesus give me a new nature?
Romans 6:6-8 says that our old self was crucified with Him, that you have died with Christ, and that you have been set free from sin.
These are all past tense terms because the moment you put your faith in Jesus Christ, was the moment your old sinful nature died and you became a new creation with a new nature.
Sin lost its power over you.
Well, if your actions in the body stem from your nature and you’ve received a new nature, then it means you can now live a life of righteousness in the same way you used to live a life of lawlessness—without even trying.
Imagine that Instead of jumping off a cliff, with your cardboard wings, and falling to the ground.
You get into an airplane, turn on the controls, take off, and you fly consistently without falling…
This leads us to what Paul says in Romans 8, the very next chapter after talking about his battle with the law of sin.
Romans 8:1-2 says Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Hold on a second!
We have another law in play here — the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
This law is the Holy Spirit living inside of you, and He has set you free from the law of sin and death.
This means you are no longer bound to your old sinful nature; now, you’re working with a different law.
How does this law work?
Romans 8:10-11 says:
“If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
First, you have to realize, that your body is still dead because of sin…not physically dead, but spiritually dead. Meaning it still does not have the ability to live out righteousness or holiness on it’s own.
The reason you still get tempted by sin even after you’re born again is because you’re still in the same body. Your soul and spirit have been transformed, but you’re still waiting on a new body.
And Remember how your old sinful nature lived in your body? Well although your sinful nature has been crucified and put to death, your body still has impulsive sinful desires from being trained to live in sin it’s entire life.
It’s kind of like a chicken with its head cut off. Technically it’s already dead, but it’s body is still impulsively running around…
Jesus has set you free from being a prisoner or a slave to the law of sin, but can you imagine coming out of a prison cell after living there your entire life?
It’s going to take some time for you to get adjusted to living in freedom and some of your old ways of doing things might still be there…
But after some time, it does get easier and those desires die down.
Just as the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, He also gives life or resurrection power to your body to live out a life of righteousness that was otherwise impossible on its own.
Not just that but…
Romans 8:13 says: “if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
This means that the Spirit of God, residing in you, puts to death the deeds of your body by empowering you to naturally say no to the desires of the flesh. It happens without you having to tell your body, “Don’t do that,” through the law of your mind.
If the law of sin is like the law of gravity that makes you fall when you try to get your body to fly on its own, the law of the Spirit of life is the airplane that carries your body and allows you to fly through the law of aerodynamics.
The best part is that the plane does most of the work for you without you having to exert your own energy to get your body to fly.
All you have to do is KNOW how it operates and work with it.
This leads us to our main question:
If God has set you free from sin, your flesh has been crucified, you have died with Christ, and God has given you His Holy Spirit…
Why are you still falling into the same sins over and over again as a believer?
It’s because, even though you may have a perfectly working airplane that can fly and take you to destinations all over the world, you’re still stuck on the ground simply because you don’t know how it operates.
So, it doesn’t work for you… Yet.
In Hosea 4:6 God says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”
And John 8:32 says “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The biggest problem today is that many Christians don’t actually know the truth.
They just listen to a sermon or a podcast that sounds good and try to DO what is says without understanding what the Bible says about who they are in Christ.
The reality is that we can’t just “do” the truth.
We need to intimately and personally know WHO the truth is.
And the truth is Jesus.
It all comes down to knowing who Jesus is inside of you and who you are in Him as a believer.
If you just stop trying to fix yourself and focus all your attention on simply getting to know who He is and who you are in Him through the scripture and prayer, everything will change for you.
Because God will change the way you think. When He changes the way you think, you live out a different life.
Have you ever gone to a fast-food restaurant because you thought there was nothing to eat at home, but then you come home, and your family is having this huge feast with steak on the table, potatoes, salad… and you’re like, Man if only I knew they had this feast at home, I would have never gone to McDonald’s.
It’s kinda like that.
So if it’s all about knowing the truth, how can you start applying this into your life practically to start seeing real transformation?
How To Overcome Sin and Temptation In Your Life Practically
Romans 12:1-2 says:
12 Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
There’s 2 practical ideas that the Bible is telling us here that we can apply to see transformation in our lives.
First is to present your body as a living and Holy Sacrifice…
And second… to be transformed by the renewing of your mind or to be changed in the way that you live, by changing the way that you think.
I like to call this “present and repent” since repentance means to change your thinking.
Let’s talk about the first one which is “to present”.
What does it mean to present your body to God?
The word “present” in Greek is the word “Paristemi” which means to stand beside or to become available.
Presenting yourself is like saying:
“Lord, here is my body…fill me with the Holy Spirit, and live out the life that you want to live”
When God is telling us to present ourselves to him, it’s like he’s saying to us:
Step aside son – I’ll take it from here. You dont have to try to be good, just be open to what I wanna do.
In simple terms this means:
Stop trying to live out rightousness yourself, and believe that God will do it through your life without you interfering by your own willpower.
Galatians 2:20 says, that “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
If you truly believe that verse, Then all the pressure to perform gets taken off of you and is placed on Christ in you, since your life is his life now… All you gotta do is believe.
But wait there’s more…
How To Renew Your Mind
The second part is the transformation that comes when we renew our mind.
Romans 12:2 says “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
But what does it really mean to renew your mind?
To renew something simply means to restore to existence or back to the place of what is was before, but in a fresh new way.
If the Bible says that you HAVE the mind of Christ, and your mind is stuck on a thought that doesn’t align with the mind of Christ. Then a renewal of your mind simply means to restore or re-align your thinking with the truth of your identity in Christ.
Paul says in Romans 6:11 So you too, CONSIDER yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
In other words, consider or think about who you are in Christ Jesus and who He is in you, then agree with it.
Let’s say you fell into sin yesterday and now you have all these condemning thoughts telling you that you’re not good enough to come before God and that you’re such a sinner because of what you did.
You can continue to consider those thoughts and agree that this is just who you are. And That’s exactly where the enemy wants you because that’s what will keep you stuck in your sins.
Or you can renew your mind by considering or thinking about who you really are in Christ.
The Holy Spirit will actually convict you of the truth of your righteousness in Christ and remind you what the Bible says about you.
So when you think about your true identity in Christ…what describes Jesus?
perfect, holy, righteous, pure, and so much more.
These are the traits that get attributed to you because of who Jesus is in you. You have become one with Him. When God looks at you as a born-again believer, He sees the perfect nature of His son Jesus.
This is where you start to realize:
Those condemning thoughts are not my thoughts. Those lustful thoughts are also not my thoughts, because the truth is, I have the mind of Christ.
You also realize that those sinful desires are not my desires. My flesh has been crucified with Christ, and I have died to sin. Those actions don’t define my identity in Christ either because I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
This is what it truly means to renew your mind or repent as a believer.
It’s important to know that we’re not just playing “fake it till you make it” with this.
This is the reality of what the Bible says about who Christ is in you and who you are in Christ.
You get to decide what you want to believe—either your feelings, your circumstances, what other people said, what the enemy said… Or you can choose to believe what the Word of God says about you.
If you’re still wondering, “Is my repentance real if I keep committing the same sin?” check out our blog post on Your Righteousness In Christ for more on this topic.
In conclusion, We present ourselves to God by allowing him to do what he wants through our life instead of trying to use our own willpower to get ourselves to live out righteousness.
Then we simply renew our minds or think about what the word of God says about our identity and agree with it.
If you haven’t noticed, These are 2 things that usually happen naturally as a result of us seeking God to know Him for who He is, not just what He can do for us.
You start to present yourself to God when you trust Him to do what He says he’ll do. You start to trust God when you get to know His character and His love for you by spending time in the word and in prayer.
This is why there is such a huge emphasis on having a relationship with God over doing something for Him.
Now I want to ask you:
How has getting to know God changed the way you see yourself and the way you live your life?
Let me know in the comments below!