I know it sounds disheartening, especially if you feel like you’re just giving in to a particular sin way too much, or worse, you feel under it’s control.
But honestly, it’s impossible for you to have the victory so you may as well give up trying.
No amount of making rules for yourself, or of making yourself accountable, or of joining groups, or of confessing your sins to anyone, (to each other or to some priest), no amount of harsh treatment of your body, no amount of will power, or even of rewarding yourself for obedience - none of these will ever help you.
At the end of Colossians 2, Paulus wrote that some of these sound like they’re good ideas, but they have no power at all against the gratification of the flesh.
You have to face the truth that you don’t want to hear. You are powerless to overcome sin. It is your master.
Adam and Eve caved. All their sons caved. One of their sons even killed his brother just because he was jealous that Yahweh liked his brother’s sacrifice more.
For a little over 1,500 years, generation after generation gave in to their sin.
Until one day Yahweh had had enough and he wiped everyone except one family from the planet.
Even though we usually know the difference between good and evil, we all keep choosing evil.
About a thousand years after the flood “restart” we read how Yahweh gave the Israelites more detail on how to do good - a list of laws, (613 of them), which they had to obey on punishment of death. Quite a detailed list, with quite a penalty as extra motivation.
But even then… they broke them all. So would we.
Yahweh knew that they would… when he gave them the law he said, “And when you break them… do this.”.. And he gave them rules for animal sacrifice - so an animal would die instead of them, and their sin would be covered up for a while. Not removed. Not disempowered. Just covered up.
They lived like that for 1,500 years.
Then Yeshua, son of Yahweh, came to the Earth as a human. He alone lived a life with no sin. He alone chose good over evil, every time. He alone had victory over sin.
His death instead of ours was a sacrifice that did more than cover up our sin. It removed it completely. As if it had never even happened.
That’s pretty awesome.
But that still doesn’t give US victory over sin.
Paulus, super apostle, possibly the greatest example of a man who lived for God. Still couldn’t control his sin. In Romans 7 even he laments, that in spite of all that Yeshua has done for us. In spite of Paulus being an expert on the law of Moshe, in spite of previously being a fanatical adherent to that law. In spite of having been saved by the direct personal intervention of Yeshua in a truly miraculous and amazing way. STILL, Paulus kept doing what he hated doing. In his mind he wanted to do good, but he kept doing bad.
So what hope have you got?
Are you thinking, “None”?
You’re almost right… things are pretty bad. But fortunately this IS hope.
It is 100% true that you cannot defeat sin.
But… you don’t have to.
That same Paulus, in that same letter, went on to talk about how to live by the spirit of God instead of by our own flesh. How to live in a way that does not conform to the ways of the world, and which chooses good over evil.
Hand your mind over to God. Let him renew your mind, your fundamental thinking. Let him change your priorities, your values, your motivations. And your mind will be renewed. You will quite honestly lose your desire to sin.
It might return. If it does, hand you mind over to Yeshua again. Let him renew you again.
Yeshua will change your behaviour by changing your mind. Yeshua will have the victory over sin in your life, just like he did in his own life almost 2,000 years ago.
Bit by bit, little by little, just like when he drove out the previous occupants of the promised land, Yeshua will drive out the sin in your life. Your selfishness, your lust, your pride, your greed,… one by one, little by little.
Let him choose which one, in which order. Let him choose when. Let him choose how.
You cannot have victory over sin, but Yeshua already does, already did, and wants to do it again - in you.