Talking With Your Disciple About Sin | Part 1
This is the first of three articles in this series
Sin. Nobody wants to talk about it, deal with it or feel the effects of it. However, your disciple needs you to talk to her about this area of Christian life. You need to proactively teach her in a systematic and loving way. Tell her what sin is and isn’t, exactly what to do when we do sin and key biblical passages that deal with this topic.
The Bible is Our Textbook for Teaching About Sin
When teaching my disciple about sin, I open my Bible and remind us both of the words the Apostle Paul. In Romans chapter 7, in his writing to the Roman believers, he says:
“15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do … For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do -- this I keep on doing … So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (For the passage in its entirety, please read Romans 7:15-7:24.)
Ask your disciple if she can relate to Paul in this passage. Of course she can, so can you, right!?!
Pause at this point in your discipleship appointment. Share a struggle you have (or had in the past) where you eagerly desired to do right but consistently sinned, and felt guilt or remorse for stumbling again.
Be Transparent With Your Disciple About Your Sin
I personally have many of these areas but one I will share here is my propensity to exaggerate to make myself (or the situation) better than it really was (or is).
An example comes when asked how many people attended my Bible study or how many people attended a retreat I spoke at or how many people liked a certain blog post I created. I am always inclined to round up (way up) to make myself appear in a better light. This was out of control for years and I would end up flat-out lying!
God would convict me and I would end up confessing my sin to Him. I would then apologize to the person I was talking to about not stating the truth. Over and over again, this cycle continued until I had had enough!
Now, I pray before I am asked. I say, “Lord, help me hit the nail on the head, help me not to exaggerate today. Help me desire to please YOU more than to please others. Help me to be more concerned with what YOU think than what others think.” While I am not perfect in this area, I have come a LONG way with God’s help.
Let your disciple know that while we don’t WANT to actively sin, we will struggle, like Paul, to have victory in every area of life. What you do not want is for your disciple to live in constant defeat. Encourage her that if Paul (one of the greatest missionaries of all time who was entrusted with writing much of the New Testament) struggled with sin, we will too!
The Good News About It
After you have discussed Paul’s struggle in Romans chapter 7, take her to Romans 8:1-2. Paul goes on to say:
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
Reassure your disciple that by the grace of God, believers in Jesus do not face condemnation for our sins now, nor will we face eternal condemnation when we die. Salvation is based solely on Jesus’ death for our sins and our faith in Him. The Holy Spirit, who lives in all genuine believers, helps us from the inside out in our fight against sin! That, my friends, is Good News!
Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.