“Go and sin no more.”
Self control must be an important character trait to have since it is a reoccurring theme in the Bible and is a fruit of the Spirit. Jesus talks about sin pretty often. He forgave people of their sins before healing them and he even told people to stop sinning, but is sin a self-control issue? Maybe.
Why are some things that hurt us harder for us to get out of our lives?
I don't know.
These things seem to vary from person to person, but everyone struggles with something and usually with more than just one. Some things we are in denial of their detrimental nature. Others we continue to do while knowing that they will harm us, but we never truly know just how much harm they will cause. Perhaps some of the problem is that we live in a rebounding culture that, in an effort to leave legalism and the holiness movement behind, has swung so far in the opposite direction in saying that anything goes. Some people go so far as they are no longer in the world at all while others cannot be distinguished from the world. Denial allows for the sin to be condoned.
Both stances are unhealthy.
"But doesn’t the Bible say that everyone has sinned?"
Great question: Yes. If you read Romans 3 you will see that everyone has sinned and substitution for those sins comes from faith in Jesus. Morality shows us that we cannot be moral or ethical all the time and compared to a good and perfect God, that’s not good enough.
"How am I suppose to have self-control when the Bible says I have a sin nature? Where does self-control come in?"
Man! You are asking all the hard questions today. Humanity still has free will. We choose to do good and bad things: to obey or disobey. Somehow most people have intrinsic moral values that transcend culture or time and we often use culture or other variables to reason our way into permission to do things that we shouldn’t. Self-control comes in as the ability to make a conscious decision to obey God, but that doesn’t happen when we don’t trust Him enough to believe that He knows what He’s doing.
The Bible says that someone who continues to sin does not know Jesus. By my count no Christians who claim to have faith in Jesus, actually know Jesus. So are there no Christians? Maybe. Much of my theology says that grace covers over old sins and not so much our new purposeful sins, since it is not a license to keep on sinning, but I have to believe that love covers a multitude of sins. Josh said that Jesus’ Substitutionary Atonement could have been out of a variety of motivations but I have trouble divorcing love from the equation. Love and mercy seem to balance out wrath and judgment so I cannot imagine Jesus substituting Himself for us without love. I suppose I see the substitution as a result of His love for us. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” -John 3:16
The One without sin...
In John 8:1-11 the Pharisees bring to Jesus, as a trap, a woman who had been caught in adultery (where the man was I do not know) and wanted to know what to do with her since the Jewish law required for her to be stoned but the Roman law did not allow for the Jews to execute people. This is when Jesus says his famous line of “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Everyone leaves and Jesus, as the one who could have thrown the first stone, tells the women, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
I think this embodies what Jesus says to us after we sin for the umpteenth time and we come to Him in repentance. 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This gives me hope, hope for forgiveness even after I have started to put my faith in Jesus. Jesus tells us to continue on in the journey and starting now to leave our sins behind. I think we get many second chances but Jesus never says “go, sin some more, and when you get caught come say that you are sorry to me, just for me to send you on your way again to start the cycle once more.”