Session 7: Fight Sin


Read this before your meet-up. It will give you some great background information to help make the most of your time together.

Before becoming Christians, we were “dead in… sins” (Ephesians 2:1) and “enslaved to sin” (Romans 6:6), meaning that we were unable to stop sinning — everything that we did was touched and tainted by sin. When we came to Christ, we weren’t only forgiven of our sins, we were also set free from its slavery. Because of God’s grace, we are able to not sin. It’s possible to not sin. Because Jesus rose again and raised us up with him, we are able to resist and fight sin.

This is an important starting point — we don’t fight sin to earn God’s love. The only reason we’re able to fight sin is because God has already loved us. We fight sin because, as God shapes us into the image, we love what he loves and we hate what he hates. We fight sin, because God has commanded us. He is the king, we are his people, and we must obey (not just offer lip service). This is a real demonstration of our faith. How can we say that we trust God if we don’t trust him to guide our thoughts, actions, and feelings each day?

Most importantly, we fight sin because it interrupts our relationship with God (1 John 1:8–9). We are grieved by our sin, because we know it grieves our God. We hate our sin, because we love Jesus, and our sin nailed him to the cross.

Throughout the Bible, especially in the writings of Paul, we are given a clear battle plan for fighting sin that includes putting off sin and putting on godliness (Ephesians 4:24–25, Colossians 3:9–10). The Puritans called this the mortification of sin (killing) and the vivification of righteousness (bringing-to-life). Both of these steps are important. We can’t just stop sinning — we need to replace it with positive development.

Here are six steps to putting off sin:
  1. Confess your sin. Throughout the Bible, there is a clear connection between our confession of sin and God’s forgiveness of our sins (e.g., Psalm 32:3–5, Proverbs 28:13, 1 John 1:8–9). Our battle against sin begins by admitting we have sin, both to God and to other Christians (James 5:16).
  2. Have confidence in the work of Jesus. Always remember that we don’t fight sin to earn God’s love — Jesus (and Jesus ALONE) have earned God’s love. There is nothing left to prove. Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are objective realities that prove your forgiveness.
  3. Confront the lies of Satan. From almost the very beginning of the Bible, Satan has been telling the same lies to trick God’s people into sinning: God’s Word isn’t trustworthy, sin isn’t that big of a deal, and you need sin to be truly happy. The truth is that God’s Word ALONE is trustworthy, sin is deadly and separates us from God, and that righteousness, not sin, is what we truly need. Recognizing these lies in your own temptations will help you see the foolishness of sin.
  4. Consider your own motivations. The Bible uses the word “heart” to refer to the core of each individual person. Your heart is the source of everything you do, feel, think, desire, and love (Luke 6:45). We don’t just want to modify our behavior, we want to love God with our whole hearts. In the midst of temptation, ask yourself what you are trusting in to make you happy and safe. Ask yourself what your actions show about what you truly value.
  5. Collaborate with the Spirit of God. Romans 8:13 commands us to put our sin to death, but it makes clear that we can only put sin to death “by the Spirit.” You are unable to fight sin on your own, but God has sent his Spirit to help you. Depend on God to strengthen you and empower you. Pray that God would help you resist temptation.
  6. Commit to stop sin. Whatever it takes, we are going to slay our sin.


Here are four steps to putting on righteousness:
  1. Perpetual prayer. Again, you can’t do this without God. Thankfully, you don’t have to, because “the grace of God has appeared… training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11–12).
  2. Dependent discipline. While we can only fight sin by the power of the Spirit, we need to work hard. You must “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7, NASB). 
  3. Actual accountability. We aren’t made to live alone. We need our brothers and sisters in Christ to know what we really struggle with and really keep us accountable. This means they will commit to ask us difficult questions, not accept (or make) excuses, pray and fast for us, and assure us of God’s forgiveness.
  4. Serious application of Scripture. Believe promises from God’s Word about the cost of sin and the rewards of righteousness. Follow principles from God’s Word about the steps God has commanded us to take in our pursuit of righteousness.


Seeing the Kindness of God

The center of the Christian worldview is the kindness and mercy of God, which is seen supremely in the work of Christ (Exodus 34:6–7, 1 Corinthians 2:2), so every session will include a reminder of how this topic points us to God’s unfailing kindness.

God has not abandoned us in our sin. He isn’t giving up on us; he’s committed to helping you grow and change, because he loves you.

Before Christ, we were not able to not sin. In Christ, we are able to not sin. And when Christ returns, we will be like him (1 John 3:2) and we will not be able to sin. We fight sin with great hope that the battle is already won.

Reflection Questions
Answer these before your meet-up.
  1. Why should we fight sin if we are already forgiven?
  2. What are some pressing sins in your life right now? Are there any hidden sins in your life that no one in our church is aware of?
  3. Look again at the six steps for putting off sin. Which of these is the most difficult for you?

Meet-Up Guide

review your action step
From your last meetup
  1. What non-Christian are you discipling (or hope to disciple)? How is it going?
  2. How are you doing in your commitment to love the church more deeply?
  3. How has God blessed your obedience as you have loved the church?
review the pre-reading
Answer these questions
  1. Why should we fight sin if we are already forgiven?
  2. How have you seen the lies of Satan come up in your own life?
  3. Why do we need to trust the Holy Spirit to help us fight sin?
Colossians 3:1–17

1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

study questions
Answer these questions in your meet-up
  • What does this passage say about Christians? What is true about everyone who is in Christ?
  • What does this passage say about Christ? What will always be true about him?
  • Read verses three and four again. What do these verses mean? What does it mean for Christians to have died? (See Romans 6:1–14 for help)
  • What does this passage say about putting off and putting on? What do these verses teach us about fighting sin?
  • What commands does this passage give? Put each in your own words to help you understand them.
application questions
Answer these questions in your meet-up
  • What reasons does this passage give for fighting sin?
  • What promises does this passage give to help you fight sin?
  • Look at the list of sins to “put off.” Which of these sins stands out to you as something that you want to grow in? (Remember, confessing your sin will lead to life and freedom!)
  • Which item in the list of things to “put on” could replace the sin you want to “put off?”
Create an action step
Create one together

Use the Sin Battle Plan worksheet to create a real plan for fighting sin.

action step:

I will fight the sin of _____________ by the power of the Holy Spirit. ___________ will help me and keep me accountable.

Pray together
Pray together to close the meeting

Pray for one another, specifically, that God would help you fight sin.

sin battle plan worksheet

Confess your sin. 

Have you confessed this sin to God? Who can you confess your sin to?


Have confidence in the work of Jesus.

Copy down a verse of Scripture that reminds you of God’s love for sinners.

(Examples: Romans 6:4–5, Romans 8:1–2, Romans 8:12–15)


Confront the lies of Satan.

What lies are you tempted to believe about this sin: God’s Word isn’t trustworthy, sin isn’t that big of a deal, or you need sin to be truly happy?


Consider your own motivations.

What reward do you think this sin will bring you? (Happiness, pleasure, safety)


Collaborate with the Spirit of God.

Write a short prayer, asking God to help you fight this sin.


Commit to stop sin.

What practical steps will you take to fight this sin? Who will keep you accountable? What questions do you want them to ask you?