Striving Against Sin

“You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Hebrews 12:4).


“Striving” (or “standing face to face”) against evil is a universal expectation God has for His children.

Being face-to-face implies an unavoidable conflict of purpose and direction. You are traveling in the opposite direction that sin is desiring for you to go (Matthew 7:13-14). Therefore, you are necessarily a combatant in the timeless war of good vs. evil.

The present tense of this participle indicates there is an ongoing battle of wills between you and sin. As a child of God, this is a solemn reminder that spiritual warfare is not an occasional foray. It is a perpetual, lifelong conflict. Satan is relentless; he refuses to surrender or accept defeat.

In addition, the pronoun and participle in this verse are plural in number. God’s expectation of continuous spiritual warfare is for all Christians, not a select or elite few. Satan seeks to destroy every member of Christ’s redeemed body. Since he does not play favorites, everyone must expect hand-to-hand spiritual conflict with the adversary.

Satan could not be more serious about defeating you spiritually. If a little bloodshed will ensure his success over you, he will not hesitate. Though he would prefer you wimp out before he has to go to such measures, Satan’s single focus is on winning.

Striving against sin is exactly how the perfect author and finisher of faith lived and died.

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Author: jchowning

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