Avoid Sin by Living by Faith (Romans 14:23) - Radical

Avoid Sin by Living by Faith (Romans 14:23)

But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
-Romans 14:23

What a simple statement that is worthy of memorization. Let’s just memorize that right now before we pray according to this verse. Romans 14:23, and this is the last part of verse 23. It’s not the whole thing, but it’s what I want to lead us to pray according to today, Romans 14:23. “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” And just say it multiple times so that it sticks in our heads and our hearts. “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Maybe even say it with me. “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” It’s the definition of sin. “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Sin is whatever does not proceed from faith. “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”

We choose to fight our sin through the obedience of faith.

So how do we avoid sin in our lives? We live by faith. We think by faith. We take captive all of our thoughts in the obedience of faith in God. We take captive all of our thoughts. That everything is flowing from faith, trust in God, His goodness, His word, His ways, that all of our desires proceed from faith, like trust in God leads to this, that desire. That our words would reflect faith in God. That our decisions would reflect faith in God.

So why do we pray this in particular, when we’re leading up to an election? We’re almost there. And obviously many people have already decided how they’re going to steward their vote. But if you haven’t yet decided how you’re going to steward your vote, as you steward your vote, and even if you have already made that decision, think about, how can you honor God with your vote? By voting in a way that proceeds from faith, from faith in God, from faith in His word, from trust in Him, from belief in his ways, His goodness, His supremacy, what proceeds from faith is glorifying to God.

And so the last thing we want to do is steward our vote apart from faith. This is interesting to think about. There is a way to dishonor God with this stewardship of our vote, and that’s to steward our vote with faith in ourselves, with faith in our own ideas, with faith in a candidate or a party. No, the way to honor and glorify God, the way to not sin, is to steward your vote with faith in God, with trust in God, with trust in His word, with trust in His spirit, and in His spirit’s leadership in our lives, with trust in His mercy, with trust in His supremacy overall.

So God, we pray that as we steward our vote and our voices, particularly as followers of Jesus who live in the United States and this representative democracy, help us to do so out of the overflow of faith in you, of trust in you, of clinging to your word and following the leadership of your spirit. God, we pray for faithful stewardship of our voice and our vote. God, we pray for this in every facet of our lives, far beyond just our vote. God, please help us to live faithful lives in this country, in whatever country we live in. God, we pray that you’d help us to faithfully follow you, help us to faithfully fix our thoughts and our desires on your truth, on that which is pleasing to you. God, help us to be faithful with our words, to edify others and glorify your name.

God help us to be faithful, to proclaim the Gospel. Help us to faithfully reflect the character of Jesus in the country where we live. God, we pray for faithfulness in our lives even as we praise you, because you are the faithful one, you are worthy of all of our trust. O God, you’re worthy of all of our allegiance. You’re worthy of all of our hope. We put all our faith, all our trust, all our hope in you.

Rid us, we pray, of any idolatry of politics, any idolatry of people, any idolatry of anything. There is no one, nothing thing like you. We put all our faith and our trust and our hope in you. And we pray that you help us to live with thoughts and desires and actions and words and decisions that proceed from faith in you, for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. So keep us from sin and us to live by faith in every way, today and tomorrow and the next day and the next day. We are crucified with Christ. We no longer live. Christ now lives in us, and the life we now live we live by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us. Help us to live that kind of faithful life. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Join us in praying God’s Word as we lead up to the presidential election on November 3rd. Download our prayer guide HERE.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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