When we are actively filling our hearts with the pleasures of knowing the Lord, we are much more successful at resisting sin, Satan, and sin-provoking circumstances.

Three Principles for Walking in Victory over Sin (Romans 6)

by Mike Bickle
6/30/14 Teaching

Romans 6 tells us how to access, or experience, the power, favor, and blessings of God, which are freely available to us because of what Jesus did on the cross. It is the most practical chapter in the Bible on walking in victory over sin. Transformation in our life begins by knowing who we are in Christ—seeing ourselves the way God sees us in Christ. God has abundant grace to pour out on our lives, but He requires us to cooperate with His grace. He will not do our part, and we cannot do His part.

I want to share three principles that Paul lays out concerning walking in victory over sin. The first principle is what I call the “knowing principle” (Rom. 6:11). We must know who we are in Christ and what we have received in Him. We reckon, or see, ourselves as alive to God—alive to the realm of God—which includes seeing that we are fully accepted and enjoyed by God, empowered to use Jesus’ authority, and indwelt by the Spirit. The Spirit’s peace resides in our spirit from the very day that we are born again (Gal. 5:22). We access His peace by acknowledging it and thanking Him for it. The simple act of thanking the Spirit for His peace in our spirit releases it to our soul and our emotions.

The second principle I call the “resisting principle” (Rom. 6:12-13a). We are to resist sin, Satan, and sin-provoking circumstances. We resist the inward prompting of sin and the schemes of Satan. Paul emphasized self-denial. God chose the denial of our lustful desires as one arena in which we are to express our love to Him (Jn. 14:15, 21-23); we refuse circumstances that inflame sinful desires. Therefore, we do not go to places, buy items, or look at or talk about things that stir up sinful passions.

When we are pursuing the fascination and pleasure of knowing God we can say no to things far more effectively. The essence of what we say no to is sin-provoking circumstances. Paul said that we should not present our body to situations that stir sin up in us (Rom. 6:13). Do not go to that place that stirs you up to sin. Avoid those sin-producing circumstances. You know your frame; you know what tempts you to do wrong. Do not go there! Say no to sinful desires and to wrong circumstances. When we are actively filling our hearts with the pleasures of knowing the Lord, we are much more successful at resisting sin, Satan, and sin-provoking circumstances.

I call the third principle the “pursuing principle” (Rom. 6:13). The apostle Paul exhorted us, “Present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” We pursue God by presenting ourselves to Him and presenting our bodies as His instruments, that He may use us to bless others. Our first priority is to love God with all our heart as worshipers of Jesus—we are to cultivate His presence in our life (intimacy with God). Then we express God’s love to people by offering our bodies as vessels for the Spirit to use to bless them. We serve and relate to God and people in love.

So we must know truth, resist darkness, and pursue God. We love God and people as we resist sin, Satan, and sin-provoking circumstances and grow in the knowledge of who we are in Christ, experiencing God’s heart as a Father and Jesus’ heart as a Bridegroom. All three principles are needed to walk in victory over sin and live a life of love and fruitfulness in Jesus. Some people pursue God at prayer meetings without knowing who they are in Christ or resisting sin; others know the truth about who they are in Christ and even resist sin, but without pursuing God and loving people, and so on. If we embrace all three of these principles in the context of the two foundational truths of being preoccupied with the superior pleasures of God and seeking 100 percent obedience, then the Holy Spirit will dynamically work in and through our lives.

Mike Bickle


  • Founder, IHOPKC

Mike Bickle is the founder of the International House of Prayer, an evangelical missions organization based on 24/7 prayer with worship. He is also the founder of International House of Prayer University, which includes full-time ministry, music, and media schools.

Mike’s teaching emphasizes growing in passion for Jesus through intimacy with God, doing evangelism and missions work from the place of night-and-day prayer, and the end times. He is the author of several books, including Growing in Prayer, Passion for Jesus, God’s Answer to the Growing CrisisGrowing in the Prophetic, and Prayers to Strengthen Your Inner Man.  Mike and his wife, Diane, have two married sons and six grandchildren.

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