1 John 2 - "1 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did."
You say, "How is that?" Read on!
Galatians 5:16-21 “16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God."
WHOA! WAIT A MINUTE! I'm a Christian, and have always been a Christian, but I used to live like some of that (although not quite as bad as it sounds!). But I've always believed in Jesus Christ. Does this mean if I had died 20 years ago I would not have gone to heaven? If I were you, I'd pin down my pastor and dig deep into your bible. We need to know! Paul told us how we should be living in Galatians 5:22-26.
"22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”
It sounds like our whole natural "nature" wants and likes to sin. In fact, we’re almost driven as a part of our nature, to sin. It’s something that we evidently have to come up against, even fight off. How do we do that? I don't think we can without JESUS.
We can lean on God, through prayer, asking Him to help us, in Jesus' name, to break old habits. As we continue to defeat that natural desire to sin, one by one, we will eliminate old habits and replace them with new habits. What new habits? Those listed above, in Galatians 5:22! Think about it! We can gain some insight into WHAT GOD DOES NOT LIKE by reading Proverbs 6:12-20.
"12 What are worthless and wicked people like?
They are constant liars,
13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
14 Their perverted hearts plot evil,
and they constantly stir up trouble.
15 But they will be destroyed suddenly,
broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.
16 There are six things the Lord hates—
no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord in a family.
20 My son, obey your father’s commands,
and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction."
The apostle John said in 1 John 1:5-7 - "5This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin."