The Seven Deadly Sins

Seven Sins & the Early Church

Please note, the early church classified the seven deadly sins as cardinal sins or capital vices and taught that they could not be forgiven. However, according to the Bible these 7 deadly sins are completely and totally forgivable by God, but this doesn’t give free license to commit these sins. Biblically, the only sin that cannot be forgiven is complete rejection of God’s grace which is outright rebellion against God, also known as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

The Seven Deadly Sins Are:

1 Envy = the desire to have an item or experience that someone else possesses.

2 Gluttony = excessive ongoing consumption of food or drink.

3 Greed or Avarice = an excessive pursuit of material possessions.

4 Lust = an uncontrollable passion or longing, especially for sexual desires.

5 Pride = excessive view of one’s self without regard to others.

6 Sloth = excessive laziness or the failure to act and utilize one’s talents.

7 Wrath = uncontrollable feelings of anger and hate towards another person.

The Root Cause of These Sins

Each one of these deadly sins listed above has its root in the desire for more and the human need for excess. Each sin goes against the root of Christianity which is: love for God, love for our fellow man, and love for our bodies (keeping them as clean temples for God, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-12, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” This strikes at the root of each of these deadly sins. Paul in effect is saying that God can take care of our needs and there is no need to lust or desire after excessive things.

What Cures These Deadly Sins?

The cure for these sins is the gift of a new heart that acts in accordance to the love and law of God. This new heart can only come from God. Ezekiel 36:26-27 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Humanity’s only hope is the miracle of a regenerated heart that acts according to the direction of the Holy Spirit to walk in God’s statutes and judgments.

Power does not come from self to change the heart. On the contrary, this verse clearly points out that God alone gives you a new heart and causes you to walk in His ways. As this event becomes a reality in your life, the seven deadly sins of gluttony, envy, sloth, wrath, pride, lust, and greed will lose their power in your life. With the indwelling Holy Spirit in your life, you will instead desire to live a life based upon the principles of the Bible.

Seven Deadly Sins in the Bible

As mentioned before, the list of seven deadly sins in question does not appear in any Bible verse. However, a slightly different set of sins can be found in Proverbs 6:16-19, “These seven things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

  1. A proud look,
  2. a lying tongue,
  3. hands that shed innocent blood,
  4. A heart that devises wicked plans,
  5. feet that are swift in running to evil,
  6. A false witness who speaks lies,
  7. and one who sows discord among brethren.”

Additionally, Galatians 5:19-21 mentions several more sins to be on our guard against: “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The Seven Deadly Sins are listed here again and here are suggested prayers you can pray to help you battle these sins. These are not the only prayers, you may know of others or you may find a prayer in some other place, please find and use prayer to help you fight your sins in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Let him help you!

1 Envy = the desire to have an item or experience that someone else possesses.

PRAYER FOR OVERCOMING ENVY:

Loving Father forgive me for my feelings of jealousy and envy which I know are not righteous and very detrimental, to my well-being, my health and my relationships. Keep me from looking at the attributes and achievements of others and wishing I had their gifts and graces. – Help me Lord to develop an attitude of contentment and peace, which I know only comes from You.

Lord sometimes my stupid jealousy and envy has caused rifts between dear friends and me – and even has contributed to problems with my own family.. and this desire to have what belongs to others – or to enjoy the popularity and charisma that others seem to have, has become at times so stifling that I don’t know which way to turn – and I know that this is not Your will for my life.

Forgive me for my jealousies and envy and help me to develop an attitude of gratitude for all that I am and all that I have. And Lord I pray that You would give me the grace to change my thoughts from those of envy and jealousy to right thinking and pure thoughts.

Lord I know that it says in scripture to think about whatever is true, and good, whatever is right and pure, whatever is lovely and admirable, and whatever is excellent and praiseworthy and to fix my mind on such things. Help me Lord to change my thought pattern from the bad to the good – for I know that all things are possible with you and I ask this in Jesus name. Thank You Father.

Amen

2 Gluttony = excessive ongoing consumption of food or drink.

PRAYER FOR OVERCOMING GLUTTONY:

Father God, I confess that I have not honored You with my whole body, soul and spirit but have rather indulged in greediness and gluttony, which has become a thorn in my flesh. Indeed Lord I confess that I have become a slave of my eating habits and I pray that You would help me to break this habit that is so dishonoring to You for I know that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I truly want to offer my body as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to You Lord.

Loving Lord, I know that I cannot do this in my own strength but I know that by the power of Your Spirit, You can break this bondage within. Lord I acknowledge that the power of sin and death in my life was broken at the cross of Christ Jesus my Lord and I come to You in my helplessness and pray that You would enable me to break this gluttony that is destroying my life.

Lord help me I pray. Change me into the person that You would have me be in Jesus name I pray,

Amen

3 Greed or Avarice = an excessive pursuit of material possessions.

PRAYER FOR OVERCOMING Greed and Avarice:

Displaying the treasures of Your work,

Jesus, You invited me to follow You,

To sell my goods, to give to the poor,

And to completely submit Myself to You.

Desires for wealth leads to greed,

Satisfaction never being reached.

He who seeks no earthly possessions

Is free of all avarice aspirations.

Jesus, edify my weak human nature,

To resist unnecessary commodities,

Those classified as evident luxury.

May I subdue all greedy tendencies!

Amen.

4 Lust = an uncontrollable passion or longing, especially for sexual desires.

PRAYER FOR OVERCOMING LUST:

Father we praise you and thank you for this blessed day that you have made. We seek you dear God as we ask your forgiveness for yielding to and committing sinful deeds through the lust of the eye, pride of life and lust of the flesh. Grant us the power through your word to overcome, to be delivered and set free from bondage. Guide and lead us into all truth in Jesus name, Amen.

5 Pride = excessive view of one’s self without regard to others.

PRAYER FOR OVERCOMING PRIDE:

Dear Lord,

You are the God above all gods. Your name is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. You sit on the throne of heaven. When YOU speak, who dare change your plans? When YOU move, who dare stop you?

Lord, I have knowingly and I have ignorantly come against your will and your ways. I have spoken words of total surrender to you, and yet I have been so ready to protect myself from godly advice and godly change. I have been so ready to defend myself against humility.

Open my eyes to the blessings of humility. Let me not see humility as the world sees it, but in its beauty and fullness of joy.

I am comforted with the knowledge that you are full of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and love.

Amen

 6 Sloth = excessive laziness or the failure to act and utilize one’s talents.

PRAYER FOR OVERCOMING SLOTH:

Lord, help me understand how totally unacceptable it is for me to lose my passion, momentum, and desire. I ask You to forgive me for allowing any hint of slothfulness to operate in my life. Today I repent and deliberately turn from slothfulness. Holy Spirit, I turn to You now and ask You to stir and reignite the fire in my heart. Please help me regain the zeal, the thrust, and the fire I once possessed. Help me to keep that fire burning this time, never to lose it again.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

 7 Wrath = uncontrollable feelings of anger and hate towards another person.

PRAYER FOR OVERCOMING WRATH:

Loving Lord I place that anger and bitterness that I too often harbor in my heart at Your feet and pray that in Your grace You will expose all that is causing the bitter poison that is lodged within my heart to surface so often – and set me free from it, I pray.

Lord I confess all my anger and bitterness and know that when I allow this to surface in my heart it breaks the fellowship we have together. I know that when I confess my anger You are faithful and just to forgive the outbursts of anger in my heart and to cleanse me of all unrighteousness, for which I praise Your name. But Lord I desire that I am set free from this pollution within my heart so that the root of anger shrives us within – and ask You to examine me and root out all that is not pleasing in Your sight

Thank You in Jesus name,

Amen

Let’s end this on a positive note, I’d like to mention The Seven Virtues:

The seven virtues were originally defined in the poem, Psychomachia, by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, a Christian governor who died around 410 A.D. Because of the poem’s prevalence the concept and idea of the seven virtues spread throughout Europe. The following is a listing of the seven virtues and how they cure each of the seven deadly sins:

1 Kindness = Cures envy by placing the desire to help others above the need to supersede them.

2 Temperance = Cures gluttony by implanting the desire to be healthy, therefore making one fit to serve others.

3 Charity or Love =Cures greed by putting the desire to help others above storing up treasure for one’s self.

4 Chastity or Self Control = Cures lust by controlling passion and leverages that energy for the good of others.

5 Humility = Cures pride by removing one’s ego and boastfulness, therefore allowing the attitude of service.

6 Diligence or Zeal = Cures slothfulness by placing the best interest of others above the life of ease and relaxation.

7 Patience = Cures wrath by taking time to understand the needs and desires of others before acting or speaking.

All Glory to God!

His humble servant Lee Buchanan

 

 

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