“If you strengthen yourselves and hold to one another and in one time stand on this living Truth which has been visible to you, then all of you from small to great can conquer the Sin which opposes you. But if you divide on this Truth, what may not happen? You will be both split up by it and also subdued under Sin’s hand, and you will be humbled also under all its Powers that oppose you.” (Gospel of Mani 47:1)
In this verse we see the importance of unity and standing together on the Truth of the Gospel as a means to overcome the challenges posed by the evil one or its negative influences. Division or disagreement weakens us and makes us more vulnerable to these forces.
How do we “conquer the Sin”?
In the marginal note for this verse, Greenlees said, “Knowledge that fellow-believers are fighting the same battle gives us courage and success.”
Describing the struggle against sin as a battle is a metaphorical way of illustrating the difficulties and challenges involved in resisting the temptation brought before us by the evil one, and living according to moral or ethical principles.
Just as a battle involves opposition and conflict, fighting against the darkness represents the inner moral struggle within oneself. It refers to the constant choice between following virtuous actions and succumbing to negative impulses or behaviors.
Sin and Darkness (the evil one) are often associated with tempting desires or actions that go against Gospel values and principles. The battle against sin involves resisting these temptations and making conscious efforts to do what is right or morally upright.
Similar to a battle, the fight against the darkness requires persistence and perseverance. It’s not a one-time event but an ongoing process that necessitates our continuous self-reflection, self-control, and effort.
Engaging in this battle involves personal growth and transformation. It requires developing the Virtues which strengthen our ability to resist sinful tendencies.
Just as a battle involves overcoming obstacles and challenges, the struggle against sin requires overcoming internal barriers such as unhealthy habits, harmful thought patterns, or external influences that may lead us astray.
Viewing the fight against sin as a battle implies that success is attainable. By persevering and making morally sound choices, we can achieve a sense of victory over our lower impulses, grow in character, and align ourselves more closely with Alaha’s principles.
A paraphrase of 47:1
“If you empower yourselves, support one another, and unite in embracing the undeniable truth that is apparent to you, then every individual among you, regardless of their status, can overcome the challenges posed by sin. However, if you become divided or disagree on this truth, what could occur? You will be separated and weakened by your division, falling under the influence of sin and its oppressive power, ultimately experiencing humiliation in the face of all the forces that oppose you.”