Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sin is my choice

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.  Romans 6:12-14

This is what I am meditating on for the week and let me tell you - it is a lot to think about! I would not say that I am someone who goes around breaking laws that our society has set up (now). But, God's Law is a lot different. It looks into my heart. God sees the "Respectable Sins" and convicts me to the core. Not sure what a "respectable sin' is? Here's a list:
  • Ungodliness
  • Anxiety and Frustration
  • Discontentment
  • Unthankfulness
  • Pride
  • Selfishness
  • Lack of Self-Control
  • Impatience and Irritability
  • Anger
  • Judgmentalism
  • Envy, Jealousy, and Related Sins
  • Sins of the Tongue
  • Worldliness

See what I mean? Tough stuff when you look to the heart of the matter. We are all sinful creatures from birth. Without Christ, sin is inevitable. The Law cannot save; it only convicts us about our sinful condition. But by the grace of God, we can find forgiveness in Christ.
Though professing faith in God at the age of 14, it wasn't until 2005 that I was hit square between the eyes with my own sin - and some of my sins weren't so respectable.  I was horribly selfish and ugly. I hurt people. But most of all, I sinned against God, my holy Creator. That was when I truly repented and accepted Christ as Lord in my life. If you have not done this, then your battle with sin starts with Step One.

STEP ONE: Repent. Repent of your sin and find forgiveness through the work of Christ on the cross. That is the message of the gospel. It is a simple message. When the Philippian jailer asked what he must do to be saved, Paul responded, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:30-32). Once you do that, you are a new creation. The heart of stone has been replaced with a heart of flesh.

If we confess our sins, His faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9


STEP TWO: Admit it. We do not HAVE to sin. We have a choice. Do you think of it that way? That sinning is a choice? Even though it seems like second nature and temptations are great - it is a choice. That is what the Bible says - sin will not have dominion over you - and you believe the Bible, right?  Then admit it.
"When I sin, it is my choice."
STEP THREE: Resist. That easy, eh? Just resist the temptation to sin. Call on God because He is faithful to His promises. He will deliver you from the temptation. We have already proven that we don't know how to just stop sinning. God promises that we will not be tempted beyond what we are able to withstand - that is without His help.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man ; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

STEP FOUR: Remember the cross. Think about what Christ endured in order to save YOU. He left heaven, and gave up all His glory, to live a humble life on Earth. He never sinned. He was hated, deserted by all who said they loved him, tortured, beaten and then after all that, He suffered and died on the cross. He died for those who hated him. He died for sinners like you and me. Never forget that.

Every time you sin, that is another reason that Christ had to die. Do you love Him? I personally think that each time I sin, that is like another lash on the Perfect Lamb's back. Another nail in His palm. Another thorn in His brow.

When you think about how tempting it is to sin, remember 1 John 3:4-10 (see below). Although as believers we will still fail, our goal is to live a life that reflects our Lord. We strive for godliness and holiness.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as He is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. 1 John 4-10


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