So often in life we take the easy way “out” when dealing with sin. Actually, it is no way out at all, it just makes us feel better about ourselves.
We sin, and then convince ourselves that “that’s just the way I am”, or “that’s just who I am”, or even “well, I’m just a sinner saved by grace”. We compromise, even justify, our actions as just the natural by-product of our fallen life here on earth. All along though we still feel a little sorry ask God to forgive us – again – and encourage ourselves by saying something like “I’ll never do that again”. Most of us have simply conceded defeat, and try our best to continually make peace with God and ourselves saying we’re sorry and trying (for a while) not to do “that” again.
Yes, the Bible says if we “confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9), and “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Do are forgiven when we confess and ask for it. We are not condemned because Christ’s blood covers all our past, present and future sins. BUT – we are not condemned to live a life of sin, guilt, shame, confession, forgiveness, sin, guilt, shame…….
The Bible is also very clear how to live above that roller coaster. Jesus didn’t just die in order to provide forgiveness for our continual sinning – he died to offer us freedom from it. His death also offer us a way off the roller coaster. A life of freedom and joy as we walk with Him.
You see, most of us choose the easy way out. We honestly don’t want to work very hard, or live deliberately. We would rather spar with our sin than live the kind of life that would actually destroy it and set us free. Sad isn’t it.
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death (mortify/kill) the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you once walked, when you lived in them. 8 But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
2 Timothy 2:22
The Bible clearly calls us to action – to a deliberateness about our approach to life. We cannot coast our way to godliness. In just the two passages above, notice the call to action – put to death, mortify/kill; put away; submit yourselves, resist, flee, pursue.
Walking in holiness is not God’s responsibility. We are holy, spiritually speaking, because of what Chris has done. Our soul and body (flesh) do not automatically live in holiness simply because we are Christians. In order to walk like who we are (God’s children, created in His image), and to live a victorious life of freedom over sin, guilt, shame, regret, futility, etc. – It Takes A Deliberate Lifestyle. God will not put to death, mortify, put away, flee or pursue for us. We must decide to walk that way, every single day of our life.
Are we coping, or conquering? Are we warriors, or fencers? Are we deliberate, or coasting? We get to decide.
In closing, let me also remind us all that God tells us very specifically what it takes to live victoriously. All we have to do is embrace it and walk in it
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Join with me in deciding to make 2013 the year we learn to walk in total freedom and joy – and then doing something to make it so.