Sunday, September 9, 2018

If You Think You Can Stop Sinning Completely – Think Again

Has someone ever said something about something and a light comes on? A light of understanding of some spiritual truth that had refused to shine in the past no matter how many times you tried to flip the switch?  Well that happened to me today.  It was during the sermon this morning.  Some might even call what happened – an epiphany. (An epiphany is a moment of sudden revelation or insight.)   Let me explain….. 

The Pastor taught about the three aspects of the Christian life.  First is something called justification – that happens when the penalty for Sin has been paid for.  Sin is the “root” that must be cut in order to free us so we can be declared righteous before God the Father.  Sin is the cause of the separation of man and God.  Sin is what is passed from Adam through all generations.  Jesus defeated Sin so man might be made right through Him. But that is only the beginning of the story. 

Here is where the light came on for me.  

The second aspect our Christian “experience” is sanctification.  Every Christian is being conformed – shaped – into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”  Now, this is a process that involves obedient submission to the Spirit of God, allowing the Word of God to do its work in our hearts, and the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit and sins becoming less and less a prominent part of our lives. Just as Sin is the cause - sins are the consequence.

Here is something to think about.  So long as you walk this earth, you will never be sinless.  Sanctification is a process that goes on until we see Jesus – either in death or on the air.  Did you think that you would ever reach a point in this life when you stopped sinning?  And, if you couldn’t stop sinning then there must be something wrong with you?  That maybe your salvation didn’t “take”?  Sins are a consequence of our fallen nature.  Just as Sin is the root – sins are the fruit.  God has given us the means to wage spiritual battle against temptation and when we yield to the temptation that results in – sin (small “s”).  We continue to sin because we struggle with a devotion to our old nature.  The more spiritually mature we become, the less we will sin – but – trust me – we will continue to bear remnants of the fruit of the our old nature so long as we have breath.  Read Galatians chapter 5 to refresh yourself on the fruit of the flesh and the Spirit. 

So – what is the third aspect?  Glorification.  That is when we join Jesus in heaven.  When all things will be new.  There will be no Sin or sins.  Why did God do it this way?  Good question.  Somehow, what we experience during our time of sanctification after we are born again has eternal value.  We will fully understand one day. 1 (Corinthians 13:9-12) “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”  But for now, we trust God and don’t lose hope. 

Do you struggle with sins in your life?  Of course you do.  You are not alone. Should you be content with the fact that you will sin? God forbid it – and He does. Your struggle – my struggle will not end until we are in heaven.  But God has made a way for us to fight the battle.  Most of the New Testament epistles address this very thing at length.  Think about it.  Why would God want the writers of the New Testament to address the issue of the continuation of sins as a "heads up" for the Church if it were not a significant part of our faith life?  Something to think about.  CHARLEY 

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