CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Christians and Sin
By Jeffrey Gante
Christians can be set free from any sin. But some of our desires can be lifetime struggles. When we become believers in Jesus Christ, we do not automatically lose the desires and passions of our human nature and its sinful inclinations. We are still human after all. What happens is we enter into a lifetime battle between our flesh (our human nature) and the Holy Spirit:
I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don't do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity. idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.Besides revealing the Christian's battle between the flesh and the Spirit, the set of verses above also gives examples of the desires and acts of our human nature. A believer could feel guilty and experience fear when reading, "that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." But the principle that is being taught here is this: If we were still under law, we would never make it to heaven because of the many acts of our sinful nature.
– Galatians 5:16-25, HCSB
Every Christian deals with sin in one form or another everyday of our lives. Many times we sin when we are not even aware of it. That is why Jesus had to die in our place–because we are so imperfect that we will never measure up to God's standards of perfection in this lifetime. The law of the Old Testament condemned Israel because they were never able to measure up to the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses (Galatians 3:10). The purpose of the law was to show humanity that we are unable to be perfect before a holy God, "for the law made nothing perfect." (Hebrews 7:19, NKJV)… "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10, NKJV). Under "law", all it takes is one besetting sin and we are as guilty as if we committed them all.
The ultimate goal of the law was meant to lead us unto faith in Christ as the only One who can save us from ourselves.
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.As soon as a person is born, they are already dead physically and spiritually, and cannot enter the kingdom of God in that state of being. But as soon as people put their faith in Jesus Christ and are born again, they immediately pass from death to life and can no longer be condemned (John 3:6,7,18; John 5:24; Romans 8:1, 33,34).
– Galatians 3:24,25, NKJV
That does not mean that we should take advantage of God's forgiveness however.
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?As the opening scripture taught, we are in a lifetime battle between our natural desires and the will of the Holy Spirit within (Galatians 5:17). On the one hand, struggling with certain behavior is not unusual, and Christians do not lose their relationship with God because we yield to temptation. But we are also taught that our "passions and desires" are crucified with Christ, so "we must also follow the Spirit." (Galatians 5:24,25)
– Romans 6:1,2, NLT
No honest Christian can say that they can go a day without having committed some sin, even in ignorance. Forgiveness through the blood of Jesus covers it all (Hebrews 10:14).
But the Bible says, for example, to "Run from sexual immorality!" (I Cor. 6:18a, HCSB) Many Christians are weak-willed with lust and other desires of our flesh. We all have to ask God for strength. It is available to us (Phil 4:13; II Cor. 12:9). Resist temptation, run from temptation, and ask God for the strength of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a daily battle, but we can gain a daily victory. Confess sin on a regular basis to stay strong in your relationship with God (I John 1:9).
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
– James 4:7, 8, NKJV
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Tags: Christian-Life | Sin-Evil
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Published on 11-8-13