Resolved, to embrace Christ’s victory over sin and death and to fight, by that power, ceaselessly against the sin and error in my own life.
What and Why?
Here’s where I explain what I mean and why it matters.
If you didn’t read yesterday’s post on the heart condition behind sin, check that out before you read any further.
Living with our sin.
Somewhere along the line, we were deceived into thinking that because we’re not perfect, we don’t have to try. The thought is that, since Christ died for us, His grace will cover whatever we’re planning to do this Friday night and that we can go ahead and do it anyway, so long as we go to church on Sunday.
Paul addresses that line of thinking at length in Romans 6:1-14.
Perhaps you’re not quite so brazen, but I know there was a time in my life when I was. I also walk daily with a lot folks who still are. Jude 1:4 has some harsh words for us on that point. This one of the reasons why so many people think that Christians are hypocrites.
What we don’t realize is that, when we carry on in this state of “cheap grace,” we actually sow the seeds of our own pain and suffering. We fool ourselves into thinking that we can live with a little sin as long as we don’t hurt anybody. The problem with that thinking is that sin always hurts somebody; even if its just us.
A long, slow slide…
No guy I know would ever wake up one morning and say, “I’m going to cheat on my wife today.” Yet, there are plenty of guys who do and its not because they’re any more wicked or fallen than you or me. It starts with a sinful thought. Then comes one small compromise after an other. Next is the rationalization around that compromise. Finally, a line is crossed and lives are devastated.
That’s what happens. One compromise leads to another until the train completely runs off the tracks. We have the opportunity at each juncture to say no and to pursue the repentance in which God’s grace has so freely enabled us to engage. Instead, we fail to recognize the urgency of the situation until its too late.
Putting sin to death.
That’s why I’m committed to fighting whatever sin the Holy Spirit would bring to light in my own life. We can’t settle for allowing our ‘pet sins’ to lurk in the shadows of our lives. We may think that they’re under control, but one day they will come to the surface and wreck everything.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that we could use His grace to justify our sin. He died so that His grace could set us free from that sin. We have to see every sin in our lives, no matter how “harmless,” as infinitely offensive to the God of all creation, and therefore completely inhibitive to us finding our ultimate joy in Him.
That’s a tall order, but by His grace anything is possible.
How and When?
Here’s where I look at ways to practically apply this resolution to my life.
- Identify the circumstances and situations in which I’m tempted to compromise.
- Apply yesterday’s principles towards those habitual sins that I’m prone to.
- Strike at these problems head on until that area of sin is not just subdued, but dead.
This post is part of the Resolved series: a collection of 21 personal resolutions that I’m writing/preaching to myself. If you’d like to keep up with this series, feel free to click one of the links below and subscribe to my RSS feed.