Dad and I were driving home today from the Buffalo Airport when we decided to visit my old friend in a “slightly out of the way” maximum security prison.
As we drove, I mentioned that this year I learned something important about sin and my status as a Christian. Turns out that once Jesus comes in and makes us new, we do not HAVE to sin. This was new to me–I always sin, so I assumed it was normal and unavoidable.
We will certainly be tempted. In fact, usually when I resolve to really work on a particular habit or problem, I am immediately tempted more than I was previously. We should not be surprised at this. Here’s the thing though. When we sin, we’re often not surprised either. It’s like, “Well, we’re GOING to sin, obviously, so we can’t be all legalistic about it..” I think that can be dangerous.
We do NOT have to sin. Never. When you’re in Christ, you’re new and he helps you—sin has ZERO power over you. You’re not a slave anymore! You’re free! FREEEEEE to love and be and live and work and pray and play and worship..
But we will have a rough go at it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Don’t think I’m saying that we will be sin free, than I am even close, or that temptation is not difficult. But i do believe that as we grow in Christ, we need to understand the lack of power evil has over us. We were once slaves to it, and HAD to sin cause we were slaves to the one we obeyed:
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
Once we got through the crazy security today, Dad and I spoke with my friend. He’s there for at least 7 years. He told horrible stories to us. Our hearts broke for him and his 2 yr old. But he explained that when he was outside the prison he was more a slave than now…with an addiction to support, he had to make 1400 a week just to buy drugs–it was total slavery. He says “i’m more free in here than i was outside”.
But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
So to recap–my thoughts are over the place currently:
1.) Sin has no power over you after you give yourself to Jesus.
2.) Following the law of liberty and grace brings blessing and true freedom.
There’s really no freedom outside of Him because we’re always a slave to something: Success, addictions, money, relationships, knowledge..
But in Him we can overcome and can get out every time we’re tempted. When we screw up (as i do daily) he is quick to forgive us. Let’s not live as slaves anymore or expect to sin. Should be seeing less sin. Should be thankful every time i mess up and he gives me grace.