2007-10-29 - Grace Over Sin
1 John 3:3, "And every one who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He (Christ) is pure."
Sin has a power and prevalency in all of us. There is a strength that sin possesses, that is undeniable to the true saint who is struggling against it. For the saint who does not struggle, has given up the struggle, or never struggled, this will make no sense. But to the saint who knows the burden of sin, has prayed against sin, but still sinned; made resolutions against sins, but still yielded; fought against sin, and still found himself/herself carried captive to its whiles; to those of us who have sweated, recoiled, and wept for their sins, yet still yielded, the statement that sin has an undeniable power over us, will ring true. Many can attest to times alone, when they have had to admit to themselves, sadly, that their temptations to sin are simply too hard for them. It is a sorrowful moment for the Christian who has to admit his/her weakness, and all too common failure in the struggle to honor, serve, and live faithfully before the Lord.
May I suggest that this outward struggle is a good sign? Only the true Christian struggles with sin. Let us take hope and encouragement that we are seeking to resist. It is a work of grace that we even do so. But let us not fight and seek to resist our temptations outwardly only. Our fight against sin will have more success, if we rely less upon ourselves and more upon graces that we draw from Christ. Keeping our focus in faith upon the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ will be a great assistance in the struggle. Christ has already won the victory for us. Let us draw virtue from Him.
Consider the woman in Luke 8:43-48, who had the issue of blood for many years, and had spent all she had upon doctors who did not help her. She comes to Christ and touches the hem of his garment. We must do the same. Not only let us seek to touch the hem of His garment, but let us flee into His loving, caring arms in all our struggle with sin. She came to Christ, in faith, for her needs. She draws healing from Him, and is made whole. Christ tells her that her faith has made her whole. It was not her struggle. It was not her determination to get well. It was not anything but her faith that won the victory. It is not our resolutions, sweating, and fighting against sin that will stop its bloody issue in our lives, but it is our believing in Christ.
It is common for us to seek to mortify sin but prayers, setting convictions, and purposing that from here on "I will be good and not yield," without looking to the crucified Christ in whom we receive our strength. It is poor fighting when we fight alone. If we clung to Christ more, sin would die more. If we believed the promised threatenings more to those who forsake the Lord, sin would die more. If we believed the promises of God more, sin would die more in our lives.
Christian, you reign with Christ: Live up to your high calling as a child of God. If we believed more that Christ really does reign in our lives, sin would die in us more. Nothing puts out Satan more than our fleeing to, trusting upon, and believing into Christ for all grace in our afflictions.
Soli Deo Gloria,