The question of sin

Casalis's picture

Would someone please answer this question... Jesus came to free us from sin but sin still remains a struggle in the lives of His church. How exactly did He free us from sin as He said in John 10? Surely God can give abundant grace to His children so that they sin no more but its as if though He holds back that grace and allows the struggle though He hates sin.. Could someone find a consensus here?

John Wassell's picture

Sin

The question has been asked. Do we as truly born again believers still have a sin nature? I want to take the time to address this. So please stay with me. We know from Scripture that all humanity is born with the Adamic sin nature and we also know that in order to be saved from sin we must be Born Again (Born of God, Born from above). This spiritual birth is the direct act of God’s creative power in the human heart. The Spirit of God takes up residence within the Believer and as Col.1:27 says, Christ in us our hope of glory. This verse should not be limited to heaven only but should be fully embraced as God’s perfect will for the Believer’s life while still on earth.

I believe it’s essential for us to see God’s full spiritual potential for us in the “here and now”. We need to be reminded from time to time of the fate of the first generation of “exodus Israelites”. What was God’s full purpose for them? It was to take them “up out of Egypt” and bring then “into the Promised Land”. That generation got as far as the Jordan River, which bordered their new inheritance. However they failed to enter believe of unbelief. They simply refused to believe God’s best for them in the “here and now”. The tragic result was that God had to wait for 40 years to do what he had originally purposed and it happened to another generation. How tragic it is for us when we simply refuse to believe that what Jesus did to set us free from the penalty and the power of sin is not fully embraced and we baulk in unbelief saying, something like, “it’s just too good to be true. This must be for another time, maybe in heaven!”

As with many things God chooses to do it is first impossible. Is Christlikeness in the future or in the here and now impossible through human effort? Absolutely! Is it however a possibility through God’s power? Of coarse it is. Most professing Christians believe that God can do anything. Can God make my life to be like Jesus’ life? If not then Scriptures such as 1Jo 2:6 - Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did. (NLT) Clearly we can live as Jesus did while we are living in sin. The sin issue must be addressed in our lives. It’s what New Covenant life is all about. It’s about God doing for us what otherwise is impossible.

Christlikeness needs to be our target. We need it as our goal and objective in life. It’s where God is leading us. Just as Joshua lead the Israelites into their Promised land so Jesus is leading into ours. Were there enemies greater than the Israelites in Canaan? Many of them! Did they eventually see God do great things on their behalf? Yes, just listen again to the words of Joshua in Joshua 23:14 …Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the LORD your God has come true. Not a single one has failed! If you compare this with New Covenant it sure opens up a whole glorious realm of divine possibilities for God’s people today. Notice for instance 2P.1:2-4 May God bless you with his special favor and wonderful peace as you come to know Jesus, our God and Lord, better and better. 3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! 4 And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature. (NLT) I’m going to boldly say that Christlikeness through the power of God is as possible for us today as entering Canaan was for the Exodus Israelites. Were there enemies to overcome? Yes, absolutely. Were they real? Yes they were. Would defeating them mean strict obedience to the known will of God? Yes it would! Would they see victory over their enemies? Yes! The same holds true for us today. Is God with us? He can’t be more with, He lives in the heart of every true Believer. Why is their? To help us live above the beggarly elements of this world. He’s in us to empower us to do His perfect will. Which by the way is living free from sinning. Ph.2:13 - For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him. Who is it that gives us the desire to live pleasing to the Lord? God! Who is that that enables us to do what pleases Him? Again God. This is the major difference between the Old and New Covenants. The Old Covenant was God ordained and fully accomplishes His will. It shows us God’s will as well as showing us our inability to please God’s through the power of our fallen human nature. Our failure to live up to God’s standards is what leads us to Christ. We look to Him for the power to live as He did. I labor this point on purpose before moving on to address the issue of overcoming the sin nature. Any victory over sin is only possible through the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

Do believers still have a sin nature? Yes we do? Does this sin nature still have the power to control us? No is doesn’t? Prior to salvation people are powerless to live free from sin. They’re dominated by the sin nature. The New Covenant Believer, however is no longer “just human”. There is within them the power of the resurrected Christ. They no long need to obey the compulsions to sin. They are now able, through God’s power to say no to sin and yes to righteousness. The present issue isn’t whether or not we can experience Christlikeness in the here and not but rather if we really want to. The choice is ours. God has done so much for us through the Lord Jesus Christ but He will not live our life for us. We must continually choose to obey. Rom.6:16 - Don’t you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you have obeyed with all your heart the new teaching God has given you. 18 Now you are free from sin, your old master, and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness. The clear New Covenant teaching is, God’s people are free from the power of sin they are, however, required to choose whose servant they will be. This choosing will be with us until the end. We never escape this! Gal 5:17 - The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. The battle rages BUT we are able through God’s power to experience victory over sin.

Christlikeness is a growth process. Did Israel conquer all their enemies over night? No they didn’t, nor will we BUT if we continue to be lead by the Spirit of God and choose to trust Jesus for the victory we will win. As the Psalmist said in Ps 44:7 It is you who gives us victory over our enemies;. Some of our personal enemies may be very persistent but we need to be encouraged in the Lord that nothing is too hard for Him. He will do for us what we cannot do for our self if we will only trust Him.

Submitted by:
John Wassell
Revivalcanada.ca




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