Sunday, September 13, 2009
How to Kill Sin in Your Life?
Dr John MacArthur, Grace to You Ministries, wrote an article entitled How to Kill Sin in Your Life. First off it is refreshing to see someone speak against the sins of the heart as treated as not being all that bad. The sin usually addressed is the gross outward acts which destroy the person doing it and those around them. Whereas sins of the heart are not known to those around the believer unless he or she makes them known. These are sins which God can see and finds as repulsive as the most heinous murders.
As loving children of God we desire to rid our lives of sin. We are constantly at battle with it in our lives. Sins which are outward actions or words spoken are relatively easy to control. An unbeliever with proper motivation can curb the desire to say inappropriate things, obey the speed limit, not steal from his or her employer and to be a faithful spouse. A believer when he or she curbs those actions does, by the grace of our Father in Jesus, have proper motivation. As far as sins of the heart is an entirely different matter. Yes we are to resist those as well but can one kill them?
Romans 6:1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. ESV
We see from the above passage that we do not kill sin but rather we are crucified with Jesus in baptism and are dead to sin. We were crucified with him that the body of sin be brought to nothing. So we have no desire to sin and when we, as always, fall short of the glory of Christ it seems like death to us. That is the one crucial thing missing from the article. Jesus crucified for us. This is what destroys sins power over us is to repent and receive forgiveness for sin. This is given freely with no strings attached but rather out of love and gratefulness to Jesus we strive daily against sin. However in Jesus we are dead to sin and that with no effort from us but we receive it passively. Instead of having to put sin to death Jesus puts us to death and raises us to walk in newness of life.
This section of St Paul’s letter is wonderful soaring stuff. So, it may seem, to keep us from fooling ourselves that we will become more and more perfect as time goes on we see later what the Christian life is like.
Romans 7:21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. ESV
There you have it. The Christian life with all its warring inside and also the cure. So it is not using our will power, the words of Jesus as a help, hours of prayer seeking to know our sin or any other such flexing of muscle but rather the finished work of Jesus. As always it is not about you but rather Jesus for you.
Praise to you O Christ. †