“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”– Galatians 5:1
Sin is such a hard word to handle. It feels so judgmental. It feels so, cliché. We as a people really do not like hearing about the concept of sin mainly because it hits to our core. You might even be tempted to stop reading because sin is a tough topic, but please hear me out.
We all have a brokenness about us that we know doesn’t feel right. We all have things we think that make us feel uncomfortable, yet we continue to allow those actions or activities to have some sort of stronghold in our lives.
Before we go any further, we need to define sin. Simply put, sin is what separates us from our Creator. When we sin, we choose to pick our own desires over the One who created us. We choose to ignore the concepts and ideas that He put before us in order to do the things we want, even if we know it is not cohesive with what we know God has designed us for.
This is the hardest part of who we are. We don’t like hearing what is wrong with us. We don’t like knowing that our choices or desires might not necessarily be right. In fact, not wanting to hear about sin is why most people avoid going to church or even discussing faith with Christians.
Those who have been damaged by the sin message must have had people who, while talking to them about their brokenness, chose to ignore the concept of grace. Grace came in and through Jesus so that we can be redeemed us from the separation from our Creator. He came in order to give us freedom from our flaws and guilt. He came so that sin wouldn’t reign supreme, but God would. Sin came forth from a lie, but redemption was birthed through Truth.
Grace is receiving something we do not deserve. Grace is the essence of life through Jesus. Grace tells us, “Yes, your sin has killed you, but Christ’s death will bring you back to life!”- and that is power.
So, now that we got those definitions and concepts out of the way, let’s address the freedom to sin through grace. This seems to be something many people hold true to. They say, “I’m a sinner set free from Christ, so I can sin because I am forgiven.” They willingly choose to live a life filled with the very thing that Christ came to free them from.
Grace was not given in order to continue living a sinful life. It was given in order for us to maneuver through a sinful life. It was given so we may be able to focus on what God has in store and not the fact that we can’t match up to what He desires.
He knows our limitations, but He chooses to love us anyway.
That does not mean we continue living in our own way. Christ said, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25; NASB). When we choose to keep our own life going the way we want it, then we will lose it. If we choose to lose what we desire in order to live for Jesus, then we gain life.
We can justify our sin very easily. We can say, “Well, thank God for the cross, otherwise I couldn’t do ____”. That is a sad way to look at the cross.
The cross was the way for life to be given to us, not a way for us to continue living in what brings us death.
When Christ interacted with “sinners” in scripture they changed. They reflected on who they were and understood there was something more. Zacchaeus, the tax collector, said he would return what he stole. The woman caught in adultery was told to go and sin no more. The woman at the well discovered a new way to live. There are so many other biblical examples. Sinners are still sinful, but as they turn their focus on Christ, their desire to sin becomes less.
This is not to say we should never sin again, but to know that we cannot allow ourselves to continue without repentance or turning away from that which causes us to lose focus on the cross.
We are made new through the death and resurrection of Jesus. We are called to be different. When we die to ourselves we are different from the world. We show that there is a better way to live.
Living for your self is not a Christian concept.
Living for who God wants you to be and has created you to be is what a follower of Christ strives for.
This means we are free from the guilt of sin, but not free to live in it.
May we acknowledge the sin in our lives. May we recognize the freedom received through Christ. May we rest in that freedom, but may we strive to live for Christ and not ourselves.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What do you need to deny in your life in order to move forward with Christ?