I received a text yesterday that said, “I know the Bible says that we are free from sin, but sometimes I wonder. I think I am incapable of resisting *insert sin here*.” The Bible verse they are referencing is John 8:31-32,36, “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Jesus died on the cross to set us free from our sins, so those that follow Him are free from that bondage. Yet sin is a constant struggle in our lives. I think if we expect to just receive the freedom we are deceiving ourselves. Freedom isn’t free, there are steps we need to take in order to obtain it.
Today is July 4. Those of us in America will be celebrating our freedom by firing up the grills and by shooting fire into the air in pretty colors. If we look back at history, our freedom was not just handed to us. We fought a war to obtain it. We told Great Britain we were fed up with them and were not going to put up with the shenanigans anymore, and then we fought with everything we had to gain our freedom. Looking at this example, we shouldn’t expect our dealings with sin to be any different. We shouldn’t expect Satan to suddenly stop tempting us and all the sudden the sin and struggle with disappear. We need to tell the devil we are tired of his games and fight with all we have to get away form them. So what exactly does this look like?
The other night at the Man Meeting we talked about the steps we had taken to deal with lust in our lives. There is one principle that Pastor Sean always says that we all agreed was important in dealing with sin; if you want something you’ve never had before, you have to do something you’ve never done before. Step one to dealing with the sin in your life is finding out what triggers the temptation and getting rid of that. For some of us in the meeting it meant moving our computer to the living room instead of being in our bedroom. For some in meant limiting what time we were on our computers. When my friend got married, he and his fiance (now wife) had rules to help them stay pure and had someone hold them accountable to them. You can’t keep on doing things exactly the same and expect things to change. You can’t expect to pray for God to take away the temptation and then poof, it’s gone. There are things you need to change to help deal with it.
Making changes is not always easy and it is not always fun, but it is necessary. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18 just how important it is. In verses 8 and 9 He says, “And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.” He is basically saying, “How far are you willing to go?” He challenges people to do whatever it takes to get rid of the sin in their life. You can very clearly see that in those verses He didn’t say, “If something causes you to sin, just pray and I’ll get rid of it for you.” Jesus is there to help and support us, but we have to show that we are committed to getting rid of the sin.
So I challenge you this Independence Day to take a look inward. Take a look at the sins you struggle with, and see what steps you could take to get rid of them. Make an action plan and start working towards that goal. If Jesus has set you free, then you are free! No matter how hard it may seem, no matter how big and daunting it may look, Jesus died on the cross to take that sin from you. No one would have advised the colonists to fight Britain. No one advised David to fight Goliath. Yet in both cases they were the victors. Sin may be a giant in your life, but Jesus is stronger. Takes some steps and begin walking in that freedom!
until next time…
Comment Question: What have you done/are you doing to get rid of sin in your life?