Saturday, February 12, 2011

Forever Free From Sin

What will have to happen in order for you to finally be free from the power of sin?

The short answer is: You’ll have to die. The follow up question gets at the truth: When did you die? If you’re a Christian, then you’ve already died—had a burial and everything—and sin no longer has power over you. Rom 6:3 “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?”

Christians shared in the very death of Jesus, as well as in His follow-up resurrection. On the cross we were in Christ, and what happened to Him happened to us—We were crucified with Him, and a few days later we were raised with Him. The nature pre-disposed to sin that we had before we were crucified with Him, was removed, and a new nature pre-disposed to righteousness was given to each of us. Rom 6:6 “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” Read verse 7 again. That means you. And that means me. Fantastic!

We now share in the very nature of our Father, and the way to escape the corruption in this world caused by the evil desires of the flesh is to participate with Him (2 Peter 1:3-4). How? We who have been put into Christ do what He did: Rom 6:11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

This passage does not say “Offer yourselves to good deeds,” as though the Christian life is found in good works as opposed to bad. “Offer yourselves to God” is what it says and that’s what it means. And where is God now? He is in you and He is in me—in all who have received Him. When I look for God now in me, when I sow toward Him by offering myself to Him, He produces LIFE! Christ is formed in me! And how will that look? After thinking in my head something like, “Father, I offer myself to you…Holy Spirit, what do you think about all this?...Jesus, I know you’re in me and I am in you, so…” I reap eternal life, the life of God (Gal 6:8), and I am either led toward some godly behavior, some fruit of the Spirit is produced in me (Gal 5:22-23), or I go on my way in the perfect confidence that God’s grace to me is perfect for what’s ahead.

I fit perfectly in Him, and He fits perfectly in me. We’re compatible! Even if I fail, the Spirit is right then working with me to convince me of my place in Him as well as my life in Him. I’m secure. Nothing has changed. I am still free from sin. I may have fallen to it, but I am quick to resist the temptation to believe otherwise, and offer myself to Him all over again. And more and more, you and I will come to find and to know that our life is in Christ, by the Spirit, and free from sin.

Our performance or experience does not determine whether or not we are free from the power of sin! What God thinks determines it. And His thinking is incredible, with lots and lots of invigorating power that goes with it for those who believe. Watch what happens as you do.

By the way, I write extensively about this in my about-to-be-published book, "God's Astounding Opinion of You." More info soon!

I hope this helps.

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