Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Depending On Christ (Part 2)
One very important thing that we need to depend on Christ for is help with battling the sins in our lives. Before going into the specifics of how we can do this, I need to make something clear: if you are a Christian, Christ has already taken the penalty for your sins and His righteousness is now counted as yours. As it says in Isaiah 53:6, "All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned, every one, to his own way and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." This is very important to grasp, because only when we do, can we be fully honest about the sin in our lives. When we are still living in guilt, we won't want to search our lives for sin and ask for Christ's help. Rather, we will try to cover them up.
This assurance of grace also gives us tremendous hope for warring against the sin of our flesh. It is like being told, before you go into a battle that you are going to win. Knowing this gives you more strength to fight. Also, we must know that if Christ would take the penalty for our sin, He will wonderfully enable us to fight our sin and will walk along side us as we do that in His strength.
Now, what kinds of actions are sins that we have to fight against? Most people asked to define sin will names things such as murder, adultery and stealing. Most of us haven't done those things, which can tend to make us feel superior. But we need to dig deeper. Sin is any action that does not please God. God has made it clear in His word what pleases Him and what does not.
But so many times we overlook a lot of the "small sins." Sin is sin though, no matter how much we try to justify it. I'm currently reading this book called Respectable Sins, which talks about "confronting the sins we tolerate." Among the list of specific sins that the author, Jerry Bridges, addresses are anxiety, frustration, discontent, selfishness, unthankfuless, lack of self-control, impatience, anger and worldliness.
This list I think is especially hard to go through as a teen, because it goes against everything taught in our pop culture and social scene. In face, most movies and advertisements targeted at us encourage these qualities, falsely titling them as ways to be "true to yourself."
We need to move past initial pride and resistance towards acknowledging these sins, and others in our lives. It is when we do this that Christ can work in us to help us grow more.
When we go about fighting sin, we must fully rely on Christ and His power. This does not free us from responsibility, though. We must constantly be working hard to kill the sin of our flesh that lives in us. It may be painful, but it will be beautiful. It will bring God great glory and it is our duty as a Christian soldier.
Prayer is a very important battle weapon. Never underestimate its power. Any time you are in a situation that you are tempted in, plea for Christ's immeasurable power to help you.
Memorizing Christ's words on sin and also His assurances of salvation in His word will also help you in you fight. When you are in hard situations, Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, will remind you of those words to help you.
Battles are never fun; you battle on sin won't be either. But with Christ you will be able to endure.