Sin. Did she just say sin? I am so outa here…
WAIT! Before you dismiss me for saying that dreaded 3 letter ‘s’ word, sin, ask yourself, why are you in such a hurry to rush past it? Did you instantly feel guilty? Did you inwardly cringe? Did you berate yourself for not being a better Christian? Did something less than stellar in your past flood your mind? Did you roll your eyes and think, sin — really — again? Why are you so uncomfortable with this major topic of the Bible? More than 400 times SIN is in there. About the same number of times as LOVE. Seems important enough. Yes?
My dear Christian sister, let me tell you this: When you think of sin, if you only experience condemnation or fear, then something other than God’s Spirit within you is offering you a big fat lie.
Did you notice that your initial reaction to sin was one or more of these: a negative feeling, a physical discomfort, a self-condemning thought, taking a rebellious posture. Right? I know because in the past, I have reacted to even the mention of sin like that. But. That was before I determined to understand better what God says to me about sin in His Book of love. I am His very own child. He has something to tell me and I want to hear it. Because He loves me. And He loves you. He wants us to be growing spiritually. He does not condemn us. That is not who He is!
There is therefore now NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1,2)
Condemnation is a specialty of someone else: Your infernal enemy. He is someone who is out to destroy your life. He would like you to run on negative feelings, on physical anxiety, on pride, on self-rejection, on false guilt, on self-destruction. Do you see what I’m getting at here? Satan will always try to deceive you. He wants you walking according to the flesh. He does not want you walking according to the Spirit. Freedom is in the Spirit, not in the flesh. That’s exactly why it’s so important to know what God says. So we have the facts. So we know the truth. So we can identify and refuse those lies!
Let me ask you this: Did your mind go to SIN as a VERB or a NOUN when you first started reading this post? In other words, did the thought of sin bring to mind things like angry outbursts, adultery, stealing, gossip, murder, a critical attitude, physical abuse? These are verbs, involving behavior and actions. Things that people do. Sin is real, people do sin. Christians do sometimes sin. And we confess those things we do to God and restore fellowship with Him. BUT. AND THIS IS HUGE! There are places in Scripture where SIN IS A NOUN. That’s right, a person, place or thing. In Romans 5-8, Paul is letting us know how this noun — the enemy — operates. There is a conflict. And this conflict is between the new creatures that we are in Christ and this power of sin, personified. Read this verse (Romans 6:13) with ‘sin’ as a noun instead of a verb: Do not present the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead. Do you see it in a new light? Did you get a jolt of hope? We’re not in conflict with ourselves (sinning as a verb) but against a personified power (sin as a noun). Jesus already defeated that power on the Cross. We get to claim and believe that victory!
Even if our moral behavior looks really great (on the outside), our thought life (on the inside) could be littered with junk. Lies. Untruth. This is where Satan is so absolutely deceitful. He specializes in selling lies. Offering us thoughts and pushing us toward feelings that are not at all in line with who God says we are. He gets at us in the flesh. In our mind, our brain – part of our body living here physically on earth. Waging war against the law of my mind, as Paul says in Romans 8:23. BUT. MORE GOOD NEWS! When we were saved we not only were immediately saved from the penalty of sin, we were also saved from the POWER OF SIN. And this DELIVERANCE from the power of sin is by faith through grace just as for salvation itself! How awesome is that!
Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:11)
We are free to choose to either listen to the power of sin personified, trying to defeat us or we can listen to God who loves us and always wants what’s best for us. We get to choose who we listen to.
We are more than conquerors. Romans 8:37 says, yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us so much that He died for us. We don’t just conquer. We utterly, overwhelmingly conquer. We are SUPER VICTORIOUS in Christ.