My child, there will always be times when you fall short. There will also be times when you are less than perfect. No human is perfect. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Repent and confess and get on with following Me. Do not let the enemy continue to condemn what I have already forgiven. I know every one of your deeds before you do them. I know every word before you speak it. I have come to set you free from the power of sin. I have already paid the penalty for your sins. Quit beating yourself up over sin. Repent and confess and continue on the path I have before you. I am not asking for perfection. I desire obedience.
Be careful that you don’t get caught up with what the world teaches. Each generation goes their own way, but I have a remnant that remains true to Me. Be set apart from this culture. Be salt and light to this generation. The sins of this world will entangle you, so stay pure. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. I have given you discernment. Walk according to My ways. Keep your eyes focused on Me. I will keep you from falling. You are secure in Me when you keep your eyes focused on Me alone.
I am aware of your wandering heart. I know your mind gets distracted even in prayer. It’s when you acknowledge that and confess it to Me I have something to work with. You become moldable when you realize the thoughts and temptations are there and bring them to Me. It’s not a sin to be tempted. It only becomes sin when you act on that which you are being tempted. Taking your thoughts captive means acknowledging them and bringing them to Me and confessing them. When you do, I will come and replace them with My thoughts.
Wake up O sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you. Put away all that distracts. Press in and pray. And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Ephesians 5:14 2 Chronicles 7:14
What is this “domain of darkness” the Bible talks about? Is this darkness merely sin, or should it also be thought of as a state of lawlessness? Actually, sin and lawlessness are one and the same(1 John 3:4).
It’s helpful to see that sin, by its very nature, is a shunning of God’s law. The citizens of the kingdom of darkness are those who rebelliously make sin the practice of their life. They spurn what they know of God, willfully choosing the opposite of His revealed law—or at least carefully skirting it.
They live in rebellion against God. And yes, without Christ, even those who are considered to be good people fall into this category.
I think we as believers can all agree that any thought of maintaining a lifestyle of sin is patently absurd (Romans 6:15). Paul prefaces his whole argument of dying to sin with this statement in Romans 6:2: “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”
So it would be rather foolish to think that being freed from such a powerful enemy might somehow give us the right to continue playing around with it. Why bother being freed at all if we merely set ourselves up to be enslaved all over again?
The purpose of freedom from sin isn’t to let us lapse into sloppy behavior with the excuse that battling selfish desires is just too big a chore. God didn’t set us free to give us license to sin, but rather to lay the foundation for unfettered pursuit of Him in spite of our inherent weakness.
It’s not hard to come away from Romans 6 with at least a head-knowledge that our flesh has somehow died now that we’ve received Christ. After all, isn’t that what it says in Romans 6:6: “…that our body of sin might be done away with?” “Finally, my old self is dead!” we reason, even though deep down it’s really hard to believe.(Colossians 3:9-10)
Nevertheless it is true. But the manner in which “our body of sin” has been “done away with” is a little different from what may appear on the surface. Actually our body of sin didn’t go anywhere. It’s still clinging close at hand. So what seems to be a contradiction here can be an ongoing frustration for Christians, because it’s tough not to be disheartened by a sense of guilt which is constantly blown out of proportion by Satan’s masterful manipulation through accusation and deceit.
It’s easy for us to think of salvation as being a free gift of grace, but righteousness is often a different story. Yet righteousness before God comes exclusively as a free gift from Him as well. Here’s how Paul puts it: “… those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17). Truly magnificent, isn’t it? But as wonderful as this is, it’s merely the starting point in our walk of faith.
The question is how the reality of God’s righteousness, having now become our own, plays out in the believer over the course of his life. What about our old nemesis: sin? How is it that God can allow our ongoing struggle with sin to exist right alongside the awesome position of righteousness we now have in Christ? The incredible gift of God’s grace has everything to do with it! In Christ, God has actually caused us to die to sin itself.
Think back for a moment to what your life was like at the time Jesus rescued you from your sin. In and of ourselves, could any of us have achieved righteousness in God’s eyes? Of course not! Each and every one of us had to rely totally on Jesus to clean up the mess we’d made of our lives.
Then how in the world could we ever think that now we might somehow be capable of building relationship with Him by our own efforts?(Romans 5:10) Well, needless to say, it’s impossible. Still, it’s not at all uncommon for believers to keep trying, since our human nature instinctively inclines us to do so. Therefore, we must always be vigilant not to retreat into a mindset of trying to earn a position of good standing with God.(Colossians 2:20-21)
Consider the fact that we’ve been born—not by our own choice—into a world of sin. As we discussed earlier, the only possible outcome of life in such a tainted world is enslavement to sin. Yet, while on the surface this certainly seems like a negative thing, human existence is actually an incredible gift of God. Why? Because it allows us the opportunity to experience a level of intimacy with Him that it could be achieved by no other means—a relationship whose purpose and ultimate outcome is a personal joining with God eternally.
Still, the weakness of human nature overwhelms us in this environment of sin. And God, being intrinsically just, simply had to do something about it. His answer: God chose to take on a human nature, which ultimately led to crediting us with His own righteousness as He took our sins upon Himself through His suffering and death.(Hebrews 2:14, 17) This radical step is equitable in God’s eyes because it is the only solution that could provide the answer to our human condition.
Crediting us with His righteousness is the very foundation of God’s redemptive plan in bringing “many sons to glory.” Our redemption means that God has purchased us, much like one would buy a slave for the purpose of setting him free. And it all happens through faith.(Romans 3:25-26)