Being born again to become that “new creature” in Christ, in no way shields us from being confronted with the power of sin. There it is, even though we are now joined to God in this powerful new relationship. This is a rude awakening for us all once we’ve gotten past the initial exhilaration of being saved.
As we attempt to move forward in our Christian walk, the resurgence of sin is a bewildering source of sorrow. But we shouldn’t be surprised by the fact that sin crops up once again. Rather, we should expect it.
We yearn mightily to be free once and for all from the power of sin. The Church has wrestled with this issue down through the centuries, most times implementing a regimen of works and sacraments in an attempt to conquer it. But it’s impractical to think that such a strategy might actually work because this merely employs a Band-Aid approach; it treats the symptoms rather than attacking the root of the problem.
Nevertheless, we try and try. Yet just when we begin to believe that it might be possible to gain an upper hand over sin through works or willpower, corruption involving sex or greed is uncovered in another of our prominent leaders, highlighting our own inadequacies and serving to dash our hopes that we can ever truly change. Obviously not all Church leaders are given to the practice of secret sin, but those whose sin has been aired publicly serve as a wake-up call for the rest of us. Somehow we instinctively know that, “but by the grace of God, there go I.”