Surprised by Sin
I'm still surprised by my sin. The scriptures clearly teach our total depravity; the insipid, complete, twistedness of our being with sin without God in our life. But I still get surprised at the seemingly endless capacity I have for sin.
Why am I so quick to sin? Why do I run into it with relish at a moments notice?
I've been amongst the church as long as I can remember. I was taught the statutes of the Lord from the womb. I know right and wrong. So why do I sin like this?
"For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out." (Ro 7:18).
The scriptures fill my mind, the way of the Lord is open before me, paved with the blood of Christ and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. Why does darkness and destruction seem so attractive? Why is the road to the destitution of hell more pleasing to me in the moment?
"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." (Ro 7:15).
Am I really saved? If I truly belonged to Christ wouldn't my soul be so captured by His radiance that I would throw off any encumbrance on the way to salvation?
I play with hellfire. I tempt fate. I dally in the devils chambers.
For what? What will it gain me?
It gains me a guilt and shame.
How can I gather with and sing God's praises as a holy people, then bow to my passions as if God's holiness means nothing to me?
What hope is there for one as terrible as me?
Surely I'm unlovable and unredeemable.
Surely there's no way out.
"Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Ro 7:24).
Preach, proclaim, meditate & remember!! I will instruct myself in the only truth that is an antidote to this bad news.
The way to life is not by my own hand. I cannot reach up to heaven through my hard work, but instead heaven has come down in Christ!!
I am lost, so Christ has found me!
I am dead, so the Holy Spirit has enlivened me!
I'm an outsider, but the Father has adopted me!
If I look to myself, I will find only despair or deception, for I am no saviour. Instead I must lift up my eyes an behold the one who can save, and does save! The One who has made an end to all my sin.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." (Ro 8:1–2).
My performance has gained me nothing with God, instead, of His own grace He freely redeemed me from the grave which I deserve.
The Lord has made me holy, by justifying me, even while the law of sin is at work in the members of my body. He has made me a holy work in progress, with the grace to cover my past, present and future sin.
Should I continue in sin? By no means! Instead I must die to sin, so I may live free from it!
So now, I am a Sinner and a Saint, and while I must utterly reject the sin, I can rest assured that it will not cut me off from my Merciful Saviour, because he has dealt with it. I look to Him for grace and place my trust in him, not looking to my own failures as a marker of salvation, or lack thereof.
I need an outside rescuer to come in and create life where there was death. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who comes from the outside to give Life through Jesus Christ! He will take away all my guilt and shame!
"Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” (La 3:19–24).
"...if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." (Ro 8:9–11).