Christians are called to freedom, yet this freedom is not a libertarian freedom in which we simply get to do whatever we want. In fact, the Bible explains several qualifications of our freedom that indicate that our freedom is constrained. In Galatians 5:13-26 we are told that there are two key constraints to our freedom and the path we choose is clearly demonstrated.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to stop working on sin too easily. Rather than working on it right through to doing what is right, I think I’m transformed just because I abstain from doing evil! Yet in terms of biblical change, I’ve only done half the work! Biblical change is about more than just abstaining from evil. It reverses evil.
When I was working at putting off my sinful anger a few years ago, I was taught these three steps of repentance. The most powerful for me was this step. This one step changed my attitude to this sin and allowed me to put to death the sin that was in me. I continue to return to this one step whenever I have problems with anger. This is the most powerful thing we can do for repentance: think God’s thoughts after Him.
Have you ever been told, “Stop it! Just stop it!” If it is something trivial, like biting your nails, you can simply pull your finger out of your mouth, but if it is an ingrained habit, it can be very difficult to stop. In fact, most people who try to stop their bad habits give up. When it comes to sin, it is even harder to just stop. This is why the Bible calls us to put these things to death. It isn’t just a matter of stopping, it is a matter of putting the old self to death, burying him and walking away.
Here’s one thing I wish I had known early on in my Christian life. Repentance doesn’t come easy. If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you’ll know this. Even if we know the three steps of repentance, and you might know what pleases the Lord, repentance comes hard. So why can’t I repent?
I can recall many times where I was aware of sin, but no matter how much I wanted to change, I just couldn’t do it. Sometimes our sin seems totally unshakable. But, upon reflection, the reason our sin sticks around is because our repentance is incomplete. The Bible provides us with 3 steps that you and I need to complete if we want to lose our sin.
Have you ever looked at your weaknesses (sin and corruption) and wondered how in the world people have any respect for you? It is often easy to look on the bad side, and unfortunately it is even easier to become discouraged and even depressed by looking at our sin, but this is an ungodly response, and not what God wants of us. Here are 4 ways to turn spiritual weaknesses into strengths.
Over the last week or two I’ve written about weaknesses (a euphemism for sin and the corruption of our flesh), and you might be wondering, “What the value is of dragging the skeletons out of the closet?” There is no doubt that our sin is a morbid subject and one we would rather not talk about, let alone dig up. So I want to hit pause at this point and consider 5 (good) reasons that you and I should seek to discover our sin and corruption.