Thursday, April 18, 2013

Overcoming the Power of Sin

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  –Romans 6:13, 14 (KJV)

The first part of verse 14 should get our attention.  Sin shall no longer have dominion over you.  God’s Word promises that the believer’s enemy of sin will no longer control us.  We might ask if this is so, why we then struggle with sin.  The answer is two-fold.  First, we live in a fallen world where sin does have dominion over people.  Secondly, we still have to contend with the flesh and its influence.  We are still in the body, and while Christ has cleansed from sin, we still dwell in frail, fallen bodies that are subject to the darkness of the world.

The good news, though, is that because of Jesus sin no longer rules us.  We have the power to resist and rise above it.  We also have power over sorrow, fear, worry, doubt, and bitterness.  Consider for a moment if any of these ever did you any good.  The answer is they have not.  In fact, sorrow, fear, worry, doubt, and bitterness only created problems for us, and those problems multiply the more we give into these insidious forces.  We are taught in Romans 6 since Christ died for us we should count ourselves dead to sin.  If we are dead then we are not under the power of anything.  What happens to someone accused of a crime, but the person dies before the case goes to trial?  The answer is nothing; those charges are useless, for the accused is dead.

Since we are dead to sin, but alive in Christ the power of sin no longer rules us.  So, why is it still so easy to become servants to sin?  Recall what Jesus said in Matthew 26:41 about the Spirit and the flesh.  The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Giving into sin is easy – it always has been.  But resisting in the power of the Spirit requires faith and effort.  The Holy Spirit willingly gives us power to resist, but we have to claim this power, not in our names, but in Jesus’ name. 

When it comes to sin, we sometimes think in terms of larger and smaller.  Understand sin is sin and it’s all unacceptable to God.  Various sins have varying degrees of consequences, but sin is always to be resisted.  For example, imagine if I were working around the house one day and I dropped a brick on my foot and in a moment of exasperation said something unfortunate.  This would be sinful, but most likely the consequence would be an aching foot and feelings of shame over my loss of self-control.  On the other hand, were I to cheat on my taxes and get caught the consequences would be far more reaching and serious.  Both are sinful, yet both have different consequences.  Let us be careful about categorizing sin as if some are okay and some are not. 

We have died to sin and have risen in Christ; therefore, Christ calls us to live accordingly.  Walk in faith and the power of the Holy Spirit and we will have the peace and joy which victory in Christ brings.

God bless you today.