We cannot manage sin...
Sin is an ever-lurking, ever-consuming aspect of human existence. We sin as naturally as we breath. I am not applauding this fact, but merely stating the truth as it exists. We may want to sin less. In fact, if we are followers of Jesus, we should want to sin no more. But the way we view our sin will have a great deal to do with how we engage it.
There is a false gospel that circulates Christian thought and churches of all kinds. It is the gospel of sin management. The gospel of sin management encourages us to work hard at trying to subdue our sin. The gospel of sin management seeks to have us avoid our sin issues, perhaps even ignore them.
We cannot manage sin, we must kill it! Sin is not something to be managed, we must slay it. When I speak of "sin," I am not referring to a general concept of it, but actual sin in our lives, i.e. greed, lust, pride, anger, drunkenness, cheating, lying, laziness, deceptiveness, gossiping, slandering, etc. Rather than getting sin under control, we must kill it. We must aggressively go after sin issues in our lives because they will militantly come after us.
God warns Cain in Genesis 4:7 "sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." God's words to Cain were a warning that sin was crouching, ready to pounce on him, if he did not slay it first. Sin's power is real. It is a beast that cannot be tamed. It must be killed.
If sin could be managed in an effort to overcome it, then Christ's death on the cross for sins was unneeded. If sin could be managed, then we have no need for a Savior that takes our sin, guilt, and shame upon himself so that we can be liberated. Remember this: the gospel of Jesus is about how Christ came into the world to take upon himself the sins of his people so that they would be liberated from the devastating effects of sin, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, able to slay it. If we come to Christ for salvation and justification before God, why would we then later attempt to manage the sin in our lives?
Looking to Jesus Christ and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit is not just something we do to be justified before God and forgiven of our sins, it is what we continue doing in order to slay the ongoing assaults sin will wage against us. We never graduate from turning to Christ to conqueror sin. We MUST rule over it or it will rule over us.
What sins have you been trying to manage through your will power? What sins do you find yourself continue to struggle with? Turn today to Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, kill the sin in your life. Look to the Savior who says, "my grace is sufficient" (2 Cor. 12:9) and who Paul declared "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13) Through Christ alone can we overcome sin. We cannot fix our sin through our own fleshly efforts. No amount of will power will overcome the power of sin. We must fix our eyes on Jesus and go on the offensive against it.
Answer one of these questions by commenting below: Why do you think we attempt to manage sin instead of killing it? In what ways have you found sin to be crouching at the door of your life?
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