Two big fat lies.
1. God is angry at you for your sins
2. You have the willpower to overcome sin
God hates sin. More importantly, he hates what sin does to His children. God loves his children. He loves them so much that he died for them. He is love. He loved them so much that he gave them a law so they would give up trying to be good enough. He loved them so much that he came to earth as Jesus to show us what a man-God relationship looks like. Or better said what a God in man relationship looks like. So if God loves us that much and hates what sin does to us, specifically what the enemy is doing to us because of sin, he WILL remove sin and defeat the enemy. His removal plan is also a reconciliation plan. It is a return-to-the-garden-relationship-plan with benefits, God in us. So if he gave us a law so we would give up trying to be righteous and He delivers us from the power of Sin, He cleans us up so He can live in us, He dies to pay all the debts and bring justice, why would I go back to doing it myself?
I can’t do it myself. The law proves that. That is why He gives me His righteousness. Then I can tell the condemning enemy that I am righteous. I no longer live from guilt. I stop playing devil games. My desire for purity is founded in my new nature and realized in His power. I’m not trying to stop sinning. I am living His life. I get tripped up when I go back to my old selfish independent ways. The power to be amazing, to be like Jesus is found in my agreeing with what God has done and said. When I believe and trust I am agreeing with my new nature energized by resurrection life-giving Holy Spirit power. Why would I stoop to playing stupid little sin games when I get to fly? Grace doesn’t give ME the power to stop sinning it sets me free from Sin and removes the need for ME to be selfish.
There really isn’t a sin problem. There is a wrong believing problem. The sin problem was defeated on the cross.
Many will teach that we are trapped in a cycle of internal struggle like Paul describes in Romans chapter seven. That struggle should be a just a pit stop for some. The pit stop is the reason God gave man a law relationship. Living under law will frustrate a person to the point of total despair. It will bring you to the end of you. For some people who just can’t surrender, give in and give up they need a little time in the law-leads-to-desperation-gas station. Then they cry out like Paul for Jesus. Jesus is the destination. Internal struggle just is a pit stop in law land.
I think it is time to stop giving sin air time and finding stuff to add to the only true gospel of Grace, Jesus did it all. Let’s dig a little deeper to find the roots. I really believe all the perceived issues can be traced to wrong believing. The enemy wants us to live in desperation and self-improvement. All the while God already has the solution, Jesus is King and we are children of a loving Father with endless resources.
I have experience in this area. I “struggled” with alcohol for most of my adult life. I was “saved” in the sense that I knew Jesus was the ticket to heaven. But everyday was another day to exert maximum willpower and plead with God to remove my “thorn.” I was convinced this was His way of teaching me some lesson. That was all a LIE direct from devil central. When I finally threw in the towel of self effort and gave in to “whatever He wanted to do” (trust) I found His love. I discovered that God is so good and loving that He had already taken care of my issues long ago. I discovered an all-powerful, excited, miracle worker and comforter in the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t alone any more, literally. It is hard to feel alone when you occupy the same space. The root of my issues was wrong believing. I didn’t know and believe in a loving, personally-invested, good and awesome God who expected absolutely nothing from me. That revelation was the tip of the iceberg. Every day is so incredibly better than the last amazing day, I’m not sure where this ride is going but is fun, filled with joy.
I believe the “lack-of” this discovery of a loving personal God is the root of all bad behavior. People will go after what they are missing or what they think they need. That is our self-nature. Applying rules to the hunter gatherer, foraging for supplies in the spirit, soul and flesh will only bring out the most selfish in all of us. God’s plan of salvation goes to the very root of that situation and removes the problem…self. The sin we see around us and what so many religious fear-inspired proclaimers want to talk about is nothing more than the fruit of an unloved, self-sufficient, needy Adam. When people believe, really believe that God is good enough to take care of us then our need-supplier becomes Him and our sin-supplier gets fired. Jesus took care of all the legal ramifications on the cross. He took all the wrath and judgement. We are plunged into the realm of the Kingdom of Heaven. Into the realm of too-good-to-be-true. That is called Grace. It is God’s nature and His perfect plan for us. Why would we want to mess with a perfect plan? I think there are a lot of religious that don’t know God loves them too and just can’t find a way to trust Him.
“Ding ding, welcome to the Romans 7 pit stop, can I fill er up?”