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What Do I Do When I Keep on Sinning?

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

The Christian life is a constant struggle with sin that we will never escape. It is a consequence of the fall and one of the God's great promises is not only the promise to restore us but the promise to restore his created world (Revelation 21-22). As we go through this life with our repeated sin weighing on our conscience there are some things that must be recognized that will tremendously help us as Christians.



Realization

Before we beat ourselves up about how often we fall to sin I think it seems crucial to remind ourselves that we will never fully overcome sin in this lifetime. While this is unfortunate, this often brings me a sense of relief in that my struggles are something familiar to myself and every other person (1 Corinthians 10:13). While my sin is a result of my own failure and the behavior of Christ is what we strive for, our nature as human beings is that of sin, our inclination is sin, our innate passion is sin. Within the book of Genesis before God had started over with humanity through Noah and his family the reader can see that the sin of man was great in the earth and every inclination of the thought of human was evil all the time (Genesis 6:5). Whether you as the reader find this to be literal or hyperbole is your choice, but one thing is clear, sin was rampant. We would be foolish to think as if anything is different today as all have sinned (Romans 3:23). At birth, apart from the cleansing of Christ and the purifying of our hearts, we are enemies of God (Romans 5:10; 7:24). However, as we come to salvation through God’s grace, we still struggle with our natural self that, to some degree, remains within us as we are not yet in a reality where everything is made new. The Spirit of God in us is willing and desires to abstain from sin, but our flesh remains weak to carry out the things we wish to do as temptation seeks us out (Matthew 26:14). As these two realities clash and we are faced with choices, we have to recognize we will not win every battle.


 

Before we sin, the deceiver tells us there will be no consequence. After we sin, the deceiver assures us there will be no grace.

 


Cling to God's Grace

As we realize we cannot overcome sin we must consequently look to the grace of God that is more abundant than we could ever realize (1 Timothy 1:14). We were initially saved and brought into the family of God by grace (Ephesians 2:8) and we are continually being saved. This still exists for our present and future self which will surely sin, by the grace of God. The Lord’s grace is not one and done but still exists in the sin He knows we will commit tomorrow and the sins we commit today. Max Lucado write an excellent book discussing this further called, "Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine." One thing we can do is pray, however, this can be very vague. For starters I think it would be beneficial for a sincere heart in prayer, for the conviction to recognize ourselves as we are apart from the Lord. We could pray that the Spirit would convince us unto righteousness that we would run from sin because we hate it. Grace is not only salvific in that it saves us from sin, but his grace is also existent in that it sanctifies us, equips us, guides us, transforms us, allows us to recognize the things which God sees in us, and so much more. If Christ has died and risen for us(John 3:16) and God has offered grace, why would we not accept it? Do we feel as if the punishment of Christ and the shame He bore for us was not sufficient? Do we feel our shame is more appropriate for our sin’s atonement and right standing with God than the shame Christ held for us? Do we feel as if God is Lord and savior for everyone else except for us? Are we more fit to satisfy the wrath of God than Jesus? Are we more equip to bear sin that the one through whom God brought salvation to the world? This is not written to make you feel bad but to provoke thought. Christ is enough, God’s grace is sufficient and enough for you, not only for other people in the Church or your super spiritual neighbor but you. Speaking of Church, it is highly suggested to include yourself in one. As we confess and acknowledge with other believers, we can begin to move forward in the manner God intended. The Church is the means through which the mission and kingdom of God is expanded, but it is also the real and literal experience of God’s grace in this lifetime that w may grow in love, unity, and holiness.



Christ Our Identity

This one took a long time for me to grasp. What does it mean for Christ to be my identity? I often am reminded of when I was younger and would misbehave and my parents would ask how old I am. This was not a real question to be answered, of course. But they were provoking thought as to remind me that I am to act my own age and not get upset like someone years younger than me. As we mature in life and Christian faith, we are often reminded who we are and how we ought to behave. All the way from the Old Testament God intended to make his people a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6) and this was so that they would be a light to their unbelieving neighbors. They were to behave in a way that honors God and neighbor, displays God as the greatest possession, worships him and as a result those around Israel see and believe. The same calling has been put on us as we are called a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s possession, that we would praise him (1 Peter 2:9). We are ambassadors of Christ in public and private (2 Corinthians 5:20). What does it mean to be an ambassador though? An ambassador is generally someone who represents their people’s group, state, or country. As citizens of the kingdom of God and a holy nation (Ephesians 2:19) we are representatives of that nation and people, those who are to be Christ to the world as Israel was to display Yahweh to those who did not know him. We do not belong to ourselves and a Christian we simply submit to this. We feel as if we have the faith to be saved and we trust in God for our salvation, but the same book that declares our salvation also gives us a new identity and we fail to have faith in that. We do not recognize that a new identity is. We are not the same person as before. We are reminded that we are a slave to what we constantly obey (Romans 6:16) whether sin or God. If we make sin our master by obeying it, we remove our submission to God as Lord, and if Christ is to be our identity, we must remember that Christ was open about doing the will of the Father (John 6:38). If you are doing the will of the Father, then you are under his submission and a slave to him for the price he has paid for you. Your hands, your eyes, your thoughts, your feet, your lungs, and every part of you is for God just as Christ was faithful to God to the point of death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). This is your new identity in Christ Jesus.


Repent...Over and Over

Nothing is more disheartening than feeling like we constantly let God down with our sin, but we must rest again in his grace. God promised to put a new heart in us and a new Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26) and he delivered with the Holy Spirit as our salvation (Ephesians 4:23-25). What characterizes us as Christians more than what we do is the new heart found in God that motivates us to our new actions. We develop realization, conviction, love of God, hatred of sin that moves us to behave in a new way and this happens naturally for the believers as his ne nature is one of the Spirit, though the change is very slow. All men have sinned, but not all men have acknowledged their sin nor repented and that is what unique to the Christian. Again, we must be sincere with it, praying for strength and setting up practical means through which we grow farther and farther from our sin. The Christian life is a constant cycle of sinning, acknowledging and confessing to God, humbling ourselves to his grace, and repenting of our sins. The day we stop repenting is the day we should fear if our salvation was authentic. God is always ready to forgive you, but we must be always willing to accept it and always willing to repent. As we become more sanctified by the work of the Lord our actions will change, but more than that our sorrow for our current state of entrapment in this sinful body will grow. Paul’s words are a great reflection for the Christian as he cries what a wretched man he is! Who can deliver him from this body of death (Romans 7:24)? This is the cry of all Christians as we look to the God who has the power to do this.


Concluding, the Christian life is full of ups and down and our life through all this must be characterized by forgiveness to ourselves as God has done and repentance from sin. Nothing about this life is intended to make us fund peace in this life. We find our peace in God, we are thankful to God for what he has given us, but every day we live in Christ we look forward to the day when we will no longer struggle with these things, the day we are perfectly sanctified once and for all, able to see God face-to-face. As we wrestle with sin we are drawn closer to the throne of God so that heaven does not only become a place we wish to go but a person we finally get to experience in all his fullness and glory. Lastly, if you like what you see and want to support the ministry then be sure to check out our store!



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