Sin No More

Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT
‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith….’

You can be sure that the enemy will do all he can to entice us to sin when we choose to make Jesus our number one love and his mission our number one assignment. We must toss away any thought of any kind of sin whether it be offence, anger, lies or whatever your weakness tends to be. Immorality will drag us down, trip us up and hold us back from all that God has called us to do and be.

I have heard Christians explaining that some peoples sin is due to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. The people they were talking about are relatively mature Christians, some who are even in church leadership. Sure, the brain can be sick, we all struggle with anxiety and depression at times. It is also true that we often sin because we are in emotional pain, but this does not make our behaviour any less than sin. Should this sin be treated as SIN [in a loving manner] or do they need medicating to help them with their sin?

It is the Holy Spirits job to convict people of their wrongdoing and Gods kindness that leads us to repentance. But are we causing confusion and further bondage by not encouraging people to confess the sin that is taking them captive? Do we back off from telling the truth because they react badly to any pressure to be accountable for their behaviour? Are we softening the gospel and allowing them to believe it is okay to behave badly? I wonder if some people are not so mentally unwell but quite rebellious and do not want to humble themselves. I am all for giving people grace and mercy as they journey, but I do not believe we are doing anyone a favour by allowing them to believe that it is fine if they sin.

I realise this will sound like I am walking the high road and may be coming across as thinking I am better than others. I certainly am not better than anyone, I have had to deal with sin in my own life and will continue too until Jesus comes.

Repentance is powerful in that it releases forgiveness, right standing with our heavenly father, healing and freedom. If we call sin, SIN, then it can be dealt with, it can be forgiven. Why would we not want to tell people about this?! The Bible tells us to strip off the weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.

It is always interesting to notice individual family traits. How one family has a dry wit, another seems to have no sense of humour at all. One family goes into fits or laughter when one of them belches out loud and another thinks it is bad manners. We were all born with a sinful nature, but when we come to Christ we automatically become part Gods family. We often pass sinful traits down the family line. The more time we spend with our holy Saviour, the more we will want to become like him, pure and righteous. Gods children are known by their love and righteous living.

1 John 3:6 MSG ‘…No one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin. None of those who do practice sin has taken a good look at Christ….”

Romans 6:15-16 (NLT)
15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.

Gods children do not purposefully or consistently practice sin. Now that we have been set free, we cannot go on sinning. We have to make a decision. We either choose to be a slave to sin or we obey God and become a slave to righteousness.

Maybe the believers who are continuing in sin do not have a chemical imbalance, but they have not chosen to obey God? Maybe they have continued to be a slave to sin rather than righteous living. Maybe they know about the contents of the bible but do not allow the word to purify them. Maybe they are living in the flesh rather than in the spirit. Maybe they are not living deeply in Christ.

I write this, not because I want to judge, but because I am very concerned. There seems to be many Christians who have returned to their sinful behaviours and some have never allowed the word of God to cleanse them. I am also concerned that in this generation, sin is often diagnosed as a mental illness. Jesus came to set us free from sin, we do not need medication for it.

In John 8 we read about the woman caught in adultery. The religious teachers and Pharisees brought her to Jesus asking him if they should stone her. Jesus knew that they were trying to trap him, he also knew that they too were sinners. He said, ‘All right, but let the one who has never sinned cast the first stone!” There was nothing the Pharisees could do so they slowly left the crowd. When there was just Jesus and the woman left, he told her he didn’t condemn her. He said, “Go and sin no more.”

This woman truly experienced Jesus’ unconditional love and she chose to go and sin no more. She obeyed Jesus and changed her lifestyle to please him. Jesus told her to “Go…” Do not remain in the sin, do things differently. Remove yourself out of the hole or rut you have got yourself into and sin no more. Hate the sin, change the habit, stop doing it!

For me, the first step was agreement with God. Agreeing that, even as a believer, I had continued to sin. I was referring to Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, but I was not behaving like I was part of Gods family. This was not pleasing to God, I was hurting myself and sabotaging my own life. It was not until the Holy Spirit showed me what I was doing to myself that I was able to accept Gods kind encouragement to repent. When we experience the deep love of Jesus in our life, we want to please him.

Jesus is calling his bride [the church] to repentance and purity. If we want to have an impact on the world we live in, we need to be more like Jesus, walking a loving, humble and holy life.

Janene Forlong January 21, 2019