No one should mistake the act of receiving salvation as the end of sin and temptation. We remain weak, sinful, struggling, and sinning throughout our lives. But there is good news: The better we come to know God and the closer our walk with Him, our desire to please Him increasingly overwhelms our nature to sin. And there’s even more good news: God will forgive us our sins if we are truly repentant. Grace and mercy are gifts from God as is our salvation; we just have to be willing to accept them.
The Apostle John wrote about our sinful nature and the struggle against sin. While we can lie to ourselves about our sins and we can deceive ourselves and others about what is acceptable behavior in God’s eyes, there is no deceiving God. He is the Light of the World and He sees all that we do in the light and in darkness.
1 John 1:5–10 (NKJV)
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
One of the hardest things to understand as a Christian is why we still succumb to temptation and separate ourselves from God by choosing darkness. It isn’t as if we don’t know better. Perhaps our sin is even worse as a Christian than for someone who sins and does not know God. Yes sin is sin, but sin from a child of God is more obvious and consequential. Our behavior is being constantly monitored and observed and when we slip you can just hear, “Well he/she says they’re a Christian, but just look at what they did!” While God forgives when we ask and wipes our slate clean, man remembers and keeps score.
Sin keeps us from God. Sinful behavior from a professing Christian may become an obstacle to someone else accepting Christ as Savior. Paul wrote about struggling against his nature:
Romans 7:15 – 16; 20 (NKJV)
15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
We are never alone in our struggles unless we choose to be. We can ask God to strengthen us and know that in the face of temptation we have an out.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
In all things God is there for us, we have only to reach out and up to Him. He will answer us.
Author: Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved