SIN NO MORE
Sin is one of the greatest obstacles we face as Christians. In the Old Testament Law, sin was dealt with by the atoning work of the High Priest by the shedding of the blood of animals. It was this blood covering that God accepted as an atoning sacrifice. Yet, all of this was based on the Law. The Law could save no one and could only condemn.
In this age of grace we are not under the law, but under the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ. At the right time our Sovereign God sent His Son who was born under the law but came to redeem us from the law. Before God could offer salvation to us He had to make the law of no consequence and to remove it as an ordinance against those who believe.
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law . . . . .
. . . . to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
When salvation came it was not given under the law, but under the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). The believer must accept this as truth, and believe it with all his heart. Only then can we receive salvation and be baptized and led by the Holy Spirit.
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
As humans we’re prone to sin. If we do sin we have an advocate with the Father and that is Jesus Christ. An advocate is an intercessor or in modern terms an attorney, someone who is looking out for us.
1 John 2:1
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
1 John 2:2
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
The apostle Paul tells us that sin shall not have dominion over you. Or, that sin shall not have power over you. If you’re not going to be conformed to the things of this world, then you’re not going to be living a life of sin. You’re going to be living a life set apart for Christ.
For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!
We should live lives that are beyond reproach. But we are human. We are all capable of sinning. Whether it’s a silent coveting of something or somebody, or maybe we just slip out a bad statement about someone that we know is not going to help them. Well, that’s sin.
Scripture says we have our crucified, buried, ascended Lord now interceding for us. Remember He is our advocate. And so every time the believer sins, the advocate, Jesus, steps in and proclaims to the Father that we are His. We are under the shed blood of the cross. That’s a comfort to us and we must understand this promise. We are not to constantly be repenting of past sins that God says that He has already forgiven. In a manner we are crucifying our Lord all over again. So how do we deal with daily sin?
The apostle Paul tells us how to deal with the works (sin) of the flesh and the perfecting of ourselves by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Paul then tells us to cleanse ourselves from all sin. We must understand that this applies to each one of us as individuals. The only way to cleanse yourself is by the washing by the Word.
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Christ will sanctify and cleanse us through the reading of the Holy Word the Bible. So we are to be cleansed by the washing of the water of the word. So, now then, how do you and I as Grace-Age believer’s deal with our sins from day-to-day? Let’s just take an example.
Remember that Paul makes it so plain that we never again have to pray for forgiveness. The believer does not have to constantly come back and say, “God forgive me.” You’re forgiven. That’s a one-time affair. But we do need daily cleansing.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Now remember that this is Paul writing in the age of Grace. When he says walk in the Spirit, he means that the Holy Spirit is to be in control of everything we do. Because of this indwelling we are now empowered not to sin.
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
The flesh is our old sin nature. Life in the Holy Spirit is our new nature. It says that the Spirit and the flesh war against each other, so we have to put effort into our Christian life.
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
These are the things that the Spirit will keep us from committing if we let Him.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
. . . . idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
. . . . and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
They’re lost. They’re of the world. They’re of the flesh. They’re doomed. And then you see the other side of the coin, which is the life of the believer, under the control of the Holy Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
. . . . gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
If any of these things happens to come into our thinking, or whatever, we are going to cleanse it by the washing of the Word. So, if we sin, we do have an advocate with the Father, and it’s, of course, Jesus Christ the Righteous One.
When Christ finished the work of the cross, He was able to forgive the whole human race. But it does us no good until we appropriate it by faith. God has reconciled the whole world. He has told every human being that has ever lived everything that needs to be done to bring them back. It’s finished. But, it can’t be done until they believe. And never forget that. The work of the cross was total in the forgiveness of mankind’s sin. Remember for salvation today, in this Age of Grace, a person must believe in their heart that Jesus died for their sins, was buried, and rose again. God calls it a free gift, and the moment we believe that for salvation He saves us. Jesus Christ is our propitiation for sin.
. . . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
. . . . and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood . . .
The word propitiation is that total work done by Jesus Christ. Nothing else is required.
Now I don’t say that I can understand it all, and I don’t expect anybody else to understand it all. But what I do understand, I take by faith. When God says it I believe it. There’s nothing more thrilling than to be able to see somebody come to a knowledge of all this and accept it by faith.
Your questions and comments are always appreciated.
2015 – 2016