Have you ever been frustrated with sin? Sin that you seem to keep doing over and over? Or maybe it’s a sin that you think you’ve conquered, and then suddenly find yourself back in the mud? Or maybe it’s something that you know you need to get rid of, but when you’re honest with yourself, your flesh desires it.
Whether it be anger, fear, worry, lust, or anything else, we all have to face sin. And if we don’t conquer it, then we have to pay the wages: death. Hold on a minute, you say. Jesus conquered death and now we live in grace because He paid for all our sins.
Yes, Jesus conquered death. He conquered sin so that we could conquer sin! He didn’t want us to just sit idly by and say, “Hey, Jesus did it all – I’m saved. Oh well, if I keep sinning, I’m saved.” No! Or to put it in Paul’s words:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid.” Romans 6:1-2a
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Romans 6:14-15
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
But how can we mere human mortals be perfect? you say! How can we even hope to stop sinning. It’s impossible! you say. For one, nothing is impossible with God (Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27, Luke 1:37, Luke 18:27). For two, God is sovereign over all (He’s God) and He doesn’t lie (Hebrews 6:18). And finally, yes, it IS impossible for you to perfectly not sin…in your own strength.
Jesus is the Lamb Who is Worthy and sits upon the throne, having already conquered and defeated death and sin, has offered Himself as the payment for our sins. But, we must accept that gift. Not just by saying, “I believe.” As Jesus said, even the devils believe. Not just by praying a prayer once and going to church once a week, tithing, and trying to be a “good person.” By a simple thing really: obey Him.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me…” John 14:21
“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings…” John 14:23-24a
“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” Romans 6:22
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:34-36
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” John 11:25-26
And in words that the crowd believed proved our Lord was possessed:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” John 8:51
Jesus’ words were rejected then as they have been rejected now. Many times crowds would either want to stone Him or throw Him over a cliff, or otherwise kill him. Another one of those conversations that didn’t go too well:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30 (emphasis added)
If you feel this is impossible, but hope and long for a way to really be free from sin, don’t despair! With God, all things are possible. No, we can’t break the bands by ourselves, but if we keep (do and live) the words of Jesus, He has promised us that eternal life. Over and over.
Do you want to love God with all your heart? Every emotion and feeling in line with His righteousness? Do you want to love God with all your soul, your mind? Every thought? Every mouse click, every word spoken, every thought and feeling towards others – even if they are spiteful and seeking your demise? Do you love God with all your strength? Your neighbor as yourself?
Truly God’s laws, His commandments bring life. They require perfection. Jesus was perfect in every way. Take His hand. Do not fear – He will not fail you or leave you helpless to follow in His footsteps of overcoming all sin. He is able.
And I leave you with these parting words of hope and remembrance. May they light a fire within your heart as you seek to follow the path He left for us:
“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” Revelation 5:1-5
“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;” Revelation 5:9
Worthy is the Lamb.
— B. Payne