God says…I am free from sin’s power.
I have a very good friend who’s been through some serious emotional trauma in the past 18 months. She’s been a Christian her whole life and has always had one of the most steadfast faith walks I know over the 25 years I’ve known her. The storms that hit her life were devastating and dark. I’m not talking about your garden variety dark. Garden variety dark ruins lives daily. But, I’m talking about serious dark where evil has come out to play and isn’t subtle about it. She’s now starting to heal, starting to rebuild her life.
We talked recently about how she felt during this season. She’s been angry at God, her trust was destroyed, she felt hopeless, and abandoned.
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
John Piper says,
Being “under grace” means being out from under wrath. And when we are out from under the wrath of God, all his power stands in the service of his mercy to help do whatever it takes to get us to glory (Romans 8:30). So the first answer is: being under grace guarantees that sin will not be master over us because being under grace means being out from under wrath, and having all the power of God on our side and not against us.
We’re affected by the sins of others. We still have a sin nature in ourselves. But, we are no longer ruled by sin. Without Christ, we living under the law. We must provide our own righteousness. We must be perfectly able to fulfill every tiny portion of that law at all times. We can’t. If we’re Christians, we realize this and we accept the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for our failures to meet the standard of perfection.
But, it’s so easy to still act like our righteousness earns us something. We act like our service, our attendance at church, our consistency in prayer or bible study earns us points with God. Like He loves us more when we’re doing a laundry list of good deeds. But, if we want to provide any of our righteousness as proof of our worthiness to God, we have to provide all of it. We can’t do that. We absolutely must depend on Christ’s righteousness instead, for all of it.
My friend is a fighter. She’s never been weak. She’s weathered more storms in her life than any two people I know combined. And yet, this almost undid her. As she thought back over the last year, she’s realized that while she was feeling hopeless and abandoned by God, she was not. She now sees His hand in every moment. She sees His care for her and guidance of her life at every turn. What felt far more real at the time, though, was that the darkness was overwhelming and in charge.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Sin is not like a domesticated pet with a mean streak. God says sin is like a roaring lion. A wild animal, vicious, seeking your complete destruction. The good news is that if you’re “under grace” you are no longer under the sovereignty of sin. Sin no longer is the ruler of your heart. Sin no longer has the final say.
The darkness no longer controls your destiny. God does.
- Do you have moments when you’ve felt far from God? Abandoned? Angry? Overcome by darkness or sin?
- What do you now understand is the truth about those moments?
- When God’s word and your feelings do not agree, which is true?
- How can this help you?
Sin is a real thing. So much more real than I often give it credit for. Maybe “real” isn’t exactly what I mean. Maybe it’s that I recognize it as real, but not as dangerous as it is. Give me a true perspective on sin, both mine, and others. But, let me always understand that it no longer has final say in my life. I choose to allow Christ’s righteousness to be the basis for my standing before God. Help me recognize when I fall back into false thinking. Let me understand myself as free from the power of sin over my life, and let me live that way.
I love you, Amen.
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