Sunday, May 21, 2017

Craving Sin and Choosing Slavery

"Hey, would you like to be a slave? Try this," said no one ever.

It would be more accurate if we did, though.

Romans 6 has tough words about sin versus obedience. 

"...our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, for he who has died is freed from sin..." (Romans 6:6-7 nasb)

When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we're supposed to give up our life of sin. We don't just say we're done with sin, we're suppose to BE done with sin. 

If we're dead to sin, we're freed from sin. 

The problem comes when, after we die to sin, we decide to embrace it again. Obey it again. Then, the unthinkable happens. 

We're enslaved again.

We are slaves to whatever we obey. That's what Paul said in Romans 6:16, and it's true. 

The concept is clear when we think about the urge to use heroin. If we crave it and use it, we're enslaved to it. 

What's more difficult to accept is that, when we crave the sin of gluttony and indulge in it, we're enslaved to it, too.

When we crave the sin of gossip and indulge in it, we're enslaved to it.

When we crave the sin of a judgmental and critical spirit and indulge in it, we're enslaved to it.

When we crave the right to use alcohol whenever we want, we're enslaved to it.

When we crave the sin of lovelessness toward our neighbor, we're enslaved to it.

Can you feel the sting yet? 

Disciples of Jesus are not supposed to choose sin over righteousness. 

In the first century, the mere shadow of Peter passing across a sick person brought healing. (Acts 5:15) A scrap of fabric that had touched Paul could convey healing. (Acts 19:12) People were healed with a word or a touch. Demons were cast out. The lame could walk. The blind could see. The deaf could hear.

We have the same Jesus, the same Holy Spirit, the same resurrection power. In many areas of the world, miraculous healing still happens. God still moves in stunning ways.

God didn't "use up" all His power getting the church started. He's bigger than that. 

There's a reason we don't see such miraculous acts of God in this country, and it's not a lack of power on God's part. 

I believe the problem of our sin is the reason for the difference.

We've become so cavalier about sin, so comfortable with it, so fearful of offending when we stand against it, that we've become enslaved to sin. 

In so doing, sin, not Christ, has become our master.  

If we want the power of God to flow through us, as it did through Paul and Peter, we have to do what they did. Get the sin out. Embrace righteousness in all its dimensions. Focus wholly on our God.

We know that already. We choose a different path, planting one foot in God's kingdom and the other firmly in the world. 

This should not be, my friends.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free, and the freedom He meant us to have is freedom from sin. 

We have a choice to make. Will we choose Christ or not? Will we live for Him or not? 

If we want to be the free, Spirit-empowered disciples Jesus meant us to be, we must relinquish our slavery to sin, escape our chains, and cling to the cross. We can't cherish and hold close our favorite sins. We must let them all go.

It sounds hard, of course, and it is, but freedom is worth it.

We have a choice to make, body of Christ. Sin versus obedience. Slavery versus freedom. Choose well, for our choice determines both our Master and our direction. 

"Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but also alive to God in Christ Jesus." Romans 6:11
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Weeping with Those Who Weep 

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