I have to confess, one thing that truly upsets me is when people who claim to be Christian seem to have no problem continuing to sin in their lives. I do not mean people who do sin, for that would include most (if not all) of us. What I mean is the people who do not struggle against sin. “God accepted me like this when I first came to faith; God will accept me now.” That attitude, while people try to make it sound biblical by speaking of grace, is completely antithetical to the Gospel message. In Christ our past sins are forgiven and we are empowered to live a new life in him.
God does not demand perfection when we first convert, but he expects growth. The same sins that ensnared us in the past ought not be the same sins with which we are dealing today. There should be growth. Sin should be coming to an end in our lives.
Look at what Paul says here:
What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13 No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness.
Sin will only have power over us as Christians so long as we surrender ourselves to it. Christ came to end sin in us. We have a choice to make in our lives every moment of every day–do we continue to sin or do we fight? Through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can have victory over sin if we continue to fight. When we give ourselves excuses and justify our sin, then we have lost and we “present [our] members to sin as instruments of wickedness.”
Christ enables us to overcome, though, and be “instruments of righteousness” because we “have been brought from death to life.”
Make a renewed commitment in your life today to fight against sin, to “no longer be enslaved to sin.”