If I cheat on God once a month, that’s only 12 days out of 365 days in a year. If my math is correct, it means I’m 97% faithful. If I were to be graded, that would be an A, right? FALSE! It doesn’t work like that with God. If you are experiencing this struggle as a Christian, welcome to the club! I’ve been saved for a long time now, and I still experience the conflict or the war within. A child of God has two natures that are fighting for control of the life of that person. They are described as the sin nature (old nature), and the God nature (new nature). Your mind is like a computer- if you put good things in your mind, good things will follow. If you put trash in your mind, through movies, magazines, or activities, you are feeding and strengthening your sinful nature. And guess what? The one you feed will control your life.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
EPHESIANS 2:1-3 (NIV)
Apostle Paul was aggressive on the topic of transgression and sin, don’t you think? Could it be because transgressions are acts of sin? Or could sin be deeper than that? Paul states that “we were by NATURE deserving of wrath.” Our nature isn’t something we choose or do; it is simply what we are. I do not believe that sin is just an action. I believe it to be more than that- like a curse or disease, we are born with. ‘A disease that produces other diseases.’ A disease that alters our thoughts and desires and causes us to act sinfully. Luckily with Christ, we are made NEW. We are set FREE. We no longer have to choose a sinful life. We have the opportunity to choose the narrow path, the path of holiness, the path towards God.
However, without our Savior, we could never be saved from sin. Without His Spirit, we would never muster up enough strength to do better. It is only with Him that we can survive, accomplish, conquer, and change. If sinning was the only thing we did, we wouldn’t need a Savior. We could just learn to control and reform our behaviors and proclaim ourselves “good.” But, it’s deeper than that. It’s ingrained in our DNA. When we start to understand this, we can then understand how deep and wide the love of God is. The love that looked at us, sin, and said, “I love you enough anyways. Enough to save you.” For Him to look at us in love regardless of who we are, AND what we do is amazingly freeing and beautiful.
As a new believer, you are forgiven forever, period! But you still have a sin nature that loves sin. You now have a new nature of God that loves the right things in life. That nature is sinless; it can’t sin. Which nature you obey is going to determine your actions. They will either be the actions of self-centeredness or God-centered. As a new child of God, God has become your Spiritual Father. What do fathers want from their kids? They want a relationship, a dependence upon by their children. That’s normal and should be normal for a child of God. But the old sin nature is strong and must be weakened. The way you weaken the desires of the flesh is to yield to the new nature’s direction and help with each choice that comes along. Pretty soon, those sinful desires will lose their attraction, and you will start growing in proper relationship with your new Father.
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