The Frustration of Sin

By JCR Goode

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Continued from Page One

But nothing happens at first. You cling onto the hope of Luke 11:13: "How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" And yet you find nothing. There's no transformation. These verses have inspired and motivated you yet again, but nothing has really changed. You're not really sure what to expect — or if you ever expected anything at all. Can this "Gospel" thing really work to save me from a particular sin and not just general sin?

The sin is so deeply ingrained that you think, "There's no way it's just going to be gone overnight!" And then you finally run across James 1:6-7 in your quiet times: "But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord."

You call your faith into question. "If God hasn't saved me from this sin, have I really been saved from any sin? Doesn't it just take one sin to warrant God's wrath? And if I continue in sin, have I really been set free from it? Have I really risen with Christ and been made perfect with Him?" You know you're right to question these things — not for instability sake, but because the questioning leads you back to the Gospel.

You read 1 Corinthians 3:11: "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." You finally understand that you were never truly building a solid foundation with all those wasted efforts. Jesus had been preparing you for this moment all along. All of those foolish attempts at stopping your sin — the accountability partners, the quiet times and motivating messages and meditation on the scriptures and prayer sessions, the anti-porn blockers — they were merely digging yourself into a hole. But you needed that hole, because without a hole there is nothing to pour The Foundation into. And the deeper the hole is dug, the more concrete can be poured into it so that the foundation that is Christ is...well...concrete.

So, you don't get rid of all those human-effort things you've been trying — after all, you're not in the business of filling in the hole of your heart with dirt. Instead, you leave the hole in place and fill it with Jesus. What does this mean? It means that, for once, you finally understand that although you were soil at one time (Matthew 13:1-23), that soil was dug away and replaced with the concrete foundation of Jesus. You are not yourself anymore; rather, you abide with Christ. And just as Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30), and even as you are the bride of Christ and have a wonderful Father-in-law who has adopted you as one of His own — to make your relationship more than simply a legal one — you tell yourself, "I can do nothing on my own. I can only do what I see my Father doing, because whatever the Father does, I do also" (John 5:19). And therein you ask for transformation of the Holy Spirit and it is given to you — and so you become something you never were. This does not mean your flesh doesn't take over from time to time; but you realize that even when you do stumble, the impulse isn't a master over you; rather, it is something you have enjoyed (wrongfully) at your discretion, and which can be stopped freely — because you no longer exercise your own discretion, but the freedom that comes from the Father. In this way, the sinful flesh remains, but the addiction is gone.

I mean...this isn't my story or anything. [Sarcasm.]

Image Credit: PDPics; untitled; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | Hardships  | Sin-Evil

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Published on 3-14-16