About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Sin To Glory
Jesus suffered an
insanely humiliating and excruciating execution on our behalf.
Despite the fact that as Christians we still struggle with sin,
and despite the fact that God still sees our sin, we stand before the
Eternal Judge guilt free and innocent.
Our names have been deleted from the books of the guilty and have
been transferred into the book of the innocent, otherwise known as the
Lamb's Book of Life. Let us
be clear. God still sees our
sin. What He does not see is
the designation of guilty sinner that once doomed us to death row.
I am pathetically inept
to properly express my appreciation to our Lord Jesus Christ for
delivering me from eternal torture in the
The Apostle Paul
explained all of this in the first five chapters of Romans.
He then added that where sin abounds, grace abounds even more
(Romans 5:20). In other words, there is sufficient grace for the worst
of sinners. This leads to
the obvious questions that Paul anticipated his critics asking.
"Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase (Romans
6:1)?" "Shall we
go on sinning because we are not under the Law but under grace (Romans
6:15)?" His answer was
a resounding "by no means" (Romans 6:2 and 15).
Paul defended his
"by no means" answer with the following words.
"When you offer yourselves to someone to obey as slaves, you
are slaves to the one you obey … Though
you used to be slaves to sin … you have been set free from sin and
have become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:17 - 18)."
Paul echoed Jesus' words by saying you
can't serve two masters, as in sin and righteousness.
We don't serve sin
because Paul said that we've been
set free from being slaves of sin. We're
now slaves of righteousness. That
being said, he spent the rest of Romans 5 through 7 discussing the fact
that Christians still struggle with sin.
This is not as confusing as it may sound.
There's a huge difference between struggling with sin and being a
slave of sin. For this
reason we don't want to sin because more grace will be given us.
People have varying
definitions of sin. Mine is
quite broad. It's based on
Romans 14:23 where Paul said that anything done apart from faith is sin.
For me, sin encompasses much
more than disobeying the Ten Commandments, as I believe how many
Evangelicals defined sin in times past.
Romans 14:23 tells me that in one form or another, Christians sin every
day, and, when we willfully sin, we not only take advantage of God's
grace, we abuse His grace.
After discussing our
struggle with sin Paul introduced the Holy Spirit into the discussion.
He went as far to say that "if anyone does not have the Holy
Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to God (Romans 8:9)."
This is one vitally important, but often overlooked, statement.
If you stop to think about what Paul said here, you might
conclude, as I do, that not all who sit in a Sunday morning pew are
God has proclaimed the
believer to be guilt free and innocent.
One reason for this declaration is so the Holy Spirit can live
within us and help fight our struggle with sin.
Fighting sin should be an ever-present battle we face.
If we don't struggle with sin we've either stopped sinning, which
I doubt is the case, or, we've given into sin, which is more likely to
be the case.
I close with the words of
Paul found in 2 Corinthians 2:18. "We,
with unveiled faces reflect the Lord's glory, and are being transformed
into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord,
who is the Spirit." It
should be our expectation to win one battle with sin after another in
the process of becoming like our Lord Jesus Christ in an ever-increasing
state of glory.
Is this your honest expectation in life?