So here we are now, as followers of Christ, living under the reign of Christ. Sin has no more power over us, but we still sin! Knowing we are dead to sin and living like it are two different things. Read Victory over Sin. Part 1
In Romans 6:12-13, Paul taught us how to act on the knowledge that we are dead to sin. Even though it’s true that sin no longer has power over us, we still choose to sin. Paul said, “let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” Paul was essentially saying, “quit choosing to sin!”
We are not to let any part of ourselves that is, our bodies, our minds or our hearts harbor desires for things that are not of God. Paul wrote this partly to correct a false teaching in the early church that totally separated the body from the spirit. According to these false teachers, all that was important was the spiritual life; the body didn’t matter. Consequently, if a person was really spiritual, then he could do whatever he wanted to do in his physical body without affecting his spirituality.
Sin’s effects and consequences can become incremental:
What the eye sees, the mind remembers.
What the mind remembers, the heart desires.
What we desire becomes what we do.
What we do determines who we are.
Sin, no matter how private we think it may be, always has public consequences. And sin, no matter how “small” we convince ourselves it is, affects our relationship with God. For this reason, Paul said we are not to offer any parts of our bodies for sin’s use.
Instead, Paul instructed us to “yield ourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead.” As we surrender ourselves daily to Christ, He not only gives us power to overcome temptation, He continually works in us to heal our desires. As we grow in Him, we simply no longer want what sin has to offer. As we follow Him, the temptations of sin and death no longer grab our attention. We respond only to His voice. In a world crowded with noise, those who follow Christ can find His voice and obey it.
We’re called to do more than go through our lives avoiding sin, which is why Christ offers us more than forgiveness. Christ offers us life on the other side of our failures. Being a Christian is more than not giving in to temptation. Following Christ means saying yes to Him and wanting to do those same things Christ would do.
Sadly, too many of us only get half the story. Christ died, not only for our forgiveness, but also for our freedom, freedom from condemnation, from our sons. We are now free to love, forgive and serve. We are free to have His joy.