Dear Apologetic Christian
You are not a natural person.
Let me try to describe this to you.
The same Spirit that existed since the creation of life (Genesis 1:2)…
The same Spirit which rose Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11)…..
This same Spirit of God, himself now literally lives in you (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Really let this sink in…
So believe me when I say “you are not a natural person”.
Having known all this, consider the following
Aim for nothing but perfection
Precisely, aim high in fighting for holiness and righteous living.
Here’s the common issue we have as Christians.
We have come to believe in the death and resurrection of Christ and understand that through Him we are made righteous and reconciled to God. However, when we deal with repetitive sin, we often use lines like these in justifying our actions.
“God understands my struggle”
“I’m just not strong enough to overcome this”
“God’s still working on me” or
“*insert name of Christian* is also dealing with this sin, so it’s ok”
Yes, our salvation is not based on our works, but those who are truly his sons and daughters will obey him and grow in repentence. (Galatians 2:16; 1 John 2:3). Paul clearly speaks concerning this issue of misinterpreted grace in Romans 6:1-14
We have to develop an unapologetic approach in pursuing righteous living, especially when we know that God’s Spirit is working in us. This pursuit was never made to be easy, we see this to be true, because even Christ himself suffered in temptation (Hebrews 2:18).
But here’s the harsh reality. Nothing on earth ever comes easy. So why do we often sell ourselves short on the one thing that matters in pleasing God through obedience?
See it from this perspective.
Have you ever heard a loving parent encouraging their kids to aim for 3rdor 4th place? In sports, do we practice simply to participate in competition or do we rather compete to win a prize?
Yet why are we, of all people, so complacent in pursuing holiness? Better yet, why are we consistently diminishing the power of God by proclaiming that “our temptation to sin is far too strong”.
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
This issue is very personal to me, and I can write thousands of words concerning this topic alone. But if I were to summarize my thoughts in a few words, I would say this
Show. No. Grace. To. Your. Flesh.
- Do not allow yourself to sit in the guilt of past sins, but rather move forward in faith (1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Micah 7:7-9)
- If possible, remove yourself from atmospheres and circles which entice you to sin (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
- Think and act through the guidance of the word of God. Do not trust your heart and mind, unless it is conformed to His word (Psalm 119:9-11; Psalm 119:105)
- Understand that temptations will never go away, but God’s grace is sufficient for us to overcome ALL sins (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
- Do not justify the sins you practice because of what the world tells you (Romans 12:2)
- Understand that you are literally a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
- You are no longer a slave to your temptations. Just because it feels good, doesn’t make it right ( Romans 8:12-13)
- Do not wait for a second conviction until you say no….because you probably won’t
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
2 Peter 1:3-9
Show absolutely no mercy to your body, to affirm to God how deeply you truly love Him
Soli Deo Gloria