“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Everyone sins and repeats those sins. But God commands us to repent of our sins. We repent, which means to do an “about-face” and walk away from those sins. So, if you’re a liar that means you stop lying. If you’re a gossip, you stop gossiping. If you murderer, you stop murdering. This sounds perfectly simple and logical.
We all want to do the right thing, especially if we’re Christians. And, although God knows we can repent, He also knows we can’t maintain that repentance indefinitely. Why? Because we are human and sinful. If we repent from lying, does that actually mean we will never tell a lie again? No, that’s nonsense. If we repent from gossiping, does that mean we will never gossip again? No, that’s also nonsense. If we get so angry that we murder a person in our thoughts, but we repent, does that mean we will never get that angry again? No, that’s complete nonsense. We are sinful and sin leads to death. In this fallen world sin will abound - even in Christians.
So, what’s my point?
We are only freed from sin through Christ, because He took all our sins when He died, and gave us life through His resurrection. But, we will never be truly sinless until we get to Heaven. Why? Because we live in a fallen world, and we are a fallen people. We must sin due to our nature, but we resist sin by following Biblical scripture, and the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God.
So, should we just stop trying to repent? NO, Certainly Not! We must try and try again. And each time we try, we should see improvement in our ability to change for the better. Sin doesn’t have an on-and-off switch. We, as humans, can’t just shut it off. We can try and try, again and again, but we can’t turn it off.
Some will say, “Well, if you’re truly filled with the Holy Spirit, you can just turn sin off, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Others would say, “If you repent, and truly mean it, you will never do that sin it again.” Unfortunately, neither comment is true. Why? Again, we live in a fallen world and we are a fallen people. While we are freed from sin, through Christ’s willing sacrifice, we are not immune from committing sin. We are a fallen people who will not stop sinning until Jesus takes us home to Heaven.
God’s gift to us is mercy and grace that results in a changed life (for the better, both morally and spiritually) and is a free gift, if we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
In scripture a woman was accused of adultery. The men asked Jesus what they should do about it (the punishment was to be stoned to death). So, Jesus said, “…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7 Then the men (sinners all) gradually walked off and since no accusers remained, “…Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” John 8:11 Did she probably strive to never sin again? Yes! Does that mean that she never sinned again? Knowing the nature of mankind, the answer would have to be, No, because she was a fallen person in a fallen world and sin is what people do.
You sin, and you will always sin, even if you are a devout, Holy Spirit led Christian that repeatedly repents. It is your nature to sin and you can only strive to avoid sin. Christ died to permanently eliminate the sins you have committed and will commit. Don’t let the burden of sin destroy your life, because your sins are forgiven. You are truly free of your sins, but you must strive with all your heart to avoid sin. Live a victorious life in Christ, but also, constantly work to minimize the sin in your life and grow in spiritual and Biblical knowledge and obedience.
Not because you have to, but because you want to, with all your heart, to honor the Savior that willingly died for you.
Our sins are gone! We are truly free!