How Does the Christian Deal with Sin?
a study series by Arthur J Licursi
Part of 11 of 14 – Intimacy Lost
I can still sin, and when I do, I must come to the point of being honest with God and with myself, to admit my sin if my conscience provokes me to do so. We have already been forgiven of all sins once for all in Christ, so this acknowledging of our sin is not for us to seek forgiveness; it is to help us be restored to union and relationship with God, one that is honest, open, and pure. This may be called internalized confession. It means “to agree with” what I know by my spirit’s conscience that speaks as a co-perception I have deep within. This is an acknowledgment that I have sinned.
I recall years ago looking at our one-year-old, grandchild as I said this to a Christian friend. “Its hard to believe that such a beautiful innocent creature is tainted with a Sin nature.” The fact is, that seemingly innocent child has a Sin nature. All of us, including that innocent child, have been conceived in Sin (Psa 51:5). Its just that the young child had not yet grown sufficiently in his self-soul to give full expression to that fallen nature in his sin-laden flesh.
It was just a few years later that my wife came face to face with the proof of that by the lies that came from that seemingly “innocent child.” Linda asked, “Did you eat the candy you were told not to eat?” the answer was “No Mimi”; all the while the chocolate dripped down his chunky cheeks. We saw the evidence that he is also related to that same fallen Adam “by whom Sin entered the world.” It was obvious that our innocent grandchild was also a Sinner whose Sin expression now came naturally, without being taught to sin.
Just like God is with us, while we love our grandchild so much, we do not like the wrong things he does. From the child’s side, there may be times when his naughty deeds can prevent him from relating to us on an intimate and loving level as a grandchild with his grandfather or grandmother because Sin loves darkness and runs from union with the light. The fact is that we love him even before he asks “Will you still love me?” We love him and extend forgiveness before he even asks. But if the relationship is to be restored to openness, and we are to have the closeness with this precious little one, then he may need to come and say, “Mimi” (as he refers to my wife!), “I’m sorry for eating the chocolate.” He didn’t know he was already forgiven by us, but he needed his own conscience to be cleansed.
Hebrews 10:22 (AMP) Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and Sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water.
We assured him that we already have forgiven him for what he did, we will hold him close, and reassure him of our love for him and his special place in our heart.
Sometimes I can do good things that amaze even me (and even in this admission I can see shades of pride surfacing!). But more often than not, I will do something really stupid. Or I will be boastful. Or I will retaliate in anger. I will be insensitive to my wife’s needs. I will aggravate my kids. I will Sin.
When I sin, I build a barrier between myself and my Father. He has never left me. He loves me, but He is grieved when I do wrong, not that I failed but that I have not yet seen and fully embraced His love and grace toward me. There may be a sense of guilt or conviction inside of me, but all I really need to do is turn my heart to Him. I need to know that there is no condemnation to those whose life is hid in Christ - I am never to be condemned again. Romans 8:1 (NIV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
I could still rebel against the conviction of the Holy Spirit in my heart. I could even rationalize my sin away and make myself believe I’m not so bad. I actually heard a Christian say this. “After all, I’m not perfect. God doesn’t expect me to get it right every time.”
But even while I might say such a thing, in my own heart I see that unless I take the first step and turn my heart to the Father, the relationship remains at a distance. I need to return and Christ has made the way by His blood that ever speaks for me. While my heart is turned away or while I’m living under the lie of Satan; I am condemned in myself and I will not come to him. I need to know and trust His consistency and His faithfulness, His love and His constant grace toward me if I am ever going to make it. We need to know beyond any doubt, that He holds us close to Himself, that He already has forgiven us. He wants us to be reassured that we, as his own children, have a special place in his heart. Once again, His grace is extended. Once again, I realize that I am forever His. Nothing can separate me from His love.
Society’s standards may shift with the passing of time. What is called “acceptable behavior” today may be “inappropriate” tomorrow. “Compromise” is the key word in governmental politics and the modern man’s language. But my life is not resting on such a flaky and shaky foundation. It rests on the truth of God’s Word and in the merits of Christ’s cross – His blood, His death, and His resurrection life.
I enjoy the blessings of His grace and I bask—yes, I revel—in His great love for me! What a God, what a Father, what Grace!