This week our Wednesday evening discussions were all about the problem of sin in our lives, and what can happen when we ‘fall down’. As Christians, we can find ourselves wrestling with sin problems in our lives. Perhaps we sin unintentionally, or get drawn back into former sinful ways, or simply do something we know we shouldn’t do.
Ideally we would feel confident to go straight to God in repentance and accept his loving forgiveness. However, sometimes it’s not as straightforward as that. We may feel guilty, ashamed or embarrassed. We may feel as though we are failures who have let God down.
Sin in our lives can have serious effects on our relationship with God and with other Christians. There is a danger that a distance might open up between us and God. We might stop going to church or other meetings; we might avoid our Christian friends and ignore their messages or phone calls.
On the other hand, we might be tempted to make light of our sin, to brush it off as if it doesn’t really matter. We carry on going to church and saying all the right things but in reality we have become, once again, slaves to sin, and our relationship with God suffers.
If you struggle with sin, you should know that you are not alone. In Romans 7:15-25, Paul writes about his own struggles. “I do not understand what I do,” Paul says in verse 15. “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Paul understood that although he was saved and had the Spirit of God, he still battled with his sinful nature, his ‘flesh’. It is a battle that we all face.
In verse 24, Paul asks, “Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” The answer comes in the very next verse: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, we will become more and more aware of the effects of our sinful nature. It might seem as though we are fighting a battle within ourselves! Do not despair! “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)
God knows that we will struggle with sin. He does not reject us. Instead, he delivers us and cleanses us. If you are struggling with sin today, do not struggle alone, but reach out to your loving Father in Heaven.