Transcript of Midweek Meditations podcast episode aired on Wednesday, 24th June 2020.
Sin. What thoughts start to form? What emotions do you begin to feel? What memories enter your mind? What guilt fills your heart? Does it discourage you? Burden you? Overcome you?
If you’re discouraged… If you’re burdened… If you’re overcome by your sin… then you’re not alone. At the same time, there should be a genuine grief about the reality of sin in our lives. After all, our Lord Jesus Christ died for our sin so that we could experience life in him.
Indeed, this is what Paul is talking about in our meditation from Romans:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?Romans 6:1–2 (NIV)
Paul highlights two Christian pursuits many Christians struggle to balance—that is, holiness and grace. Both are good and right, yet so many Christians struggle to hold them together. Emphasise one without the other and you find yourself with a half-baked gospel and a half-baked Christian.
Grace is a precious gift given to us through Jesus Christ our Lord. In his death, he conquers sin to bring us life. What an amazing truth! What an amazing gift! Our sins past, present, and future are forgiven. But would we use this gift, the grace of God to indulge in sin? No!
Yes, there is grace in our failing. There is grace in our weakness. There is grace for our sins today. We are free from guilt and judgment. But we must also remember we are free from sin. We can overcome sin.
“We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” In dying to sin, we’re given a new birth, a new life in Jesus. We’re no longer slaves to sin, even though the world continues to be a slave to sin, in Jesus we are not. To choose to live in sin is to return to slavery.
But that’s not where we want to be, is it? So how do we overcome sin? How do we become holy? It’s not by trying harder. Yes, we can be disciplined and intentional in our fight against sin. But if that’s all we do, we’ll lose. Why? Because the main battleground of sin isn’t your mind, it’s your heart. The fight against sin is a fight for your affection and love.
The greatest weapon in your fight for sin is your love for Jesus. As your love for Jesus grows, so too does your capacity to fight sin. Like any relationship, it takes time to build a relationship with Jesus.
Yes, take time to read his Word, but also meditate and remember his words throughout the day. Take time to communicate with him in prayer, but also hear his voice throughout your day. Take time to sing his praises, but rest in his presence with you, remembering his goodness and faithfulness to you. If nothing else, remember he’s always with you. That’s a promise!
As you face up to sin… yes, it may temporarily grieve you, burden you, even overcome you. But remember that Jesus died for your sins so that you would be set free from it. That’s the wonder of his grace. But it’s because you love him that sin grieves and burdens you. As you grow in your love for him, you grow also in your knowledge and experience of his grace. Remember that you’re dead to sin, no longer a slave to it, instead you’re free, free to live in Jesus. Because of that we can be holy and live in grace. Let’s pray.
Heavenly Father, we find life in you and you alone. You give us the breath of life to live and move and exist. Yet, you are holy. You call us to be holy too. But you don’t leave us on our own, you give us life, grace, and set us free from sin by giving your son, our Lord Jesus. For this, we praise and thank you.
Lord Jesus, you gave us life in exchange for your own. You died in our place so that we might not experience the death and judgment of sin. Help us by your Holy Spirit to love you more than we love our sin. Yet, as we do so, give us grace to remember that our fight doesn’t depend on us but on everything you’ve already done for us.
We ask these things in your name, Lord Jesus, amen.