Wednesday, July 11, 2007

don't give into sinful compulsions

I think it's important in our continued endeavor in seeking by the Spirit to put to death the (mis)deeds of the body (Romans 8), in our struggle against sin (Hebrews 12), to develop the habit of not giving into sinful impulses that would compel us to do wrong. We may reason something like, "Well, I'm wrong in my heart so I might as well do it." What we do does matter. And I'm especially thinking here of what we might consider "small" sins, or maybe not even sins at all, though we ought to know that whatever controls us is our master, not God.

We need to be in repentant prayer, also asking God to change our hearts and then quell whatever it is we would do however unnoticeable it might be, against the tide of our rebellious, driven, enslaved heart. As we do this on the basis of Christ and his work for us and our participation in that work by faith and through baptism, then I believe we can begin to experience something of a breakthrough from the Spirit of God in our lives. And we can get something of a true taste of the freedom God has for us in Christ which can impel us to continue on in this way.

This must become a habit of life. At the same time, I hope this is not coming across as a formula to follow, as we need to be in the Word, in prayer and rightfully in community. It's just making this one simple point: Again: Do not give into sinful compulsions by acting them out. In this way, prayerfully, seek by the Spirit to put to death the deeds of the body and so "live" the true, lasting life (Romans 8).

Of course I'm taking much for granted in this post. Like we know what "sin" is, which we can only understand from Scripture, as well as from conscience and our hearts, the latter being not entirely reliable since we're fallen and sinners.

Hope these recent posts about struggling against sin haven't weighed you down if you've read them. They come from someone who is living this out, this being kind of at the forefront of my Christian journey lately.

What might you add to this thought, here?

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