Is there sin in your life that you can’t seem to throw off and put behind you no matter what you do? You want to obey Hebrews 12:1 that says to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,” but you’ve been struggling with this certain sin for years, and it just keeps sticking. Maybe it’s a certain attitude, a tendency, an action, a thought-pattern. Well, I’m writing this because that’s what I’m experiencing. And I don’t have a silver bullet or five step method or anything new to give you because nothing I’ve tried has given me the complete victory and absolute freedom from sin that I was looking for. All I have is Christ.
He is all I have and, he is enough. He has promised to complete the good work in me that he has begun (Philippians 1:6) and to never leave me or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6).
He is sovereign, in control of all things (Matthew 28:18, Isaiah 14:24, Daniel 4:35), including the temptation we face (1 Corinthians 10:13), and whether we overcome it by faith (Galatians 2:20) or give in to it and sin. When God allows the indwelling sin in a Christian’s heart to overcome their desire to do what is right (Romans 7:21), he is doing it with definite purpose and for their good (Romans 8:28). In my life, continuing to sin and sin and sin when I want to stop has caused me to put less trust in myself (Philippians 3:3), to think less highly of myself (Romans 12:3), and to hate my sin all the more (Psalm 97:10).
I’m writing this to point us Christ and his Gospel and say, look, He is everything! If we aren’t as sanctified as we’d like to be, we should rejoice in Christ, that he still loves us and is interceding to the Father on our behalf (Romans 8:34). Let’s let the helplessness we feel in trying to overcome certain sin drive us to Christ as our only hope and righteousness— let’s not look to ourselves to try harder or do better—that’s not the Gospel.
Christ should be our reason for rejoicing, our confidence, our greatest love, and our only boast—not how sanctified we are or how well we are killing sin. Anytime my eyes are on myself, I tend to become proud. So it could be that God is lovingly allowing me to fall over and over so that I would only have Him to look to. Just as much as when we first believed, we need the good news of the Father choosing us (Ephesians 1:4), of Christ dying for us (Romans 5:8), and of the Holy Spirit working in us and bearing with us (1 Peter 1:2, Ephesians 4:30).
Lord, I need you,
Oh, I need You,
Every hour I need You,
My one defense, my righteousness,
Oh God, how I need You
“Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher
So next time my conscience is pricked, my spirit is grieved, and the sting of guilt is heavy on my heart, I don’t want to immediately start drawing up a new battle plan since the old one just failed, but instead, I want to look to Christ, who is my wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30). I need to preach to myself. Trust Him. Praise Him. Thank Him. Rest in him.
We probably won’t arrive at heaven’s doors feeling like we’re in the same league as the Apostle Paul, in fact, we probably won’t have even obeyed the greatest commandment for a single second (Matthew 22:36-37), if we consider the taints of sin that usually accompany every “good” thing that we do. Jesus said that only God is good (Mark 10:18). But I do hope that we will finish the race with our eyes on Jesus, for he is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).