Seeing Sin Clearly
God’s Word doesn’t make light of our sin. We see in Romans 6:23 that the result or punishment for sin is death. Sin kills the body and the soul. Sin corrupts everything. When sin came into the world, it brought death and darkness, brokenness and shame. And when we deliberately sin, when we give in to the desires of our flesh, we are saying yes to death.
But God has provided a way of escape: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13). We can say no to sin by the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God. We have been set free from sin and are no longer ruled by its power (Rom. 6:22). This doesn’t mean we don’t sin, and it doesn’t mean that we won’t sin. We will sin and we do sin; in fact, when we want to do good, evil is right there with us (Rom. 7:21). But when we face a clear choice, we have been given the power to say no. What freedom! That’s reason for rejoicing.
Jesus, the Sin Killer
It’s true that the wages of sin is death. And to pay for our sin required death—the death of the perfect Son of God, Jesus Christ. Jesus died the death that we deserve. Jesus paid the penalty that we earned. Jesus is the reason for our freedom. It is the free gift of God that leads to eternal life (6:23). This is most definitely reason for more rejoicing. Jesus paid a debt we could never pay on our own—it was far too great. We now have freedom by His grace. Let’s take that freedom and live worthy of this awesome gospel. We can’t do it on our own; thus, God gives Himself more and more even after our conversion so that we can have the power to be slaves of God and righteousness.
As we put off the sin that clings so closely, we become more and more like our Savior. This is a story of grace. We sin, but Jesus died for that sin, freeing us from the power of sin and giving us all the things necessary to be more like Him. As those who have been set free from the chains of sin, we are being sanctified—made more like Christ. We are being transformed from one degree of glory to the next (2 Cor. 3:18). So, the next time you are tempted by sin, remember this free gift. We don’t obey because it earns us favor; this favor is already ours. It has been bought with a price. Instead, we obey because we love Jesus and are compelled by this love toward obedience.
Editor’s Note: This post was first published on April 18, 2018.