I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2
There is nothing so defiling to our spirits and our daily lives than sin. Sin is what makes us feel as though we’re not free. We feel in bondage to the wrong things we do. When Jesus came, He came to set us free from the bondage of sin. (Galatians 5:1) But we must do our part and stand firm against sin.
Read Galatians 5:1
Many people have a misunderstanding of what the Bible means when it references “sin” most of the time. First, let’s be clear that “sin” is doing wrong. It literally means “to be guilty.” When Jesus died for our sins, He died for all of them, small and great. But when the Bible speaks of “righteousness” or “sin,” it often speaks of something different than just being guilty of some kind of wrong.
Much of what the Bible talks about when it speaks of sin is that of perpetuating, unrepentant sin. There’s nothing so defiling to our spirits than to continue in a sin or a sinful lifestyle. As we knowingly persist in a sin, we sear our conscience with justifications and excuses and make the sin easier every day.
Read Romans 1:18-32
We’re all weak creatures, and God understands that. We stumble and fall often; every day. Ecclesiastes 7:20 tells us that “there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.” 1 John 1:8-10 tells us that we call Jesus a liar if we say we’re not sinners, so it’s no surprise to God when we sin. But when we choose to continue sinning instead of repenting, that’s when we open to the door to all types of things in our lives we don’t want.
Holiness is simply saying no to sin in every possible way we can, especially habitual sin. When we sin once, it opens the door to more sin, but when we continue to say yes to sin it clouds our judgement and defiles us and steals our freedom. Paul tells us that it subjects us back to the bondage of sin we once knew before we trusted in Jesus.
As a church, we must uphold the highest standard of holiness while understanding that weak people will stumble in sin. What that equates to is that we can never make excuses or accept sin, but we should expect it to happen. When it does we must hold ourselves and others accountable to it and seek repentance. Stopping and turning away from sin (repentance) is the thing that restores our freedom and conscience before God. When we walk clean and free before the Lord, we have so much more power and joy as believers. By our imitation of Jesus in that way will we show the world true love: love that allows us to live free from the bondage of sin.
We must follow Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:3-5 to purge the sin from our lives and the lives of our brothers in Christ.
Read Matthew 7:3-5