Monday, May 1, 2017

Our Sin Problem

Chuckle: "England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool."
Ponder This: "It's harder to confess the sin that no one believes in Than the crime that everyone can appreciate. For the crime is in relation to the law And the sin is in relation to the sinner." --T.S. Eliot

    "I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. When I want to do good, I don't. And when try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. But if I am doing what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it" (Romans 7:18-20 NLT).
Here, Paul reveals the constant battle raging within him and in each of us between the power of God and the power of Satan. He describes his life when his old sinful nature is allowed to take control. He identifies a severe problem common to all Christians that requires us to examine the degree to which we allow our new nature in Christ to rule over our old sinful nature. We have the Holy Spirit within us who provides us the strength to overcome our desire to sin. But we often let our guards down and the old nature raises its ugly head, takes control of our lives, and we sin.
I'm sure you have heard someone say, "The devil made me do it." Often, this statement is made in jest, but it merits serious consideration and discussion. Sin is so easy to commit and so terribly difficult to avoid. But making excuses for sin, do not change the fact that we are responsible to God for the sins we commit -- sins of omission (not doing what we know we should do) or sins of commission (doing what we know we should not do).
We should never use Satan's power over us as an excuse, because he is a defeated enemy by the power of the Cross and the Holy Spirit. However, we must access the power of the Holy Spirit each time we are tempted to sin. A Spirit controlled person can be seen doing what is right even in the face of every human reason not to. I ran across this story:
A few years ago a taxi driver in New York City drove a woman through Manhattan and received a 30-cent tip. Later when he put another passenger's luggage in the trunk, he found that the woman had left her suitcase. The suitcase contained diamond rings worth more than $30,000. He and a supervisor tracked down the woman and returned her diamonds. The driver was quoted in the New York Daily News saying, "Why would I think I could keep it? It wasn't mine."
I'm sure many of us have struggled with decisions like the taxi driver's. It's somewhat comforting that Paul endured the same struggles as you and I. He understood that, without Christ's help, sin is stronger than we are. But Christ has conquered sin once for all. If we look to Him for help, we don't have to give in to sin. "That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you" (Romans 8:8-9 NLT).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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