Sorry for the few posts – I’ve been mad busy these past couple weeks. I’ll try to be more frequent.
God’s been teaching me that one of the scariest things about sin is that it’s so easy to fall into it. I’ll elaborate a bit further.
In Genesis 4:7, God tells Cain that sin is at the door, and that its desire is for Cain, and he must rule over it. This is the same for all of us. Sin is at the door for all of us. And the terrifying thing is how easy it is for us to fall into. There’s a reason the Scriptures tell us that if we think we stand, we should take heed lest we fall.
You think your convictions are strong enough to keep you immune to sin all the time? They aren’t. You may feel strong now, but when a strong pang of temptation hits you, whatever it may be for – pornography, sexual immorality, dishonesty, theft, whatever – you’ll see how strong your convictions are. And honestly? I don’t think you’ll find them to be very strong. In fact, I think you’ll find them to be quite weak and find that you get out of temptation by the skin of your teeth if you do get out of it.
This is why we have accountability as a vital part of gospel community. That’s why guys have accountability groups and partners and software where pornography is concerned. Because going it alone, we can’t do it. The church, in my mind, functions not just as the many other things it functions as (as God’s tool and gift for the world, as our community, etc), but also as a safeguard to guard us from sin through collective accountability and encouragement.
But that’s just one part of the equation. Accountability can keep us from doing sin, but we also need to tackle the heart issue. Sin begins in the heart and we need to put it to death in the heart, over and over again through our Christian life. This is where Jesus comes in.
John 15 has Jesus recorded as saying that we need to abide in Him, and that apart from Him, we can do nothing. I feel we need to abide in Jesus to successfully fight temptation in our hearts, to fight sin in our hearts. How else can we do it? This is important because, understand, sin is not just a series of actions taken that are contrary to God’s will and desire. Sin is a cosmic force dedicated to our destruction and damnation. God makes this clear when he speaks to Cain of sin in Genesis 4.
How do we abide in Jesus? Prayer and Scripture reading. In prayer, we commune with God. In Scripture, we seek out God’s will and open ourselves up to God speaking to us. Further, Scripture tells us that God’s word never returns void (Isaiah 55:10-11). God’s word always accomplishes what He sets out for it to do. This means that by reading Scripture and faithfully applying it to our lives (James 1:22-25) we will be changed and conformed more to the character of Jesus and the will of God. This is beautiful.
Brothers, sisters, let us abide in Christ and seek out accountability in our church communities so we can fight sin and stay close to God for the glory of God.
Grace and peace.