Rev. Steven Flo
Many ask, "How do I conquer a 'pet sin' I struggle with daily, that gets me down and depresses me so?"
I tell them, "Only when you are free to fall, are you free not to fall!"
"What?" they say! "Shall we sin that grace may abound? God's Word spoken by the Apostle Paul says, 'Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live in it any longer?'" (Romans 6:1-2).
"True!" I say, "Then quit falling!"
They say, "Well, it's easier said than done. I keep trying and trying and trying, but I keep stumbling over that same sin."
"Do you believe God loves you no matter how much you sin?" I ask.
"Well, I suppose I should" they say, "but I don't."
I tell them, "Then that's the root of your problem! God is allowing you to fall flat on your face over and over again to teach you something bigger than the victory you desire. He wants you to be convinced that you are loved and forgiven by His Son unconditionally, no matter how much you sin or don't sin; no matter how much you obey or don't obey; no matter how much faith you have or don't have! As a matter of fact, He forgave you, me, and the whole world from the cross even before we believed, obeyed, or had any faith in Him at all. He forgave us while we were killing Him! He said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do!" (Luke 23:34).
It's only by this powerful message of forgiveness, given before we believe in Him, that our belief is created by Him in the first place. We love because He first loved us. It's only by this powerful Word of Christ's unconditional love and forgiveness that our hearts are made clean and our spirits are renewed within.
So, should we sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! God doesn't want us to sin.
But if we do sin in weakness and we're sorry for it, frustrated by it, and feel like we have a ton of rocks on our back weighing us down, does God still love us in Christ? The answer is: yes! Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8). God's love is not based on our obedience, but rather on the obedience of His Son! (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Only when we are free to fall, knowing that Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us when we do, are we free not to fall! Only then will our hearts be filled with the Love of God in Christ. Only then will our coldness melt and the love of sinning be taken away.
Charles Wesley expressed this liberating love beautifully when, in his unforgettable hymn, he wrote:
Love divine, all love excelling,
Joy of heaven, to earth come down!
Breathe, oh, breathe thy loving spirit
Into every troubled breast;
Let us all in thee inherit;
Let us find thy promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.
Rev. Steven Flo serves as pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in DeSoto, Missouri. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Created: May 8th, 2015