We have all been at that point of asking “Will I ever be free from this sin?” Sure, the question may look different and our specific struggles will plague our mind but we wonder. No Christian is immune from the struggle of habitual sins and each of us is working towards growing in our relationship and getting rid of sin. Our tendency is to focus on the sin and how harmful it is and what we need to do to secure our victory. While this thinking may sound as if it makes sense, it takes our focus off of where it should. We have habitual sins we struggle through and deep desires that we are in the process of removing. Continually sinning can look as if we will never be free and it can be easy to lose hope. Never forget, though, we chase a God of hope who secures our victory on our behalf.
“For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”
Galatians 2:19-21, NIV
God’s goal is not to merely keep us from sinning. This missing the grand purpose of Christ’s coming. Just as wiping the dirt of clothes does not make them clean, getting us to stop sinning does not mean we are sanctified. The purpose of Christ’s coming was to return us to Him, fully and completely. Our sin separated us from the holiness of God. The hope in our victory over sin rests fully in the work of Jesus Christ having already conquered sin.
The Finality of Christ’s Work Fuels Our Hope
For however dirty and stuck we feel in our sin, it is not the end. Our sins and our struggles are not the end of who we are nor are they the death sentence they once were. We know the ending of the story because it is laid our plainly. Christ will be victorious, Christ is already victorious, and Christ has always been victorious.
When faced with the reality and depth of Christ’s work on the cross, we are only able to conclude that we do not chase freedom. Rather, we are free already. There is no chain left unbroken that is draped over our souls. There is no sin that is undefeated. Christ has already done everything needed to secure our victory by defeating sin and death and they are left powerless. The death of sin is not the goal, but the fullness and richness of the our communion with God. Our hope rests in the unchanging and eternal relationship with Jesus Christ that has been secured on our behalf on the cross.
Beware The Creep By Chasing Hope
For the Christian, in our pursuit of the fullness of the relationship with Jesus Christ, we must be willing to die to ourselves daily. Christ has secured our victory, but we must always be pursuing Him. Like a boat rowing into a headwind, if we do nothing in our pursuit, we will go backwards. The spirit of the flesh is always pushing toward our sinful nature. The pursuit of God is a continually process of perseverance and sanctification until we reach the throne room of heaven and are made whole once again. We chase God because He is good and he offers us hope. In doing so, we put to death the nature of our flesh simply because it cannot join us on our path to eternity.
When faced with the choice of our relationship with God and our fleshly desire, Christ has paved a way for us to choose hope. This is our choice fueled by the hope that our sins are defeated. We can choose to remain in our sins and allow the things that Christ died to save us from continue to creep through to the corners of our heart until it is all that remains. Or we can choose to pursue God with every ounce of our being. We can whole heartedly seek out the fullness of an endless God whose presence will not end and His love will never cease.
Talk It Out
Read Galatians 2:15-21, NIV
- Galatians says we will not be justified by our works. What is the relationship between our works and our salvation? Is there any connection between the two?
- What is the goal of Christ dying on the cross for our sins?
- How does a person die to their sin and come alive in Christ? What does this look like in the lives of a believer?
- What is the difference between trying not to sin and pursuing a relationship with Jesus Christ?
- Why is it so easy to lose hope that we may never be free from our sin? How does the message of the Gospel and the works of Christ fuel our hope?