Let me start by thanking God for His revelation in my life. Though I was saved quite sometimes back, until recently, my perspective about Christ was still ‘immature.’ I did not see fully the power of God through the cross but thanks to Him who draws to Himself all people. I boldly want to commend, in line with the above, my JKUATCU friends who have held me accountable on spiritual matters and especially J.K. Wakaria whom God saw it better for us to be roommates. I believe Christ in Him drew me to a broader view of the Gospel. His work is commendable!
Far from it. I’ll begin by saying that there is no greater burden in anyone’s life other than sin and its derivatives; guilt, shame and the feeling of rejection and powerlessness.
It is not uncommon even to get someone saved but they are struggling with rage, sexual immorality, envy, debauchery and so forth. The immediate response has been to set up ways of restraining oneself from doing the sin again but they usually fail and in most cases, to a bigger extent. In fact, Paul admits in Romans 7:18-24 that whatever he delights in his heart is not what he finds himself doing. It is the exact opposite.
“18For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good but I cannot carry it out. 19For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I don’t want to do-this I keep doing……24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body which is subject to death? 25Thanks be to God who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord”
I want you to consider the 24th verse, Paul says exactly what most of us would say, being in this condition. “What a wretched man I am! Who will save me? I have failed God and He has surely hated me!”
The result is always frustration and slavery to guilt. You realize that you have no ability to help yourself and some go to an extra mile to motivation speakers only to realize the sin does not depart but worsens.
But look! This is precisely why Christ is there. If you had power to overcome sin, there would be no importance being a Christian and depending on Christ. It is the sick who need a doctor and not the normal people as Jesus said in Mathew 9:12
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill…for I have not come to call the righteous but the sinners.”
Paul would remind us in Romans 5:8
“But God demonstrates his love for us in this way; while we still sinners, Christ died for us”
Note the use of present continuous tense in the word demonstrates; that is, he continually loves us despite of our weaknesses. At times we fall to the deepest pits and we think he has rejected us. He loves us so much and he desires that we be more and more like Himself.
The point of recognizing one’s sin is key to the whole process. It is interesting to note that God gave us a free will. He did not create us as robotic machines. Your decision to recognize your sins is when the concept of a savior applies best since you are submitting to the help.
In the medical set up, unless a patient is mentally disturbed, a doctor cannot go on treating him/her if he/she has totally refused. Rather, the doctor has the responsibility to give the patient the reason why the treatment he/she would offer is important and allows the patient to sign a refusal form so that in any case, the patient is responsible for the matter.
That’s exactly the same here, Christ needs you to recognize your sins and allow Him to heal you so that you do not go on being ill. The healing and recovery process may not be an immediate event; it is slow and steady as long as you put your faith in the Son of God who has the skills to attend to us.
Paul remarks in Galatians 2:10-21
“20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law (works) Christ died for nothing!”
What Paul says is that when we allow Christ to reign in us by every time setting up our eyes on Him, he gives life to our mortal bodies and sin disintegrates in a slow and steady way. He also gives a warning in verse 21, that with our works we cannot save ourselves. God still loves you in the weakness you are in and in no case can your work make Him save you except through faith.
The writer of Hebrew in Chapter 12:2 addresses this issue too
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…”
There is no sin that is too hard for him. He is our nearest kinsman as Boaz was to Naomi; only if we fix our eyes on Him in faith.
What about the guilt and shame?
Billy Graham once said “you can’t change your past, but you can determine your destiny by deciding for Christ. But Christ can change your past! He died on the cross so that all the sins you have ever committed are forgiven.”
You remember David? God turned the guilt and the shame to something beneficial. Interestingly, David in psalms 51 is seen recognizing his sins of adultery and murder
“3for I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me…”
He asks God to restore to him the joy of salvation so that he does not become a slave to sin again.
“12Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
What more can we say then? We who have Christ to cleanse us and change our past have got all the reasons to rejoice.
C.S. Lewis, a renowned Christian apologists by far was an atheist who converted in his midlife just like apostle Paul and he ended up writing a number of books from apologetics, poetry, theology, devotion and many more. Christ changes our pasts and make us more productive in His work.
As I said earlier, I too have and I’m still experiencing the gradual and steady healing by Christ in my life and that’s what I pray for you.
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
Away from slavery
Apostle John seems to be harsh in this subject in 1st John 3:6
“No one who lives in him keeps on sinning, no one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”
Earlier on in chapter 2:1 he recognizes that we do sin but have an advocate. Is he contradicting himself? To put that into perspective, what John is advocating for, is that if we have allowed Christ to heal us and indeed we are healed why should we go back to the weak and miserable slavery of sin again? If God has delivered you from alcoholism, sexual immorality, envy, malice or even anger, why then expose yourself to the things that entice you? Someone once said that the best apology is a changed behavior.
Paul too tells us to flee from them since we know how miserable they are.
I pray that this article will help you reflect on your life and fix your life on Christ who is the perfecter of our walk of salvation.