Too often, I fall into the trap of thinking my sin is momentary and conquerable. If I forget about it, it’s not there. Or if I try hard enough, it’ll go away. Those things aren’t true.
I sin, but I forget that sin isn’t just weak moments or inappropriate actions. Sin is believing that anything else is better for me than God is. Sin is my way of life outside of the Spirit.
I think Satan uses particular sin issues that we have to trick us into believing that those are the only sin issues we have — that outside of those, life is good. But the problem is that there is no good outside of God. We might think there is, but we would be wrong every time.
The other thing Satan tricks us into believing is that the idea of sin is just an arbitrary social construct that came from religious people. That’s also not true. The reason the Church believes sin is bad is because sin kills joy. It elevates something above God. It promises intimacy only God can provide. Sin is settling for much, much less than what God has for you. Sin is you trading what you actually need for what you think you need.
The argument against sin shouldn’t be, “Follow these rules because really religious people say you should.” The argument against sin should be, “You’re missing out on joy and intimacy and satisfaction far greater than what you’re getting with sin.”
In The Valley of Vision, one Puritan prayer puts it this way:
“Grant me to know… that to depart from thee is to lose all good.”
Jesus loves us enough to forgive us, even though we have actively decided against him. When humanity was at enmity with God, Jesus left heaven, paid the price for our sin and delivered us from the punishment we deserved.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
— 2 Corinthians 5:21
Even now, when we actively decide against Jesus, he forgives us still, because his grace is far greater than we could ever imagine, and the punishment for sin has been paid for completely.
Sin actually is momentary and conquerable. It’s momentary in the scope of eternity, because one day God will put an end to it once and for all. And it’s conquerable because Jesus voluntarily laid his life down, paying for it in full at the cross.
Those things are only true because of Jesus. Thanks be to God.