Christianity is About More Than Beating Sin

Despite the best efforts of the Church, most people still think sin is bad. There are even some who would like to stop sin in their life.

Alcoholics Anonymous is one way to defeat sin, it has worked for believers and non-believers alike. There is no doubting the effectiveness of the method.

The problem with most of our obsessions with overcoming sin is that we want to beat sin for selfish reasons. Some want to defeat alcohol because it’s expensive. Some because it’s embarrassing to get arrested. Some just feel horribly guilty or hate what it does to them.

Very rarely do we desire to stop sin because God doesn’t like it. When David got busted, his reply to God was, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.”

David wasn’t worried about his reputation, or the cost, or the newspaper reports. No, David knew his biggest problem was sinning against God.

Pride can be an effective destroyer of sin. Our desire to have a good reputation may keep us from sin, but is this really the point? Is God satisfied with self-righteous Pharisees who don’t break the law outwardly but are dirtier than death inwardly?

Too much of our desire for holiness is nothing but proud thinking. I have known Keswick Theology people who have had the “second conversion,” who now know everything, who are living victoriously.

They are some of the most uncaring, unfeeling, unsympathetic people I’ve ever come in contact with, only outdone by those who believe they have attained sinless perfection. (yes, this is anecdotal evidence)

If your sole desire in sanctification is to overcome some sins you don’t like in you, may I suggest your motivation might be off? I use the word “might,” because you still might be fine.

But allow me to suggest that the Believer’s true desire is not to overcome sin alone, but to be like Christ. One of the results of being like Christ is overcoming sin, but it then moves on to doing the will of the Father, putting off the old life is replaced by putting on the new life.

Just beating sin might make you a more proud, arrogant boaster. There are some who would be better off going back to their sin just to keep their proud mouths shut. Replacing an outward sin with an inward sin is not defeating sin!

Becoming like Christ is the Believer’s true desire. Seek that.

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death”

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