Only recently I wrote an article titled TOTAL FREEDOM and, I love this, God told me more of the story; there is another side that counterbalances the ‘total’ side. Of course, we all know there is more to the subject of ‘freedom’ than some pipedream of a reality that works sometimes and not during other times. This is an attempt at shoring up any imbalance.
As a real person is a total person, a real life is also a total life—i.e. warts ‘n’ all. There are a million and more dimensions to both those... good, bad and indifferent.
There’s the ideal reality and then again there’s the less-than-ideal, or abhorrent, reality (and all realities between those vast poles).
Our Lack of Control
Something which we all have—a thing marked in each of us—is that thing (or more likely, things, plural) that we cannot control, no matter how much we try. There are extremes of this which produce crime-worthy acts and then there’s the common garden variety sin that each of us engages in, despite our better consciences.
One of mine is food. That’s a safe one to declare right here. My personality type has weaknesses in the sensate area. That’s just one.
What these weaknesses of ours do is remind us of an unparalleled truth in this life—we will not approach genuine freedom, from our sinful desires, anytime before we reach heaven. Our minds will continually grapple with our sin.
The Importance of the Gospel of Grace
This is where the good news of the gospel is compelling. God never expects us to completely address our sin. If God did expect that, God would provide the power and the means if we asked (as we’ve perhaps indeed asked via our prayers!). Some of our sin we’ll not be ‘healed’ from. Some of our sin we will master and by God’s grace we’ll have the strength of resolve or the wisdom to abstain.
Equally important, however, is the grace that forgives despite our acknowledged and repented from ongoing sin—those things that our minds know to be bad but are, at times, beyond the temptation of the hand.
Of course, the Christian’s job is not to wantonly sin—giving into it as if to say, “Well, that’s me, and everyone’s just going to have to get used to that”—but to bridge the tension between righteousness and sin; to live it out, in faith, the best way we can, however imperfect that ends up being.
God forgives us our transgressions, and even the ongoing ones, according to the function of our honesty, acknowledging the sin, and never quite accepting that as our ultimate reality. We accept that we are both sinners and that we’re saved for righteousness—as much as living that reality is possible.
When we do this, we extrude satisfaction for God’s enormous grace, for we’re forgiven in any event and guilt and shame are not to become us.
The Holy Spirit’s Role
It is really important for us to understand, God simply wants us to be truthful with ourselves, that the war within is something that we were never meant to conquer; that the only way we can have any ongoing satisfaction regarding our inroads to our sin is through the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.