"Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?"
Romans 6:15-16 (NKJV)
Before continuing on, please ask yourself that very simple question, "Why do I sin?" And when you seriously contemplate that question, it's not so easy to answer. When I ask myself that, I personally like to put blame elsewhere for why I sin. I like blaming Adam. The Bible does say that because of his sin, we all sin, right? "Therefore just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12, NKJV). The devil is another popular scapegoat, but in searching the Bible, can the devil really make any one of us (Christians) sin? No! He does tempt us at times, but we choose whether or not to follow that temptation. Whatever desire is stronger in our heart is what prevails, for he cannot force us to sin. How about blaming it on that all so common "sinful nature" (otherwise known as the "flesh")? I like that one too, and it's Biblical. But many times it's easy to think of a "sinful nature" as something external that we can blame rather than admitting to it and taking the blame personally. We do not have anything inside us that causes us to sin, but rather it is WE who sin. Therefore, if you do admit that it was your sinful nature that caused you to sin, make sure that you're not blaming someTHING, but rather admitting to choosing to sin yourself. Since I'm about to be married, I shouldn't say that "my wife made me do it" either, as clearly sin is the choice of the one committing the sin. No other person or thing can make you or me sin other than ourselves -- but we have the help of the Spirit to guide us along the right track. We Christians have two desires -- one fleshly and one spiritual. "Since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." (1 Corinthians 21-22, NKJV) We Christians did die and are born again. In the spirit, God can guide us and we are no longer in that bondage of living solely by that sinful nature. Other people and other things can give you a hard time, but when it comes down to the actual sin itself, there's only one person to blame -- and it's not someone else.
So then, why do I do it? And what really is this "sinful nature"? It really all comes down to one simple thing. I sin for one reason and one reason alone -- because I want to. And that's what sinful nature is all about; our wanting to sin and therefore sinning! But, as I might respond to myself, I hate sinning, and I hate seeing myself sin. Therefore it's impossible that I'm doing it only because I want to. Wrong! Two things about that sinful nature -- the first being man, who has the very nature of sin, one that is impossible to be rid of completely while in this physical body. The second, once we're born again, we have the Spirit living within us. The Spirit is a person of our triune God, who has graciously entered into us to become part of us! As long as we're in these bodies, we're constantly attempting to put to death the flesh by help of the Spirit. Nothing within us, no goodness or anything else, can do this other than by God's Holy Spirit alone Who has graciously entered into us and filled us up. That's why God clearly tells us in the Bible that "No one is good but One, that is, God." (Matthew 19:17, NKJV), as it's all been done by Him, in the past when He came to this world, died for our sins, raised from the dead and what He's promised to do for us in the future -- provide an eternal, sinless life for us in heaven in constant communion with Himself.
We still will fall into sin many times, which should remind us to not take God for granted, as He is the only perfect One. Even so, that doesn't give us license to sin. We have been freed from the bondage of sin, but are still responsible for our sin, so when the opportunity presents itself for us to commit sin, there's nothing and no one to blame it on other than ourselves (see Romans 6:15-16 above and the rest of Chapter 6). Once our lives belong to Jesus, we can never lose our salvation, as we have died to our bondage of sin, but now that we have a choice whether to sin or not, it gives us a responsibility. And with that responsibility comes consequences. Consequences not to punish us, but to better us, as any good father would discipline his child to make that child better, not looking to the past, but rather to help him/her to choose more wisely in the future. I'd like to say that I'm able to choose wisely most of the time, but really the only reason why I CAN choose wisely is because "it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13, NKJV) Praise our gracious and merciful God for the Spirit who lives within me for each and every time I have chosen wisely in the past and will choose wisely in the future.
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