By Don Gentry
Christians have a sin problem. We spend most of our life trying to see how close we can get to sin and remain a Christian. It is a horrible way to honor God for the sacrifice that he made. Christ came that he might deliver us from sin! We make a mockery of his sacrifice when we continue to live in the sin that he died to save us from. No wonder the world calls Christians a bunch of hypocrites. We don’t live by what we say we believe. We hold our “get out of Hell card” as if that is what Christ died for, instead of “This is the way to life card” that he gave us access to.
There is a book (other than the Bible) that really changed my life and has helped to guide my passion for Christ. It is The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges. It is a phenomenal book. As we take a look at what motivates sin, I want to reveal that the answer to our sin problem is Holiness. This is a quote from Pursuit of Holiness page 96:
“Can you imagine a soldier going into battle with the aim of ‘not getting hit very much?’ The very suggestion is ridiculous. His aim is not to get hit at all! Yet if we have not made a commitment to holiness without exception, we are like a soldier going into battle with the aim of not getting hit very much. We can be sure if that is our aim, we will be hit—not with bullets, but with temptation over and over again.
Jonathan Edwards, one of the great preachers of early American history, used to make resolutions. One of his was, ‘Resolved, never to do anything which I would be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.’ Dare we 20th century Christians make such a resolution? Are we willing to commit ourselves to the practice of holiness without exceptions? There is no point in praying for victory over temptation if we are not willing to make a commitment to say no to it.”
I don’t know about you, but when I read that I am convicted. Over the years I have spent in ministry, my biggest frustration with those who call themselves followers of Christ isn’t their hypocrisy, but their lack of acknowledgement that we can even do what Christ has called us to do.
15But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 17Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives in reverent fear during your temporary stay on earth. I Peter 1:15-17.
The answer to our sin problem does not lie in trying to fix our sin, instead it is our reliance upon His holiness. Join me Sunday as we continue our conversation on sin!