21 Sept 2013-
God's grace is amazing! We're saved by grace – God's undeserved favor – and we live by grace, which is also God's power in our lives to do what we could never do in our own strength. And it's all because God is love, and He loves us unconditionally, constantly and completely.
But even though God loves us, we still have a problem: sin. It's important for us to learn how to confront sin and overcome it, because while God loves sinners, He hates sin. And He hates it because of what it does to us and how it keeps us from the abundant life Jesus died to give us. (See John 10:10.)
So many people live in an endless cycle of sinning, feeling guilty and condemned, suffering under guilt and condemnation for awhile, and then eventually believing God will forgive them or they've paid for it enough to be forgiven. I know how miserable it can be to live this way because I've been there myself. And it isn't God's plan for our lives.
Jesus paid a tremendous price for us so we could have abundant life. He willingly took all of our sin on Himself and gave His life on the cross so we could be forgiven and have new life in Him. One of the greatest things about life in Christ is it makes us dead to sin. Romans 6:11 (AMP) says, "Consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus."
We Have the Power to Overcome
You may be thinking, "Joyce, if I'm dead to sin, then why am I still sinning?" The Bible says we are dead to sin, but sin is not dead. We consider ourselves dead to sin because when we're born again through Christ, our spirit is alive in Him and wants nothing to do with sin; that's why it bothers you when you do something wrong. However, our soul – mind, will and emotions – is not immediately mature in the things of God.
We all go through a lifelong process of learning how to renew our minds with God's Word, submit our will to Him, and be led by the Holy Spirit rather than our emotions. The exciting truth is that in Christ, we have God's grace to overcome sin, but we have to choose to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to walk it out.
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