Q. I’ve been a Christian just over 3 years now. Several things in my life have changed as a result; however, there are somethings that no matter how hard I try to convince myself I won’t, I continue to fall into sin. I know there are some temptations that we need to flee from, but at the same time, I feel like I should have victory over this sin and not continue to fall to it. Is there something I’m missing or should I just keep running? I don’t like that sin is able to dictate how I live my life.
A. To one degree or another we are all this way. Our sin nature didn’t die when we were born again, but continues to dwell in us. Even Paul complained that no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t behave the way he wanted to. In effect he said the harder he tried the worse he became. (Romans 7:15, 19) But then he told us how God sees us. According to Him it isn’t we who sin but the sin nature that dwells within us. (Romans 7:20)
We received the Holy Spirit as a guide to help us act in a way that pleases God, but we still fall short. 1 John 1:8 says that if we claim to be without sin we are liars, and many of us have life long struggles with certain sins. But Jesus knew all this before the fact and agreed to pay the penalty for all the sins of our life before we committed even one of them. (Col. 2:13-14) This is how He can guarantee our salvation.
1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins God is faithful and just and will forgive us and restore us to righteousness. This doesn’t mean that we have to keep confessing to stay saved. It means that if we confess when we sin, we’ll be able to maintain a good relationship with God even though we’re still imperfect beings.
Remember, Jesus didn’t go to the cross so that bad men could become good. He went so that dead men could live.