I thought I left it at the Cross?: Sinful Behavior

This past week in my Community Group a topic came up that I have heard many times, and honestly have a lot of experience in dealing with. As Christians we are told to give our sins, problems, worries, and concerns to God, but we often struggle in this area. We seem to have done so only to continue thinking about,  to worry or engage in a sinful behavior that we are trying to stop. The good news is that in Christ Jesus there is hope for all.

First you need to determine your issue.

  • Is is a sin?
  • Is it a worry, burden or concern?
  • Is it a want or desire?

After thinking about this you may find that your problem falls in all three bullet points. Know that there is grace, mercy, and power from God Almighty to overcome no matter what! I want to address these in 3 parts.

Is it a Sin?

The reality exists that once we come to Christ we still have a flesh that gravitates naturally to sin. It may range from gossip to watching pornography. We have to be willing to look at ourselves, and face the reality of any sin that exists in our life. Sin always causes destruction in our lives so it is important to address it right away. At times we may need to ask God to bring to light such sin. Often times the Holy Spirit brings conviction to us that moves toward repentance.

Examine me, O LORD, and try me; Test my mind and my heart. (Psalm 26:2)

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

(John 14:26)

The first step is to confess it to Jesus. Once you have done so, then trust that you have been forgiven. Trust that when Christ died on the cross, and rose again in 3 days that He satisfied the penalty for your sin once and for all.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

(John 1:9)

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

(1 Peter 3:18)

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

(Psalm 103:12)

In addressing our sin we may also find the need to confess our sin to our Pastor and/or Brothers & Sisters in Christ. Not they can forgive our sin, but so that they pray for us. This also gives us the opportunity to find an accountability partner that we can trust and be transparent with regarding any sinful behavior. This can often help us overcome such behavior while experiencing love, support, and encouragement that is available from the Body of Christ.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 5:16)

Our sin is a constant reminder that we are always in need of the Gospel, the finished work of Jesus on the cross. As we confess, repent (turn away) from our sin, and turn to Jesus we can see the cross magnified above our sins. As the Holy Spirit sanctifies us we will gain victory over sin in our lives, and grow in holiness. It is not always easy; but through Jesus we can look at ourselves through the lens of the Gospel, and find the power to overcome sin. However, keep in mind that if you have found yourself in a pattern of sin that no longer carries conviction or concern then it is time for a serious heart check, and taking a look at your relationship with Jesus. No matter what, know that through the cross we find healing, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. When we exercise faith & trust in Jesus forgiveness of our sins we then truly leave it at the cross. Our Heavenly Father looks at us and sees Jesus.

But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. (Romans 6:22)

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 1:6)

I will continue with the next to areas in upcoming articles.

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