"Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay."
Our Sunday school lesson this past Sunday was on sin. One of the things that jumped out to me was the point that there is a flippant attitude towards sin these days. I know I have been guilty of that. Many times we just go ahead and do, say, and/or think things without ever even giving a thought to whether or not it is sinful. It's like sin isn't even on our radar. It's not important to us whether or not what we are doing is sinful. That's not a good way for a Christian to behave.
The Bible talks a lot about sin. Sin is a monumental problem. The world is full of sin. Sin is a problem for Christians too. We are new creatures in Christ (I Cor. 5:17), but the old sinful nature is still present in us. We studied Romans 6 in Sunday school. Paul goes in to great detail in Romans 6 and 7 about the conflict in us once we are saved.
Another thing that I found encouraging about the Sunday school lesson was the statement that as Christians we now have the poser to say NO to sin. Before we were saved we didn't have that power. We may have wanted to say no, but we couldn't. Being saved means that we have power over sin, but it's still a choice we make. We choose to let the Holy Spirit work in us to defeat sin, or we choose not to let Him work. This is huge. The more I read the Bible, the more I see this teaching everywhere. Literally, it's everywhere, especially in the New Testament. God's Word is full of encouragement for us not to allow sin in our lives, and it gives us ways to do that. Philippians 4:8 is a great example. It tells us things we should be thinking about, and if we are thinking about these good things, we won't be thinking about sin.
Asking yourself the question if something is right or wrong is good. But, asking whether or not something is sin or righteousness brings a whole new perspective. The opposite of sin is righteousness. The Bible tells us that if we hunger and thirst after righteousness we will be filled. Matthew 5:6. When I think of something being wrong, obviously I think it's bad, wicked, etc. But, when I think of the word sin, it almost strikes a fear in me. Sin is serious. Sin is so serious that it cost Jesus Christ His life. That's a reality that I don't think has set in for a lot of people who claim to be Christians. If it was a reality to them, I think they would be trying harder not to sin. Sin also feels so vile and dirty. When I think of sin, I am repulsed. I don't want to be in sin. I want to be as far away from it as possible.
The truth is that we all sin. We all need forgiveness in Christ. But, even when we accept Christ as Saviour and are forgiven, we will still sin. We shouldn't let that fact discourage us, but instead, it should strengthen our resolve and determination to take steps that will keep us from sin. Another quote goes like this speaking of the Bible, "Sin will keep you from this Book, and this Book will keep you from sin." This is so true. I've found that the when I don't make time to read my Bible on a daily basis I'm more likely not to be bothered by sin. When I am reading my Bible I am bothered by sin, and thus, more likely to deal with that sin and keep my relationship with the Lord right.
There are only two choices... sin or righteousness.