I’ve been on a roll about dealing with strongholds of sin in our lives. Here’s what I see: lots and lots of pain yet an unwillingness to deal with entrenched sin. Yes, I’m one of those people, and God has been taking me through a journey that I am sharing with you.
First, I have my own sin that I need to deal with. We all have that individual sin that needs to go. Remember what John says. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) Trust me, if we ask God to reveal our sin, he will. We won’t be completely free of sin until that day we join Jesus, but that is no excuse to harbor sin. “(b)ut as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:15-16) This should encourage us in an ongoing effort to become masters at conquering sin.
What image do you imagine when you read stuff like that? I tell you what I might have thought at one time. “This guy is goofy. What am I supposed to be, some kind of Puritan or something? Who can live like that?” You’ll have to make up your own minds.
From there, we are required to deal with the sin of others. Yes, that’s right. Sin is to bother us so that we are not to tolerate it. To start, we need to look in our own home and families. Is there someone in your family that has a besetting sin? From your own experience of conquering sin, how might you help others in your home to escape the bondage of sin? The fact that they may not be born-again Christian themselves should be no reason not to do everything in your power to help them escape sin.
You might recall my example of the drunken husband. Something must be done about that. We are not supposed to tolerate sin as if we have no choice. The fact is, we are REQUIRED to do something about it. Let me bring this passage back to the forefront of our minds.
Matthew 18:15-20 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
I don’t see this as a problem-solving alternative. I see it as a command. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” (John 15:10) In my opinion, the commandment of Matthew 18 is ignored. Could it be that our lives could be much better if we took Jesus serious at this? My guess – it would.
Anyway, I wrote about all this in detail recently. If you’re interested, I suggest going back through these posts. For me, I’m going to keep going on this. I’m going to keep challenging myself and others around me to take a good look at themselves to expose and rid themselves of sin. Why? Because sin is the only thing keeping me from getting closer and closer to my God.
Psalm 51:13-15 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Father, that’s what I desire. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers