Over the past few years I’ve had several discussions with several different people about defeating sin and my only answer to that is a simple one – “fall in love with Jesus”. That may sound too simple to some, but I believe it to be the truth.
I’m afraid that we may be missing the point if all our effort is focused on sinning less. Sinning less doesn’t save you and moral perfection shouldn’t be our primary goal. We aren’t saved by a change of behavior, but by an exchange of heart.
From everything I read in the Bible, the goal in following Jesus isn’t to just become someone who sins less anyway. The goal is to become a new creation lost in the freedom of God’s amazing grace. The Spirit filled and Spirit led believers I read about in the Bible seemed to focus on the greatness of God much more than the greatness of their sin.
Concentrating on our sin doesn’t fix our sin issue. I don’t think I have ever stopped sinning simply because I wanted to. In fact, concentrating my efforts on defeating sin has usually only resulted in the amplification of it. Unfortunately, we so easily end up doing the very things we desperately want not to do. The Apostle Paul describes this very thing in Romans 7:21-25.
I’m convinced that the most effective way to defeating the burning desire of sin is by dousing it under the waterfall of God’s grace and mercy. We must become pre-occupied with a much greater desire – the desire to fully enjoy the love and grace of God. To defeat sinful desire we must pursue a much greater desire – which is Christ.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not at all saying we should ignore sin. I just think that we are wasting time focusing on our inability to be perfect. When we live with the mentality that we can overcome sin through our own power we resemble the man who thinks he can stop a cruise liner from sinking by using a plastic sand bucket to bail water.
I know that in my own life I spent years trying to master my moral behavior, only to come out on the other end worse than when I had started. Things didn’t change for me until I changed my focus.
I began reading the Bible with the focus of finding Jesus, instead of the focus of fixing myself. I discovered that the whole point of Bible is to bear witness to Jesus, not so that I can achieve moral excellence.
“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!”
Finding Jesus does for us what we could never do for ourselves. Jesus doesn’t merely just make us into a better version, but into a completely new person. He exchanges us His righteousness for our sinfulness.
It’s this new identity and the power of God inside of us that gives us the ability to overcome all the power of the enemy. This is why Jesus could say to the adulterous woman, “Go and sin no more”, after only one encounter. (John 8:11)
Don’t let the sin in your life or someone else’s life steal your focus. No sin is bigger than the Cross of Christ. Where sin is great, God’s grace is greater.
“The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,”