Freedom from sin.
One of the major aspects that keep us from reaching perfect freedom in life is sin. Sin can come and rob us from internal peace, from earthly things that keeps us bound, from good relationships with people, from shame and condemnation.
I want to encourage you to read Romans 6-8, slowly, intentionally. These three chapters tries to explain this freedom against sin that we are all trapped in.
After I renewed my dedication (at 40) to Jesus and the Bible, I decided to get baptized (even though I was baptized as a baby). Studying Romans 6 resonated with me a lot – when I got baptized as an adult, I wsas intentional about it. I made a decision to change my life, to live an authentic life. To not only proclaim I am a Christian, but to take it serious and to make it a top priority in my life. I decided to die against sin and raise up (with Christ) to a life where I pursue God and His righteousness. Where I don’t make lame excuses any more for not reading my Bible, going to church, praying. Excuses why I don’t change certain behaviors.
Not that I am a new person, I work hard at anything the Spirit reveals to me that I am doing wrong. Before, I pushed the ideas under the carpet and hoped no one would notice. Now, I work on eliminating sin as far as possible from my life without anyone knowing what I am struggling with. Do I get it done perfectly? No! There are parts that I struggle with immensely, but I will not give up, I will carry on in His power to wage war against sin.
I have realized how much sin has made me captive. Captive in poor relationships, because I acted in a way that hurt people, not realizing there was sin that made me do that. Only when I was willing to address some personal problems, was I able to change my behaviour, which resulted in better relationships with people.
God wants to eliminate sin in your life for your own good.
Romans 6 states that you will be a slave, you must just choose a slave to what. Do you know some slaves had a terrible ordeal, but others had a great master? Think of Joseph – he was a slave, but was treated like a pharaoh in the end. You will have to bow your head t o a master.
Who will be your master?
Your fleshly desires? Sin? Evil desires? Instrument to wickedness? Impurity? This will lead to death (not everlasting life) on the long term. But what will it do to you in the short term? It will make you lonely – you will have poor relationships with people, you will feel guilty, you will be caught up in shame, you will make poor decisions, you will never be satisfied, you will encounter hostility, you will not have peace in your heart.
You can choose to be a slave to righteousness. To be an instrument of righteousness. To obedience. To holiness. In the long term you will have eternal life, but in the short term (here on earth) you will have great relationships, you will have internal peace, you will be able to make great decisions, you will be free from shame. You will inherit the Kingdom as you will become an heir of the Father.
Become quiet. Ask the Spirit to guide you to recognize the sin that is keeping you back. All of us will have something, no one is exempt from sin (we still need Jesus). Ask the Spirit to show you one or two things that you need to work on. Immediately confess it. If you can write it down, do so. If you can share it with a confidant who will not judge you or share with someone, do so. Ask a friend to walk this specific journey with you to eradicate the sin, which the Holy Spirit has made you aware of. After a month, look back at your journey and see how your freedom has increased. How your slavery is looking much better and brighter than you ever imagined. Become a slave of the good, good Father. He will make your journey here on earth much more bearable than the Master of sin.
I pledge to do exactly what I preach in the next month. May we all rejoice in the freedom we are going to encounter. God bless.