I make no secret of the fact that I have some serious troubles with sin. I’m sure, if we are honest, that we all can see so many ways in which we “fall short of the glory of God”. We live in a fallen world, and we ourselves have the nature of fallen man within us (the flesh, or sinful nature), and of course the devil is keen to tempt and accuse us when he can.
Yet if we are believers in the crucified and risen Christ then we have access to the Father through the Spirit, we have forgiveness of sin, we have a new nature, one “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13). We are born again, and are by nature creatures of mercy, not wrath.
I need to make an important point before I continue with the main thrust of this post: we should never take God’s grace as a light matter, or as an excuse to indulge in sin. Paul says:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” – Romans 6:1-4
We should certainly not take the sacrifice of Christ as a license to sin. Many have spoken of what is known as “cheap grace” – the concept of forgiveness without a repentant heart. That is not the Way. The Way of Jesus is to “Repent! For the kingdom of God is near!”
Yet we all do fall into sinful behaviour. Some of these are one-offs and we can return to Christ and the Father and confess and repent of our sins, and know we have learnt our lesson. Some sins, however, are habitual, and we find ourselves falling in that one area or those few areas again and again. Sometimes these habitual sins can really get us down.
I want to encourage you! However hard you fall, however many times you fall, God is faithful. If you are His then “no-one is able to snatch [you] out of [the] Father’s hands.” – John 10:29.
God’s grace is quite astounding. It truly is an amazing grace. His grace abounds towards us, and abounds toward us more and more. Yes, even if we are trapped in a habitual sin God’s grace is sufficient, and He will grant victory at some point and we must co-operate with that deliverance. We must have a repentant attitude: we must be constantly turning away from the sinful inclinations and turn to God and draw on His strength. His grace abounds, He does forgive, and He will grant us His deliverance as we, seemingly again and again, have to turn to Him for restoration after a fall.
Do not lose heart! Remember: God’s grace is abounding toward you!
“For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.” – Proverbs 24:16