Can I confess something? Sometimes I struggle with sin… There weren’t as many gasps as I expected there to be, so I guess that means most of you know me. But that isn’t the confession I want to make. My confession is that there are many times I struggle with sin or with various temptations, but don’t feel like I can go to God at those times because I am unclean. I feel like I need to fight through. I need to man up. I need to just handle my business and overcome those temptations or those various sins so that I can get back to the life with God that I am missing out on. I try to leave Jesus out of my sanctification…
What happens in my mind is that I feel like there is a line drawn in my life and on one side is Jesus and on the other is my sin, and every moment of every day I can choose which side I am going to be on. I can either choose the Jesus side and spend time in worship and prayer, and all the good ‘Christian’ things to do, experiencing the joy I have in my salvation. Or I can choose the sin side, which in itself is a two-sided coin. I can sit on the sin side of things enjoying sin, knowing it hurts my Saviour, or I can even sit on the sin side of things fighting agains my own flesh. Either way, when I am on the sin side, I still see Jesus on the other side of that line just hoping that somehow I’ll make my way back to His side.
In reality, though, that is not how this Gospel thing actually works.
What we have in Jesus is a Saviour who didn’t sit things out on His side while the battle raged on. He left heaven, was born in the flesh, lived, suffered, and died our death, so that the punishment due us was on Him. He got involved! Jesus isn’t a cheerleader for our game against sin. He is the team captain.
But before you start to think, “Oh yeah, I know that He did all that in the past, but I struggle with sin today,” let me show you an interesting section of scripture on the matter:
“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:14-18 ESV, emphasis mine)
Wow! We have a Saviour who not only came to die for us once, but Who came to live and be tempted, and to understand what it means to be human in order that today, in our battle with sin, He can be there along side us, helping us out the whole way.
Jesus does not stay on His side of the imaginary line that our minds want to draw. He doesn’t watch us be tempted and sit by unmoved. When sin is crouching at the door, Jesus is on the inside with us, pleading with us not to open up to it. Giving us the strength to ignore the knocking. And even when sin does creep inside, Jesus is there with the power of God to help us win the fight.
Don’t think that you are in this alone. Jesus isn’t sitting the battle out, hoping that you can pull it off. He has been the one fighting this war since it began, and He will be the one to finish it off. Don’t ignore Him. Don’t condemn yourself when He hasn’t. Fight with Him and win.