We all struggle with sin. Its a fact. Anyone who says they have no sin is a liar. As I continue to walk with the Lord, I realise just how deep that taproot goes…to our very hearts. Sin will never be fully excised from our hearts as long as we are in this world. Don’t believe me? Then yours is the sin of self-righteousness, and we as Christians know that we have no righteousness of our own. We have the righteousness of Christ, if we are now in Him.
I see videos and read articles all the time that I think are very damaging to the struggling believer. A person who is born again is going to spend the rest of his life doing battle with sin. No, we are not to just accept it but to fight it, and yet there are some sins that you may never stop struggling with. I read a wonderful transcript of a discussion that John MacArthur had with Phil Johnson and Richard Mayhue. I found some wonderful things in that transcript, things which encouraged me greatly. The discussion was about election and predestination, a doctrine which I believe to be true. There are more than enough Scriptures which speak of this: Romans 8:29,30 says “Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. And those whom He predestined, these He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified, these He also glorifed”. Are we going to thwart the will of God? I think not.
John MacArthur makes a paricularly interesting point: “And yet there are people – and this has happened to me many times – who say: I guess I am just not chosen. And that comes from people who, for the most part, make some kind of commitment to Christ, but just can’t live a life that serves the Lord. They just can’t get over some besetting sin. They just – they can’t, you know, get out of some bad relationship or over some pornography or – I don’t know what it is, its varying things. There are sins that beleager certain people. And you know, they make this confession; I want to be saved and I – so they finally get to the point where they are just absolutely exhausted with this battle that they are fighting. And they’ll say, you know, maybe I’m just not chosen. And the truth of the matter was, you know, I would drive him back to Romans 7 and have him read what Paul said: The things i want to do I don’t do; the things I don’t want to do, I do. Oh, poor me, I’m not chosen. No. I mean, its only a question of degree. We’re all in the same battle. I mean we could all come to the conclusion, I must not be chosen. I must not be chosen, I can’t get over the proverbial hump here. When do I – when do I hit the slide? You know, when do I stop climbing this thing and start sliding? Well, it isn’t going to happen. You know, you don’t want to second-guess your salvation, which manifests itself in a love for Christ and a longing to be what you can’t be to some degree.”
You know, I started out this article with the intention of doing something completely different, but I felt compelled as I was writing it to share this with you, because I found it gave me enormous relief. The older we get, the more sin bothers us, and the more we want to conquer it once and for all. I can tell you this from experience…it isn’t going to happen. That is the very reason Christ died for us! And if the Father gave His Son for us, what will He withhold from us? God wants you to be saved. It is His desire that you be saved, and we cannot thwart the will of God! I cannot stress this enough. Don’t buckle under the pressure of videos and articles and preachers telling you that you must be spotless to enter the Kingdom, because you are already in if you are a lover of Jesus Christ. By all means, don’t give in to your sin, keep fighting it, but no matter what your particular Goliath is, it is not, never ever going to keep you from being with Christ. We do not enter the Kingdom because of our works, but because of what Christ did for us. I am never going to allow these Pharaseeistic teachers to ever convince me that I have any reason to doubt what Christ said: that any man that comes to Him He will in no wise cast out. He will not do it! God is love, and He has set His sights on us.
There is nothing that can ever separate us from the Love of Christ. If we love and follow Jesus, then we are His, and He will never abandon us. I beg all the children of God to stop doubting their salvation. Nobody ever entered heaven out of fear of going to hell – God has chosen us, and we are His.
What we need to do more than anything is to praise Him, because if you are a true believer, it is Christ’s atoning work on the cross which saves us; His shed blood which covers our sin. No, this is not a license to sin, but it is assurance that in the great scheme of things, the matter is settled. There is therfore now no comdemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.