Freed from the Stream
I spent the last two posts explaining the concept of "transformation," God changing us and freeing us from sin. But I think I failed to explain why this is important.
After all, doesn't God's grace cover us? Aren't we forgiven of the areas in which we struggle? Yes, the cross covers our sins and makes us whole. But as Paul explains in Galatians, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1).
Sin is sort of like a river. It naturally pulls us downstream, towards destruction. However, in order to get away from our sin, we need to swim upstream. We have times in which our energy is renewed and we make progress in the fight, but after some time we aways grow tired and give in for a moment, being pulled downstream in our moments of rest.
But Christ offers us not just the strength to swim upstream, but the opportunity to climb up on dry ground. We think because we were born in water, we are water creatures. In reality, we were made for land. We think because we were born as sinful creatures that this is our destiny, and there is no escaping it. But we were made, not sinful, but in the image of God and in Christ we are given the opportunity to return to this holy life.
So why don't we? Because we have been taught to believe that the momentary thrill we get from the river is worth the danger we put ourselves in. We bend the rules and push the lines. We ask, "How far can I go in before the current takes me?" Don't think so? Well, how many times have you wondered, "How far can I go with this before it's sin? Before it's idolatry? Can I omit the truth and still not lie? Is this technically envy? Jealousy? Anger? When does this bad habit become a sin?"
The problem is, we are asking all the wrong questions. If we are asking, "How long before this is sin?" then we are already headed in the wrong direction. Instead, we should be asking, "How can I become more like Christ?" It's not, "How deep can I get into the river?", it's "How much can I do now that I am not fighting it with every step I take?"
We have been freed. It's time we act like it.