Bible Reading: 1 John 2:1-6; Galatians 5:1; Philippians 1:6
It is no secret that the Christian life should be free from sin. Once we have professed faith in Jesus Christ and repented of our sins, our lives should be lived for the glory of God. Although we all believe this to be true, we all still sin. Not one of us is perfectly holy and righteous, and we all must continue to live a life of repentance and faith in Jesus. We may feel very saddened by this to the point that we feel that God can no longer forgive us. This is especially true if you are trying to overcome an addiction of some kind. Thankfully, God’s Word is always drawing us closer to Him and teaching us of His great love and mercy. John the apostle writes in his letter that he is writing these things, “so that you may not sin.” But John, having spent time with Christ, knows that believers still stumble. In light of that, he writes, “But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
When we sin, there should be guilt and sadness that follows. However, this guilt and sadness should bring us to repentance and seeking God, not turning further away from Him. We know that God is working in us to make us more like Himself, meaning we decrease in sin and increase in godliness. We must also realize that this is a process. In Scripture, we see even among the apostles, that their faith and actions slowly transform as they grow in Christ. Peter denied Jesus, but is later restored through his love and repentance for Jesus. We fight against sin with all our strength, but should we fall, we are not doomed once again. To be a believer is to trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation. As you trust in Him, you begin to become more like Him. As your faith grows, your life should imitate Jesus more and more.
Consider this for a moment: if Christ died to save you from your sins, why would the rest of your life depend upon you being sinlessly perfect? We are unable to earn God’s love and salvation, but He freely gives it to us as a precious gift. Do not forget this gift, but treasure it! Galatians 5:1 reminds us that, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” You have been set free from sin thanks to Jesus. Should you fall, do not look to yourself for help and rescuing, but look again to the One who saves and rescues.
Call to Action: Your life in Christ is constantly growing. We should always be striving and working to honor God with our lives. We do this by reading and applying His Word, and obeying His commandments. We show love and mercy, we seek justice, and we walk humbly in the path of Jesus. When you stumble and fall, do not refuse or hide from His grace, but seek it and cling to it. Every day, whether we stand or fall in faith, we should be clinging to God for all things. He has placed His Holy Spirit within the hearts of His children, and He never abandons them. If you have fallen into sin, repent and seek Him. He is faithful and just to forgive those who seek Him with their whole heart. Do not doubt or grow weary, but take confidence in the hope-filled verse of Philippians 1:6, which says, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” He will never stop growing and maturing your faith, and He will finish what He started. Rely on His grace and love for you, and cling to Him all the day long.