Facing Sin in Ourselves

Sin In Ourselves

Sin comes at us in several different ways and how we should react is different based on how it comes. These ways are: in ourselves, in the world, and in fellow believers. Each one brings its own challenges and difficulties and must be handled in different ways.

In Ourselves

The first way that we need to face sin is in ourselves. It can be in our hearts and focus and it can cause us to bring distraction to our relationship with God and harm to our relationships with others. It’s bad news and it has to be dealt with. Jesus gives us the intensity of how we should be dealing with it in Matthew 18 “And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.” (v. 18). Personally, I don’t read this as an invitation to self-harm, although there have been many in history that have used this verse that way, unfortunately. Instead, it’s setting a passion level that shows full commitment to obedience to the Lord and His commands.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. – Proverbs 4:23 ESV

Proverbs tells us that we should watch our heart because the flow of our life, the springs of our life come out of that source. If we are seeing sin in our choices, words, or actions, we need to stop and see where in our heart the issue is coming from. When you see something is wrong, are you willing to give it up no matter how much it hurts? This is the question we have to ask in order to be able to deal with sin our own heart.

This idea is root of the message that Jesus gives in Matthew 7:3-5, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” We can’t see clearly how to help and love others if we’re not honest and passionate about dealing with sin in ourselves.

God wants us to be committed to Him and to choose to obey His commandments. After all, our salvation is a free gift; our response to that gift is to live in such a way that we show our belief in Him and our love for Him and each other. How we responds to the sin that’s revealed in our life shows where our hearts truly are. Are we committed to Him that we will remove sin no matter the cost? Are we willing to stop judging others and look at ourselves only when we talk about living right?

I am truly and fully convinced that all the pleasures and gain that we sacrifice in this life will be worth it when we meet Christ. In addition, removing our sin is often form of protection for this life as well. Double bonus! If this is an area that you find yourself lethargic about, consider praying that God will give you a love of living only for Him and the strength to face whatever needs to be removed in your life.

The Joy of Repentance

The Root of Repentance

What is repentance? Remorse: Feeling any kind of sorrow because of consequences of your actions. Repentance: changing your mindset (and therefore actions) because of an awareness of one’s separation from God.

We can be turning many different directions in response to sorrow of our current condition. Sorrow and remorse alone are not the signs of repentance; they are the red flags that we are in need of it. We can be sorrowing for the wrong reasons.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. – 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NRSV)

When we sorrow for our behavior, the question to clarify our hearts is: What are we feeling bad for losing? Sorrow for bad behavior ranges from wounded pride to pouting. Non-believers can feel sorrow for bad behavior. Regret and feeling bad about something is not the same as repentance.

True repentant sorrow allows us to see the darkness of sin that harms our relationship with God and brings us the knowledge of His kindness and goodness. Like Mormon said, “my heart did begin to rejoice within me, knowing the mercies and the long suffering of the Lord.” Our heart rejoices in the Lord because of who He is.

The Privilege of Being Able to Repent

Repentance is a Gift

We are called into repentance by God’s kindness (Romans 2:4). We have been given a true gift to be able to approach the throne of mercy through the blood of Jesus Christ. Hebrews says that we can be confident in approaching the throne because we know that we have a High Priest who understands us. Approaching the throne of grace when you know there will be no condemnation, only understanding, makes that approach a much sweeter path.

Do works worthy of repentance (Matthew 3:8, Acts 26:20)

Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance – Matthew 3:8 (NASB95)

This is not a statement intending us to do more sin so that we can repent more. It is a statement that truly understands the roots of repentance and the importance of Godly sorrow. It hinges on understanding the relationship aspect of God’s desire for us. When we know the restoration power of repentance and we know the real sorrow that it takes to repent, we understand the connection with God and the desire to be with Him will always bear good fruit.

The Response of Repentance

Regret-Free Joy

A godly response to the sorrow of sin produces a lasting change in us.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. – 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NRSV)

We can be regret free, not because we pretend like it didn’t happen, but because we understand what true repentance is. We know that we were called closer to God and that we have chosen to move into a closer relationship with him.

Shame of our past can sometimes indicate the wrong kind of sorrow. It says that we haven’t turned over our sin to the Lord to let Him redeem. He didn’t just shove it in the back closet. He washed us and made us white as snow and threw the sin into the deepest part of the ocean. We are not to celebrate sin, but we are to celebrate the life we have in Christ knowing that sin no longer has the power of death over us.

Heaven’s celebration

God doesn’t intend to spend the rest of eternity reminding us of how bad we are. When He says He doesn’t remember it any more, He means it. He wants to celebrate the return of His precious children.

I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. – Luke 15:7 (NASB95)

In the parable of the prodigal son, the father runs to meet the son. He doesn’t stand back and wait for Him to get near enough to yell at. The father didn’t even expect the son to run to him. When the father saw the repentant son, he threw aside His dignity and went out to meet him. This parable is the example we have of how God will run to us, not worrying about what others think, but wholeheartedly running toward the child He loves.