Ex-Seminarians On … Struggling with Our Sin

Celia and Felix are both more thoughtful and more interesting than me. So, it’s good that they also wrote on this same topic so you can check out what they have to say. You can find it here and here and here.

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:5-10

Writing about sin is tricky. Platitudes lie close at hand: hate the sin, not the sinner; we’re all sinners in the hand of an angry God; to error is human, to forgive dine, etc. But, one doesn’t want to stop there. One can then take the confessional tack but, honestly, I’m not so keen on sharing all that with the world-wide interwebs.

So what can I say? One thing that is universally true is what Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans: For I do not do the good I want but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” Romans 8:19

As Christians, until we leave our earthly dwelling and go to be with God, we will sin and we will struggle to love God and our neighbor more than the sin.

In considering my own struggles with various sins I conclude this: if I loved my neighbor as God loves him or her, I could never sin against them. My care for their well-being, my affection for them and my desire for their happiness would all be so strong that I would be unable to act selfishly and sinfully.

Similarly, If I felt toward sin the same hatred and revulsion that God feels, I would be unable to sin because of my disgust and sorrow at the act, not to mention my love for Him.

So, I (we) must pray for God to work on our hearts so that we are lead to love Him more, to love our neighbor more and to hate sin more. In this way only can we, by God’s grace, press on toward our goal.

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