God’s Call Not to Sin
Scriptures teach us that one’s failure to repent of sin will destroy one’s life as in King Saul and King Solomon. The Word also teaches the power of repentance, that through repentance God redeems a person’s life, as in King David. When one humbles himself in response to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, confesses one’s sins, and has a heart and mind change in regard to sin that is the key to freedom through the blood of Jesus Christ. Repentance brings liberty and sets the captive free when combined with faith in Jesus Christ.
Once repentance has occurred, then the next key is to not sin, and walk in loving obedience to Christ. How does one not sin? Only by the grace of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and practicing a lifestyle of Biblical truth. John Wesley taught that a person sold out to Christ in entire consecration to Him, could live a life that does not willfully sin. He did not mean that once you have yielded totally to Christ that you would be sinless, but he did believe Scripture taught and experience confirmed that a godly person could resist sin and not willfully transgress the laws of God. He called this entire sanctification.
He wrote in his journal that where this truth was preached the church prospered and where this truth was neglected the church died. We cannot be afraid of sin, nor can we afford to accept sin as a way of life. We have to believe that the blood of Christ, the new covenant, and the gift of the Holy Spirit is greater than sin, even to the extent that we can live so close to God that we do not willfully sin. This does not mean we live under a burden of perfectionism, that if we do sin God will not love me or bless my life. It does mean that I believe Jesus’ ideal that God saved me so I can be perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect. I can love as God loves and live out the Sermon on the Mount in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I was reminded of God’s call to holiness and not to sin by a preacher I heard this morning at 4:30am, as I drove home from the airport. He quoted, “I have hidden the word of God in my heart so I will not sin.” That struck me and impacted my thoughts on my walk with God. One key to resisting the temptation to sin is to love the word of God, to meditate on it, and to have it become so much apart of my soul/mind that I live a life of obedience in the power of the Holy Spirit, because the word is a lamp unto my feet.
Jesus used the word of God to resist the temptations of the Devil in the wilderness. God reminded Joshua that if he would meditate on His word day and night, he would prosper. Truly, the Word and the word are God’s means of grace so that I do not have to sin. Paul says, God always give a way out that we do not have to sin. Flee the lusts of youth. Submit to God in all humility and Satan will not devour us. If we do sin, then if we confess our sin God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In Christ and the new covenant we cannot lose. We have a win win situation.
Remember the goal of Christianity is not to get to heaven, but to get heaven in us, as expressed by the great missionary E. Stanley Jones. Our purpose in life is to become more like Jesus everyday, to know Him and the Father in such intimacy that we reflect Their glory and all men will see Christ in us and they will seek to know the One true God and His Son. That is the pursuit of holiness, that is to be perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect. Let us not accept sin in our lives, but in Christ resist the Devil, flee from sin, and walk in the freedom that Jesus died to give us. Let us be entirely sanctified in Christ and by the Holy Spirit. This is the abundant life Jesus came to give us.