God gave you emotions. Part 5
Sin is a thing that will bind you and lead you into bondage. Paul says in Romans that he who sins is a slave to sin. You are not called to be a slave to sin, but you are called to be free, free from sin and its power. God want to shift your focus away from sin and to righteousness.
God does not focus on your sin, but who you are in Him, and that you are loved.
He will establish you in what you already are in Him and that you are righteous and loved. That is His goal.
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Because many have had a bad experience with legalism, I have seen a tendency to go to the extreme opposite, where people deny that sin exists, and some may think that I am at that extreme but I am not. So I just want to clarify something here.
I think it’s important to see that you have a problem with sin, and God want to show us that we have believed in lies that have led us to sin.
God does not show us lies we have believed in that have led us into sin, to condemn us, but that we should be free from the lies that have bond and blinded us.
Grace is not to say that sin is ok, but true grace will give you the power not to sin. Grace focuses on God’s love for you, and that He wants the best for you, and your best is not bad stuff.
Sin is a thing that will bind you and lead you into bondage. Paul says in Romans that he who sins is a slave to sin. You are not called to be a slave to sin, but you are called to be free, free from sin and its power. God want to shift your focus away from sin and to righteousness. God does not focus on your sin, but who you are in Him, and that you are loved. He will establish you in what you already are in Him and that you are righteous and loved. That is His goal.
What I say now may shock you a bit (if you grew up with a legalistic mindset), but I am convinced that this is true: God is not trying to get you to stop sinning by focusing on your sin, He wants you to see who you are in Him, and that is what He wants to convince you about. For it is when you see your true identity and who you are in Him, that you will stop living for sin. Jesus knows that when you see your true identity sinning will cease, therefore, it is who you are in Christ that is His focus.
God desires is that you should not sin, but he does not do it by focusing on your sin and how to get you to stop sinning, but by showing you who you really are.
I repeat myself a bit here now but I hope you see my point, for here often legalism comes in and turns it around. Legalism is always focused on sin.
But does not the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will convict us of sin, and is this not the Holy Spirit’s task? This is perhaps what you have been taught and I hear this a lot, but this is not what Jesus meant when he says: The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin. Often we only quote this verse, and we often forget the context as well: John 16: 8
“8. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment”
Firstly, it doesn’t say the He will convict the Christians of sin, but the world. But there is also something more here:
“9. of sin, because they do not believe in Me”
So the Holy Spirit’s task is to convict of sin, because people do not believe in him. This is actually not about The Holy Spirit standing over you with a pointing finger to judge all sin in your life, as many may feel and think. The Holy Spirit is a helper, not a condemner.
Let’s also look more at the next verses:
10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged
The Holy Spirit will convince us about what Jesus has done for us and who we are in Him. He wants to strengthen our faith, not pointing out every single sin you do. He wants us to be grounded in Christ’s righteousness, and to see that the master of sin has already been judged, and that we have authority and power over the power of sin.
This is what the Holy Spirit will convince you of when you’ve sinned. He is your helper who will help you to have victory in all things, and He will help you to see who you are in Christ.
No fear in love
This passage, which I have already mentioned in this teaching, is so incredibly important, especially in this context.
1 John 4:18 (NKJV)
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has torment, and he who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18 (NIV)
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love
Before, I tried to avoid this verse, for it often led me to feel condemned. I was caught up in that I was not made perfect in love. I felt I was imperfect in acting out love, so I felt that God could not be pleased with me.
It’s amazing how our enemy is able to distort the truth. The verse that could really set me free was the verse I felt condemned by and tried to avoid. Before I did not understand this verse completely, but when I finally understood it, this verse is incredibly liberating.
If you can understand this truth, you will avoid going into the religious trap and the trap of denying. For many years I was maybe a bit of both ditches. I sometimes try to explain away the things that got me condemned, and avoided it. Or I tried as best I could to live right, so I did not feel condemnation, but nothing worked until I realized, or to use a spiritual expressions: I got a revelation of this verse!
To avoid condemnation, i.e.: Fear of punishment, the solution is not to try as best you can to avoid sin, or eliminate sin, but it is to study and know that God is love. God is still love, even when you do sin.
Many believe that God has love, and he gives it to us when we have behaved well and have earned it.
But God IS Love, His love will not disappear (“…I will never leave you, nor forsake you”, Heb. 13:5) if you have a fall or done something wrong.
This is what happens to us (humans) when you have done wrong against each other: for we are not love (although God has poured it in our hearts).
Condemnation brings fear of punishment, but the solution to condemnation is not trying to fix things, or avoid things that give us condemnation, but to study love. For that perfect love will drive away all condemnation!! That is what this passage says!
Sin is real and it can still harass a Christian, but the reason we sin is not because sin is a problem anymore (or that we are unsaved sinners), but the problem is that we have not seen our true identity. We need to be aware of sin and that we have a sin problem, but we no longer need to be focused on it, by constantly worrying that we have sinned in some way, and you probably have, (you may be sinning right now), or be afraid of sin by trying to deny it.
There are many neurotic Christians, and I have been one of them. They are afraid that they have not confessed all their sins, or that there is something they might have done wrong that they did not know about, and are afraid that God keeps a record of them and will hold it up against them, for example, that God will not heal or bless them before they have confessed all.
This again is fear, fear of punishment, but The Good News is: The perfect love, God, drives out all fear, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
I will remind you about this scripture too where it says that Love keeps no record of wrong!
(NIV)Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self- seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.