Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to, “Go and sin no more”.
Is that even possible?
This question reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s lament, (heavily paraphrased here) from Romans 7:14-24
I know that the spiritual laws are spiritual in nature; but I am unspiritual. I am like a slave who has been sold to an owner by the name of “Sin”.
Even though I know I am a slave to “Sin”, I still don’t understand why I act like I do. I want to do good, I do not do good, but instead I am doing sinful things I hate.
I realize that it is not the “real me” acting this way, and that it is actually my owner, “Sin”, acting this way. But, it is “Sin” who is living within me.
I know that good does not dwell within me. What is within me is a sinful nature.
I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
You see, I am not doing good even though I want to do good. I keep on doing evil, and I do not want to do evil. So, when I do the things I do not want to do, I realize that it is “Sin” living in me who is doing these evil things through me.
So, I find this principal at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right here, within me, causing all this trouble.
I delight in God’s law in my innermost being; but I see this principal at work within me, waging war with my mind and making me a prisoner of sin.
Sin is working within me, waging war against my desire to do good. I am wretched and tormented! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?
IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE?
If this is true with Paul, I have to ask, “Is it even possible to, sin no more as Jesus said?”
We have already discussed how continual sin interrupts our walk with God and robs us of ability to complete our God Given mission and calling effectively – and even negates our ability to submit to God and see Him work through us.
Well, the Bible says it is possible to “Sin no more”, and I need to know how. Let’s solve this awful mystery:
1 John 1:8 tells us that “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” and, v10 says “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”
But, 1 John 1:9 tells us that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.“
The Apostle Paul says to us in Romans 6:1 “Well then, shall we keep on sinning so that God can keep on showing us more and more kindness and forgiveness?
2-3 Of course not! Should we keep on sinning when we don’t have to? For sin’s power over us was broken when we became Christians and were baptized to become a part of Jesus Christ; through his death the power of your sinful nature was shattered. 4 Your old sin-loving nature was buried with him by baptism when he died; and when God the Father, with glorious power, brought him back to life again, you were given his wonderful new life to enjoy.
5 For you have become a part of him, and so you died with him, so to speak, when he died;[a] and now you share his new life and shall rise as he did. 6 Your old evil desires were nailed to the cross with him; that part of you that loves to sin was crushed and fatally wounded, so that your sin-loving body is no longer under sin’s control, no longer needs to be a slave to sin; “
If this is so, why do I still have the urges to sin?
IT TAKES TIME
Look at it this way. Suppose your doctor says that you need to lose weight or you will suffer deteriorating health, eventually even death. And, let’s say he tells you that you need to lose thirty pounds to be healthy. The doctor will give you guidance, encouragement, assistance, and the hope of the promise of good health.
(The weight is SIN. The doctor is JESUS. The diet is your SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE. The loss of 30 pounds is your desire or GOAL of being weight (sin) free)
So, you begin.
After one month you have lost 5 pounds. Are you healthy yet? NO you are not. But, you are HEALTHIER. And, you are moving toward your goal.
After three months you have lost 15 pounds. Are you healthy yet? NO you are not. But, you are even HEALTHIER. And, you are moving closer to your goal.
After four month you have gained 5 pounds back. You have slipped. Are you healthy yet? NO you are not. But, you are still HEALTHIER than when you started. You need to admit your fault, and get moving toward your goal again.
After ten months you have lost 30 pounds! Are you healthy yet? YES you are. But, you know that this will now be a lifetime of weight (sin) management.
There may be times you ‘slip back’. You must call your doctor. You know he will not condemn you or criticize you. He is there to help you.
So, you call your doctor and admit your faults, knowing that it is your work to do, but your doctor is committed and able to get help you get cleaned up and back on the road of good health!
If you will stay with it and don’t look back at the pleasures of poor eating habits, you will make it! One day you will realize you are much healthier and much more satisfied.
So it is with our walk with God. Like the old hymn says, if we stay with Him and continue or walk with Him, one day we will realize that “Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before”!
We will look around and see what God has done and is doing in and through our lives and say, “Yes, indeed, our God is a mighty God!” Praise to our God.
STAY WITH IT AND STAY WITH HIM!
THIS WILL HAPPEN. THESE THINGS ARE WORKING TOGETHER FOR YOUR GOOD!
Until then, GO AND SIN NO MORE, remembering that He Who is in you has overcome the world!
Your Brother and Friend