Sin + Grace = Freedom – Haunted

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Romans 7:21-23  
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.

Wow! Does this ring true with you? I know it does with me. The Apostle Paul’s words written so many years ago still provide insight to what haunts us today. I believe we all struggle with some level of what he describes. For some, it may be something as serious as an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or pornography, while for others it may be something seemingly less serious like an addiction to certain television shows, sports, social media, or maybe a favorite food. The truth is we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, and any of these addictions or other habits have the potential to take control of our lives and separate us from God and the life he intended for us.

It’s not that we want to be caught up in whatever sinful nature is haunting us—we want to be good, to do what is right. We tell ourselves that we will get it together, that we will do better. Then that power of temptation rears its ugly head, and again, we fail. Repeated failures can make us feel like a slave to sin, creating anxiety, depression, anger, and other unhealthy emotions. Hopelessness can set in, and we begin to feel like these other words from the Apostle Paul.

Romans 7:24  
Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?

Sadly, for way too many, not knowing the one true answer to this question is what leads them to isolate themselves from everything and everyone or even worse, suicide.

Thankfully there is a way out, a way to break the cycle of defeat in our mental war with sin, as Paul states here.

Romans 7:25a   
Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Does this mean the answer is to exercise the familiar saying WWJD? No, none of us are perfect like he is, and striving for perfection only creates more anxiety. The answer is in the bottom line that Lead Pastor Ben Snyder shared last weekend:

The way to be free is to allow God’s grace to fill me.

What this means is we need to realize that Jesus is not far away. He is with us always. Instead of giving in to the mental struggle of constantly trying to do what is right and failing, allow God’s grace to fill your heart and guide you along your life’s path. He is always with us whenever and wherever we need him—we just need to stop letting our mental struggles haunt us and accept the power of his amazing grace to fill us and give us freedom.

Does this mean we will never sin again or struggle? Of course not. But when we acknowledge that Jesus is always near and truly accept God’s amazing grace into our lives, we are given a new life equipped with the power to overcome our mistakes and resist the constant weight of temptation within us. That is true freedom.

Questions:
Are you struggling with a sin that makes you feel like a failure?

Are you tired of waging that mental war over and over again?

Next Steps:
Commit to knowing and understanding that the one and only answer is Jesus.

Write down the bottom line: The way to be free is to allow God’s grace to fill me! Keep it where you can reference it during times of struggle.

Join a group to help you along the way. There’s strength in numbers!

Attend the rest of the Haunted series to get more insight on the tricks our minds can play on us.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I come to you today with struggles and the mental anguish that comes from trying to do what’s right but, instead, doing what’s wrong. I am a sinner. Lord, help me to realize your grace is a precious gift. Give me the courage and wisdom to accept this amazing grace and allow it to fill me and give me freedom from the struggles that haunt me. In your loving name, I pray amen.


This post was written by Ned Miller, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


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2 replies
  1. Martha smith
    Martha smith says:

    Hi Ned,
    Your explanation is so beautiful and so clear as to how we can obtain and live in God’s perfect peace. Thank you, brother.
    Martha

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