By Not Known
It is easy for Christians to be complacent and cavalier. After all, we say, God
accepts me ‘just as I am’ and there is ‘no condemnation’ because of the cross of
Jesus and my faith in him. And so we settle back making no real effort or
commitment in the Christian life.
This is not God’s calling, scripture teaches us that we are to ‘continue to work
out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you‘ (Phil
One area where we need commitment instead of complacency is the problem of
sin in our life, whether it is occasional and opportunistic sin, or besetting sin,
every Christian has a battle on our hands. Our pre-Christian nature lurks within,
waiting for a weak moment and a weak spot to ambush us into actions that are
unworthy of God and a denial of his indwelling Spirit’s rule.
When we become Christians there is a once-off act of renouncing our self,
committing to Christ and leaving the former life behind (Mt 16:24-25). We see
this in the decisive acts of Jesus first followers when they heard his call (eg Mt
But then we have an ongoing obligation to live out this commitment. When we
become Christians, the Holy Spirit moves in to take up residence in our lives (Rom
8:9&11). But we are to make him a welcome guest, by opening all ‘spaces’ in our
lives to his presence and actively cooperating with him. And so Paul speaks or us
putting to death ‘the misdeeds of the body‘ (Rom 8:14). The reference here is to
What ‘misdeeds’ do you need to work on? Perhaps it is a constant jostling for first
place and to be noticed. Or, misdeeds arising from greed for wealth. Or,
misdeeds coming from an uncontrolled desire for some bodily pleasure (whether
food, drink, sex, or a constant adrenalin rush).
This putting to death is an ongoing task and a battle we face to the last breath.
No complacency is allowed here, nor can we be like a national serviceman on
weekend leave! But we are not alone in the struggle, for Paul reminds us that we
are to struggle ‘in the Spirit‘ (Rom 8:14).
Let’s never be complacent about the struggle against our own sin. But neither let
us despair, for there is ‘no condemnation‘ in Christ and we are promised the help
of the Spirit in our battle.