I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 KJV)
A few years back, I went to the doctor. He told me everything was fine, but I needed to retrain my heart. I replied, “That sounds painful!” He said, “I just mean you need to exercise.” I responded, “Exactly! It sounds painful.” Although I was jesting with doctor, what I said was true. Exercise is painful. Trainers used to say, “No pain, no gain!” Well, I am one who hates the concept of exercise. By nature, I am slothful. It is a sinful quality that I must wrestle against daily; therefore, when exercise is mentioned, my slothful nature begins to rebel. However, in order to drop the exess weight, I must crucify my slothful nature and do that which I hate: exercise.
By nature, we are all sinful creatures. We are conceived in sin, born sinners, and live sinful lives. Some ministers try to sugarcoat the fact that we are sinners, but I never will. Scripture declares, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 KJV) Sin is an ugly creature in the sight of God. Scripture says, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV)
Rather than crucifying our old sinful nature daily as did the apostle Paul, we have attempted to rationalize and justify our sinfulness. Once we have convinced ourselves that we are justified in the persuit of our sinful desires, then we tend to get upset when someone disagrees with our sinful actions. However, Scripture says, “But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death. Do not be misled, my beloved brethren.” (James 1:14-16 KJV)
Rather than struggling against the Holy Spirit’s conviction in order to justify our sin, we need to give in to His conviction, confess our sin and turn from our wicked ways. It is not an easy task to do; however, it is what is required of us if we are to walk the straight narrow road that leads to righteousness. Scripture says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1 KJV) We must live according to God’s standards of holiness and not our own.
Boldly contending for the faith–otpp