A Land of Captivity
Are we stuck in sin? No hope of loosing these chains? Are we, as our famous adage says, forever to be sinners saved by grace?
Make no mistake we owe everything we have to the amazing grace of God. We were saved by it, and will forever need to walk in it.
But is it ineffective for actual living? Is the grace of God such that all it accomplishes is a removal of the mere stain of sin. Meanwhile having no ability to sustain us in our pursuit of holiness?
If grace cannot sustain us then why all the instruction in scripture about saying no to sin? Why are we to be perfect as God is perfect or holy as He is holy? And just in case you think those passages mean something different from what they plainly say, read Philippians 3:15-21. Here Paul shows that we are made perfect in and through Christ Jesus, yes, but he also instructs us to "keep living by the same standard to which we have attained." In other words, we've attained perfection, and we are to keep living by that same standard every day!
Logically, if we can say no to sin for even one second (which we are), then there is no time limit to which our resistance runs out. For we've been given everything we need pertaining to life and godliness. Albeit, this empowerment is to the glory of the Spirit who resides in all believers, but it is empowerment for us, for this life.
Like the Israelites who escaped the captivity of Egypt, we have been delivered from the power of sin and death. Both the power of sin to bring about death and the power of sin in our daily lives. Once the Israelites left Egypt, they were never to return. Sure they had the ability, but they did not have permission. Likewise, we have been delivered from the land of our captivity (SIN), and although we retain the ability to go back, we do not have the permission.
Tomorrow we're going to look at a notoriously misquoted scripture; Paul's statement, "the things I want to do I cannot do..." (Romans 7:19)
I hope you'll join me here!