This is the introduction of a three part series on the relationship with sin by Shaina Duncan.
Leonard Ravenhill wrote that the way to assess a person’s progression in the process of sanctification was not by inquiring after their relationship with the Lord, but inquiring after their relationship with sin. Both relationships are directly correspondent to one another. For a person’s love to increase for one it must decrease for the other.
Thus, I submit this question to you and to myself, “How is your relationship with sin?”
Are you and I willing to call sin “sin” not because it is big or small, but because it is against the person, character and nature of God. W. S. Plumer wrote, “We never see sin aright until we see it as against God…All sin is against God in this sense: that it is His law that is broken, His authority that is despised, His government that is set at naught…Pharaoh and Balaam, Saul and Judas each said, ‘I have sinned’; but the returning prodigal said, ‘I have sinned against heaven and before thee’; and David said, ‘Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned.’”
We have been set free from the dominion of sin (Romans 6). Our deliverance from it is through our union with Christ in His death (Romans 6:10). He died to sin and through our union with Him we are dead to sin. We can stand up and say no. The responsibility for resisting is ours. Jerry Bridges wrote that many Christians often confuse the potential for resisting (which God provided through Christ) with the responsibility for resisting (which is ours). This confusion can be disastrous in our process of being made like Christ (sanctification).
Though we have been delivered from sin and its rule, we have not been delivered from its attacks. Sin remains in us even though it has been dethroned. Although it has been weakened and overthrown, its nature has not changed. Sin is still hostile towards God. Thus we have an enemy of righteousness right in our own hearts. It is a constant battle.
And if we’re honest, many of us are losing that battle. Not because God hasn’t provided. Scripture says that God has provided everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Not because we aren’t trying. In most cases, we are losing because we do not understand the basic nature and strategy of sin.
For us to wage a successful war against the old man (the dominion of sin) we need to understand some important principles.
First, Sin takes root in the heart. Second, Sin finds strength in our desires. Third, Sin deceives our minds.
The next three posts will elaborate on these three principles.
...Shaina Duncan, College Student
Editor of Revive and Awaken Blog