by: Carole L. Haines
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. (1 Peter 2:1-3 NASB)
There are parts of ourselves that we can tell just aren’t quite right, something is amiss. It’s hard to look at our ugliness inside. We’d rather see all the good things, encouraging things, uplifting things about ourselves and others. But sin has left us with deep crevasses we’d rather not talk about or look at. But that’s exactly where Jesus wants to go into our lives. He wants us to let Him into the ugliness of sin, so that He can show us the way out of it. All sin begins within us, as we learn in James 1:13-16.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
Sin is already present within us before the temptation even comes. We are inclined to sin, it is our nature while here on the earth. Paul talks of his own struggle in Romans 7.
15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. (Romans 7:15)
Only Jesus never sinned, but He wants to show us the way out of sin, not just deliver us from the penalty of it. There are three ways Jesus delivers us from sin:
1) Delivers us from the Penalty of sin- Justification
2) Delivers us from the power of sin- Sanctification
3) Delivers us, ultimately, from the presence of sin- Glorification.
Justification is a finished work. Sanctification is finished, yet continually being manifested as we grow in Christ. Glorification will be complete only when we are with Jesus, and have crossed over into heaven. I love what James tells us about cooperating with Jesus in our sanctification process:
James 1:2-8 (NASB)
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
With the background I came from, I have had as much to unlearn, as I have had to learn in my walk with Christ. Do not be afraid to go with Him into those dark recesses inside yourself and let Him cleanse you through confession and agreeing with God. It is His way of freeing you from all that binds you, so that He may cleanse and perfect you. God has promised us this:
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:6)
Have a Blessed Day in Him.