As a follow-up to a previous post on sanctification (the continuous infilling and inward spiritual growth from the Holy Spirit; post-salvation), I wanted to expand a little on the role God can play in our lives when we continue to earnestly seek Him and by faith, live for His will in our lives.
The Lord came into my life in a very profound manner. It happened on a Friday evening; Friday September 5, 2008 at 4:40 P.M. to be exact; maybe 4:45. There was a feeling of warmth; new breath; a new beating in my heart; a newly revived purpose in life that can only be somewhat explained via the limited vocabulary of this sixth-grade spelling bee runner-up.
Once this sinner was cleansed (saved) and thus forgiven for the things of old, I began questioning seriously whether the temptation(s) of this world was going to be the new status quo, or whether I could “master” sin in my life? Even deeper: were the buzz words and phrases I heard from those, in church, claiming to live a holy life – that is to say, set apart by the Holy Spirit from sin or further yet, the mere tempation of sin, in this world – really possible? Or was that just lip service? Were they just wanting to stand out from everybody else, and not really wanting to do the dirty laundry they had been ignoring?
God revealed something to me in Genesis 4:7c recently. It says, “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it” (NIV). This is not a Bible study, so I’ll avoid the theological implications and surrounding context of this verse. Instead, let’s focus on the literal words that are written, and what God is saying here; what God is revealing to us; His audience.
This message – from God Himself and delivered to a human being; a living, breathing, of-this-world mortal man – is telling us that it is possible to master sin in our lives. Keep in mind: sin is not plural. As is evident by the Lord speaking here to Cain, sin is there when we do not do what is right; what the Holy Spirit tells us we ought to do. Sin is just that; sin…right? It may manifest in your life in various forms: addiction, sexual impurity, idolatry, etc, but sin shall not be viewed as "multi-formative,"...right? Multi-formative is to mean: sin can exist or is present (or manifesting) in multiple forms; acting as independent entities in this world or it hosts. (more on this next time perhaps)
Can we be forgiven of our transgressions by God; made new by Christ; live a holy and pleasing life through the Holy Spirit? Or are we just sinners of this world that need to learn how to live with that fact? Do we just need to understand the fact that sin is everywhere, therefore we will never have dominion over it? That no matter where we turn, the world is going to tempt us. And no matter what we do, think, say, or how we respond to those temptations, will be seen as sin in the eyes of Christ.
Someone once eluded that while I may “master” a sin in my life, no matter what I subsequently do, there will be another sin waiting for me down the road. If I then cannot master that sin, I have not mastered sin. Therefore, it is premature or somewhat infallible to suggest something as arrogant as mastering sin. I would not entirely dismiss this view, but I think it must be based on the premise of sin being what I coined earlier as “multi-formative.” And that, I do not believe – as is evident by the herein cited and inerrant Word of God – is the state of sin.
As I stated in A new prescription, I do not wish to “subscribe to the prescription that sin has dominion over me and I must get used to it.” I will continue to seek and thus live a holy life. Does this mean I will be perfect the rest of my life? Absolutely not! To do so (in this case) would be arrogant to say the least. Satan has been at his game a lot longer than I at mine. But the Lord has been there longer than all.