“Sin, sin, go away, come again some other day.”

As a young person I looked forward to the day in which I would finally have victory over sin in my daily life. To my deep chagrin, the older I got, the clearer my sin became to me. Instead of moving beyond temptation, it seemed as if temptation not only didn’t go away, but it grew in magnitude, and visited me more often.

However, I thankfully discovered that I was not the only one who had faced this problem. Paul wrote so many years ago, “For that which 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) He went so far as to cry out, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)

Even my favorite Frenchman, John Calvin, wrote of why pastors should be especially caring to those caught up in sin:

Men who truly fear God and sincerely and firmly endeavor to train disciples for his service, because they are more severe on themselves than on others, are not such exacting masters; because they know their own infirmity, they forgive the weak more readily.”

Yes, our sin is real. Yes, our sin frustrates us to no end. But, that is not the end of the story because Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote something else:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)

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