Q123: How do you fight/avoid sins?
and a similar one by someone else on the same day:
Q124: What happens if you sin?
’Thank you…you will make a good mark in life because you have thought about such things.’
About the most important and helpful question I have ever been asked. Yes it truly is, and this writer says: ’Thank you for a wonderful question.’ God will bless you for such an honest heart. And I say to you my friend:’ Join the club…there are millions of us with the same problem.’! It’s true!
We all need to understand the questions and the answers. Some of this world’s greatest Christians, scholars, missionaries, writers, priests, preachers and Bible professors have wrestled with these two problems all through life. Only Jesus was without sin. We all sin – some a lot, and some a little bit.
It is because we are weak humans who get tired, angry, frustrated, lonely and sometimes very sad – and we cannot see the future – only Jesus knows that. Getting angry is not a sin, and it is OK to try to make things right. Jesus got very angry once and did something about it. Merchants in the temple were trading sheep and cattle, changing different money (called Money Changers), selling doves, and so on. Jesus made a whip out of chords and chased the animals out, upset the money changers tables and said: ’Get these things out of here. Don’t turn my Father’s House (the Temple) into a market.’ He upset them sinners and made a lot of enemies that day (see John chapter 2, verses 13 to 17). I like that story because I believe that Christians should leave this world a better place for them having been here.
To get the help to resist sin, and get help to remove the guilt of sin, we need to get to know the only one who can help – God’s Son, Jesus. His forgiveness and help is a free gift. It cannot be bought or worked for. Jesus longs to forgive us – yes he does.
The disciple John wrote a clear message in his last years of his life: ’If we confess our sins to God, He will keep his promise and do what is right: He will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.’ (First Letter of John chapter 1, verse 9).
We, each one of us, needs to let God know that we want to change – to get into God’s family. Tell God in your own words that you want to be in His family, to have your sins forgiven and have Him, or His angels, by your side to help you in His way, every day. God will understand your prayer however simple, and will help when he knows your heart is serious.
This getting to know Jesus is not like a 100 metre dash where we get to know Him in a day or two. ’No, Sir!’ It is a lifetime ’journey’ that gets better every day and it is not tiring like a marathon. And…I would urge you to pick up a Bible (an easy to read one if you are not used to it) and read The Gospel of John in a weekend. It will make a difference. I day-dreamed a bit one day and thought of my life and others I have known, as we went along that ’Road of life’.(in my dreaming):
(I thought): ’The Christian life is a bit like driving down the highway of life in our car. In stage one, we have a Bible wrapped up and tucked in the boot behind the spare wheel because we believe in God but don’t know much more because we are very busy. If we strike trouble we can always pull over, consult Jesus, pray a bit and read the Bible till the trouble is past. Maybe even get to a church for a while. In stage two-we have a wife and kids and we decide to get the Bible (Jesus) out of the boot and put Jesus in the back seat with the kids – might do some good. In stage three we decide that as we are more ’grown–up’ now and we agree to have Jesus sit in the front between Mum and Dad. We can ask Him all the questions we like about life and He can still tell stories to the kids. All is going well. Last stage: Mum and Dad decide to let Jesus drive our ’car’...and go wherever he decides to take them. Could be down a gravel side road to a strange new place, new job, new career or whatever. Jesus is driving–so it can be confusing and needs real faith-but Jesus is in control with many unexpected miracles along the way...so all will be well. Not everyone can take that final stage. It can be a bit scary.
About the greatest Christian Apostle; known as Paul, or Saint Paul, wrote many encouraging letters in the Bible, was beset by the frustration of sin. Why? His body wanted to sin but his spirit did not. He wrote: ’I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to – what I hate. In fact, I don’t understand why I act the way I do. I don’t do what I know is right. I do the things I hate.’
And later: ’…what a miserable person I am. Who will rescue me from this body that is doomed to die? Thank God! Jesus Christ will rescue me.’ That’s all in Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome, Romans chapter 7 verses 15 and 24.
Paul had a brilliant intellect – an IQ of around 150 I reckon – and his writing in Romans can be hard to understand but he was very honest. In his earlier life he arranged for the destruction of Christians. See it in Acts chapter 9.
A story on a lighter note. A very young Christian man was at a Christian convention and asked a very much respected, 85 year old retired missionary gentleman: ’Would you please tell me at what stage in your life did you get past looking at pretty girls and thinking about how lovely they are and forgetting about other things?’ ’Oh…I am still waiting for that to happen,’ was his honest reply. (God did a lovely job in making girls…be kind to them, boys.)</>