Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 073 Be Rid of Sin
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #073 – Be Rid of Sin
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
Earlier this week my daughter Marissa and I went for a long walk together. Sharing a walk is not a new experience. We go out together a lot. Sharing conversation and laughs is a highlight for us. As we are always hopeful that we’ll encounter geese or ducks, my daughter usually carries treats to offer our feathered friends just in case we need them. What made this particular walk different is a new path we tried. I’m not sure when it opened, but our neighborhood added a nature trail for residents to enjoy. Full of winding paths, creeks, slight inclines (for optimum leg exercise), wildlife, fresh air, and sunshine, Marissa and I believed we found a little slice of heaven. Until we got home.
Although I brought water with me, I was parched when we returned. For some reason, I was craving grapefruit. I told Marissa I was going to eat before I hopped into the shower. As I was eating, I felt something tickling my skin inside my shirt. I peeked inside my blouse and saw what looked like a tiny spider. After a second look, I knew it was a tick. My reflexive response was to flick it off my skin, but I regretted that move instantly because I didn’t want it to find my two dogs. After my family and I searched the kitchen floor for a bit without finding it, I looked back inside my shirt and saw that I had missed the tick, who was still enjoying walking around my stomach.
I started screaming. I know. Screamers are extremely annoying, but I was so grossed out by this tiny blood-sucking bug that I could not help it. My husband grabbed the disgusting creature and smashed it. Ready for a shower now, I left for the bathroom so that I could shower and truly feel clean again. It was going to be a while before that happened.
Marissa joined me in the bathroom. She planned to take a bath while I showered so we could both make sure we didn’t have any other creatures ready to suck life from us. As we prepared for our bath and shower, we continued to find more and more ticks. We ended up having so many on the two of us that I lost count.
The peaceful woodland setting we had enjoyed together became a dreaded memory we never wanted to revisit. We spent the rest of the evening feeling like we had ticks crawling over our skin and checking under our clothes to ensure we didn’t really have anything to pluck off our body. As I thought about the walk and resulting ticks, I felt God urging me to write this podcast. One message kept coming to mind to share.
Sin should have the same effect on us that the tiny eight-legged tick parasites carry.
We should be anxious to be rid of any sinfulness touching our life.
There was nothing else I could think of when I found each tick. I just wanted them off as soon as possible! The need to remove them was so urgent that it was futile to fathom thinking of anything else.
Believers should be so attuned to His thoughts and ways that any sin sickens us and makes us want to escape it immediately.
How is sin defined in this world? Basically, sin is an immoral act considered to be a transgression against God’s holy law or an act that is a sin in the eyes of God. Most people, regardless of where they stand in their religious convictions would agree that this is a fair definition of sin. Yet, what is interesting is that we each differ more in what we consider to be a sin in the eyes of God, or more importantly, we seem to forget what God would consider sinful as we habitually fall into practices that feel good or give us pleasure in the moment.
Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned.”
All of humanity is subject to the actions of two men: Adam and Jesus. Do we desire to follow the example of Adam and be content to toy with sin? Or do we yearn to cling to the freedom and hope found through Christ and live with fullness of life because we identify and flee from sin?
Genesis 4:7b says, “But if you refuse to do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires you, but you must master it.”
Sin is everywhere. We do not experience a day where we can say we were not tempted to sin or we did not encounter some sort of sin. Yet, the miracle is that through the grace of God and the act of Jesus on the cross, we do not need to be a slave to the sinful nature within us.
Romans 2:15 says, “They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.”
The condition of our heart dictates our thoughts and actions.
I believe the easiest way to identify sin in our life is to break it down into two easy to remember categories.
1. Attitude: Are we living with a mind or heartset that strives to please God or be Christlike? Or can we recognize hatred, envy, bitterness, unforgiveness, selfishness, pride, arrogance, maliciousness, and the like in our life?
2. Action: Are we living with actions that are contrary to what God instructs? Are we living in ways that please Him? Does our life draw others to His life-changing or life-giving power or push them away? Or do we secretly live with acts such as negligence, foul language, slander, adultery, stealing, lying, and the like in our life?
If we cannot recognize or obey God’s truths, commands, or promptings, we sin.
James 4:17 says, “Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do, yet fails to do it, is guilty of sin.”
When we are close to Jesus because we know, love, and follow Him, we allow His sacrificial act to transform our heart, mind, and life.
Then we are able to make the powerful decision to put Him before self. It is a decision we will need to make each moment for the rest of our life – not because we have to, but because we love Him and desire transformation into His image.
We need to immediately flick any remnant of sin from us with an urgency that conveys absolute obedience to Jesus.
Romans 6:12-17 says, “What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may increase?
Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? Or aren’t you aware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection. We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. For anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. So you too must count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires. Do not present the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and present the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”
Remember that our body on its own is not sinful or evil. Yet, we do not want to allow sin to find a place of dominance or power over our body or in our life. Jesus has rendered sin powerless and unless we do not know or follow Him, or we succumb to the allure of sin instead of keeping our gaze focused on the power of Christ, it will not carry a place of power over us.
We can either allow ourselves to fall to the evil forces of sin and live in rebellion and regret or claim victory through the sacrifice of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit living within us. Satan and sin have no power over us when we are rightfully living under the dominion of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!! We know we have ultimate victory because the power of Jesus lives within us and He has given us a hope and future. We can also believe and claim His power over daily moment by moment activities as well. Our mind and heart can both turn to and rely on the power of Christ to save us every second if we continue to rely on Him. Grace was extended not so that we could continue to sin and experience grace over again, but so that we would be reconstructed into new life that cannot tolerate sin.
1 Peter 2:24 says, “He himself bore our sins" in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by His wounds you have been healed."
1 John 3:9 says, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.”
This verse is spoken in the present tense, meaning a continuous action. It is saying that a follower of Christ will not sin on purpose or make a practice of sinning. When we have been born again through Jesus’s act on the cross, our new nature, born again in the image of a holy God, enables us to follow Him and produce His good fruit. He releases the grip of sin and removes the temptation of bowing to sin when we keep our gaze and heart attuned to and reliant on Him.
Sin entered the world through one man and exited the world through one man. Who do you want to follow? Look up to the One who has the authority and grace to render sin powerless. Jesus sacrificed all so that we can live a rich and fulfilling life now and for eternity. Keep your gaze and heart fixed on Him, the One who can do all things.
Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do so much more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”
What sin is threatening to grip or deceive you? Render it powerless now through Jesus.
Heavenly Father, our good and gracious God. We thank You for the life You gave us through Jesus. Help us recognize the power alive and at work within us as we face life moment by moment. May we always turn to You, enabling Your grace and the gift of new life to lift us above the snares of this world. May our thoughts and behavior be perfected as You are perfect, not to honor us, but to glorify You. Do not let sin reign in our mortal body, or let us obey the lusts of it. Please help us present ourselves as instruments of righteousness, made alive through Jesus with sin carrying no dominion over us in any way. We boldly ask this because we know it is Your intention for us, loving Father. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this podcast. Please visit terrihitt.com to access podcast episodes housed in one convenient location, read blog posts, transcripts, and access additional resources designed to mature your walk with Jesus through an eternal perspective and encourage you to raise or influence children to choose Christ over culture.
I pray this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.