When it comes to our character and behavior we all have something that needs to be changed or that we want changed. It is our calling in Christ to put off the old and put on the new. What often happens is that we get into a pattern of sinning, then repenting, and then promising God we will obey, only to fall into sin once more and repeat this pattern over and over again, saying we promise to obey this time. This makes us tired and weary, even leading some to doubt their salvation at times. Then we begin to look for hope from sources other than God. We may not verbalize it to others but we often think to ourselves: “I’ll change when I get married, when I become a parent, when I make more money, when I retire, or when I grow up.” We put our hope in life’s seasons only to learn that our sin follows us wherever we go.
Is change possible? Can we have victory over sin? Yes. But we need to have a proper biblical perspective on how change works. First, our hope of being faithful to Christ is not based upon our ability to obey, but upon God working in us. It is not that obeying is unimportant, but rather it is more important that we remember: “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Second, we must realize that even when we sin and repent God is still working. He began our process of change at conversion with new birth, giving us a new heart and He is continuing His work by pursuing us with truth, love and grace. Believers are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). Third, God has given us one another to bear each other’s burdens, to confess sins, and to hold each other accountable. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we need one another for encouragement, prayer, and correction and sometimes rebuke. While God has given us one another to help in these regards, the Bible also make it abundantly clear that we are responsible for our own actions and life choices. Galatians 6:5 says, “For each will have to bear his own load.” We must remember in the battle against sin that God doesn’t save us by the skin of our teeth, but thankfully God’s salvation is complete in Christ. Remember we have an advocate, Jesus Christ, the one who saves us from our sins who is always there to intercede for us.
-Pastor Corey Mitchell