Offense: Wrong teaching about overcoming sin.

Practice makes perfect. This wise old saying is in most cases true. One wants to play and musical instrument or sing then hours or preparation are in order. Doctors, after years doing the job, are more apt to diagnose correctly. And the list goes on in efforts on this planet where practice pays off.

When it comes to sin which so easily entraps us this is not the case. One can curb sin of action by resisting the temptation. In addition the sin of omission will be curbed by doing what is right when it presents itself to be done. However, what about the sin of the thought life based squarely in the mind and heart.

Romans 7:21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? ESV

Reason would look at that question and she would suggest to try harder. This is the natural answer to many of the challenges we face in life. The answer, sadly, in much of  the Christian Church is casting the sinner back on him or her selves. This is pagan Greek philosophy but in no way Christianity. Where does St Paul point us?

Romans 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. ESV

Romans 8: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. ESV

What human reason and effort cannot do Jesus did for us by his holy life, bitter sufferings, death and resurrection. This handled the curse of the law for us. Do we want to sin and keep on sinning. No. But out of true repentance we look to Christ and trust his doing the whole job for us. Let us trust this good news and live in the peace it gives.

In the name of Jesus. Amen †

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