February 28, 2011

Free at Last!

Psalm 32

If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

—  John 8:36

Fact 1: No one is perfect. We’ll always be sinners in this life.

Fact 2: Jesus makes us new, setting us free from our sin.

As we saw at the beginning of this month’s study, it can be challenging to get both of these facts to somehow fit together. On some days we do our best to put off our sinful nature, claiming Christ’s victory in our lives. Yet on other days it can seem like we’ll be stuck with that sinful nature for a long time to come. Sometimes we pretend to be sinless, other times we give in to despair.

This month we’ve looked at our struggle with sin from the perspective of addiction and recovery. The recovery movement has helped millions of people find a way to acknowledge their addictions while also claiming freedom from their power. Instead of pretending that we’ve “gotten over” our sin, we can surrender our sin struggles to Christ, the true Higher Power, and let him lead us into a life of recovery through his Spirit.

What about you? Do you try to pretend that sin has no grip on you? Or have you secretly despaired of ever escaping the power of your sin? Or … have you found the freedom the Scriptures offer as you lay your sin addiction at the foot of the cross, letting your Savior lead you in a new life protected for recovery? Is God making you a “better sinner”?

God, I am not perfect. My name is Sinner, saved by grace. Thank you for setting me free, through Jesus' blood. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

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