“Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.”
– Romans 7:13
Sin is a natural part of our life in the flesh – the same as hunger and exhaustion – inherited from our fall in Eden. There are no moral implications about sin in the flesh because it just is. Now that may cause a bit of a stir or give rise to objections, but what we would like to share is a better understanding of sin as it affects every one of us so that we can better realize who we are in Christ. Many of us struggle in bondage to our guilt and never seem to fulfill our purposes in Christ. Our heart too often gets defeated within us because we believe so strongly in our sinfulness and how terrible we are.
So again we say, there are no moral implications about sin in the flesh because it just is. Where the moral implications come into play is in our responses and subsequent choices to the urges and demands it places on us.
“It is out of the heart that evil thoughts come, as well as murder, adultery, sexual immorality, stealing, false testimony, and slander.”
– Matthew 15:19
When Adam disbelieved and disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he from that moment was separated from God. His thoughts were his alone without the influence of God within as one Spirit. His thoughts were those of a flesh and blood human being. If he hurt himself his response would be, “ow”. If he became tired his response would be to nap. If he was confronted and accused his response would be to lie. We have that fallen nature, and before Christ came into our lives we responded in the same manner. We would act contrary to God’s ways as easily as we would sneeze from dust. Without God we lived in accordance to our flesh.
So why did God have a problem with sin if it was just what it was? For the same reason that darkness cannot continue to exist when the light is turned on, our sinful nature could not exist in the presence of God. We would cease to be, and He didn’t want us to not exist.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
– John 3:16
What we’re saying so far is that our sinful nature is not something we can take to ourselves, to enlarge it or reduce it. It just is, and it is why we are separated from God and why we would have no hope without Him. None of us is more sinful than another, and none of us is less sinful, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23. Many of us berate ourselves and put ourselves down because we moan over our sinful nature like it was something we had a say in. We don’t. It is a condition, a terminal condition with no cure and we are destined for death and destruction because of it.
there are no moral implications about sin in the flesh because it just is
Kind of makes moaning about our sinfulness seem useless, don’t you think? And it’s good that it does because as long as we waste time considering that we have a say in our sinful nature, we can never fully understand or realize the gift of grace from our Father and our Lord Jesus. What we should realize instead is our need for rescue. We need to be rescued from this body of sin because there are no other options that we can implement. We need the grace and salvation of God.
“remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
– Ephesians 2:12-13
Once this is realized we can then better and more fully understand the love and mercy of our Father in Jesus Christ the Lord. We are not just the recipients of forgiveness for all the contrary and wayward things we have done – we are the recipients of a life giving cure for our terminal disease of sinful flesh – in spite of all the contrary and wayward things we have done!
“…whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” – Luke 7:47b.
Being forgiven all our acts of sin and wickedness has a quantity assigned to it. We measure how bad we are by the things we’ve done, and the level of our love for our Lord demonstrates that, but being saved from our terminal, sinful nature covers everything! There is now no limit to the love God can stir within our hearts through His Gift in Jesus! God Himself is our cure by dwelling in us through His Spirit and Son, thinking His thoughts within our minds and inspiring His will within our hearts. The sins we have committed in our ignorance before we knew Him are forgiven, and the sins we may have committed since we knew Him are forgiven, and the sins we may commit in the future are forgiven. His Grace covers it all! What love and gratitude and willingness that must stir up within the heart that sees this! What an amazing God we serve Who chose to cure us of our fatal disease rather than let us die – even though we were so contrary to all He created and ungrateful for all He intended!
There is now no limit to the love God can stir within our hearts through His Gift in Jesus!
Now this may be mistaken as a license to sin doctrine but it certainly is not, so let’s look at where the moral implications do come to bear. What is our responsibility in the nature of sin? We are responsible in what we choose.
When our flesh demands we leer at a pretty woman or a handsome man, we are inclined to do so, except now we also know it is contrary to the will of our Father. We can choose to not look with lust, or we can hate it if we do and wish we never did, or we can not look but struggle afterwards with recurring flesh-minded imaginations. We want God’s way regardless of what our flesh tries to force upon us, but the flesh is still flesh and subject to the sinful nature. Although it no longer has the power to kill us it still reacts and interacts in our flesh. It still just is, and it will trip us up at times, but we choose God because He dwells in us and inspires us always to choose Him. If we fail, we regret because our minds are for Him. If we overcome we rejoice because our minds are for Him. In every way it’s always Him.
IMPORTANT! The moral implications of sin come into play when we choose to follow the demands of the flesh, and continue in them, to practice them and make excuses for why they’re okay. We have Christ dwelling in us so we have no excuse if we were to continue a life of practiced sin. May it never happen to any of us! If we turn from this wonderful, saving Grace and give preference to the demands of our flesh – if we do so willfully and without any remorse, we have rejected His Gift and have chosen death and separation instead.
“It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life.”
– 2 Peter 2:21
Again, may it never happen to any of us! And it will not because we have God the Father and Lord Jesus the Son dwelling inside us through their Spirit, ever reminding us of His will and ways. And we have one another to encourage each other and exhort each other to keep our minds on Jesus. We strive daily to keep our minds focused on our Lord and to hear His thoughts and respond to His inspirations. And sin, though it may cause trouble at times, will not rule over us and it cannot kill us.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
– Isaiah 26:3
Settle it in the truth that you are cured from your very nature of sinfulness – all of it – and there is no more counting and measuring the extent of it. We are all forgiven – and we are all forgiven much! Let us begin to love much to the glory of Jesus.
we have God the Father and Lord Jesus the Son dwelling inside us through their Spirit, ever reminding us of His will and ways. And we have one another to encourage us and exhort us to keep our minds on Jesus.