You do not have to be in bondage to habitual sin. You don’t have to continue in the weakness of flesh, always giving in to the worldly desires. You have the strength of Jesus Christ. You do not need to keep on with excuses to keep sinning.
Paul was dealing with the church at Corinth and some people who were continuing in habitual sins that were hurting them and the church. He had written letters, he had visited and now he was planning to make a third visit to help them. But he told them it wasn’t him they needed to discipline them. Verses 3-4 read,
“since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 4 For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.”
They were looking toward Paul to be strong. They were looking for their leaders to be strong. But they weren’t looking for Jesus to be strong. The ones that just couldn’t give up their sinful lives used every excuse in the book to keep sinning. They talked about their weak flesh and weak will. They said they couldn’t help it. They even tried justifying their sins or saying that God had forgiven them so the sin didn’t matter. Sound familiar?
What excuse do you use to hold onto the sins you don’t want to give up? Do you envy what others have and pardon yourself with reasons like those above? Are you addicted to pornography, alcohol, or other drugs? You do not have to keep coming up with defenses and justifications. Verses 5-6 read,
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.”
Why do need to explain away the sin of worry, when you have Jesus Christ Himself in you? Why do you keep justifying your sin of grumbling and complaining when you have the power and strength of the Living God, Jesus Christ inside you? He died on the cross covered in the blame for your sin, and He was resurrected in power to forgive and eradicate sin and death.
You have no excuse to keep sinning. Rather you have the amazing strength and power of Jesus to explain your righteousness and love.
Paul closes the letter with this encouragement in verses 11-14.
“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the saints greet you.
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
You are not alone. Not only do you have Jesus, The Father, and The Holy Spirit with you and are able to commune with Him anytime and all the time, you also have your Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Paul tells us to do a few things:
· Aim for restoration. Do not keep sinning. Stop. Make a goal to be restored to wholeness. Try!
· Comfort one another. Help each other walk the walk. Hold each other up. Don’t turn a blind eye to one another’s needs.
· Agree with one another. Do we all have the same ultimate goal? Do we all have the same mission, Lord, and commandments? Yes. I amen your prayers and you, mine because we want the same things.
· Live in peace. Live in unison with one another and God. Be righteous so that you have nothing to cause discord in yourself or among the Brothers and Sisters.
When we do these things we are promised that The God of Love and Peace will be with us. And y’all if He is with us what do we have to worry about? Nothing can be against us. (Romans 8:31). No weapon formed against us can prosper. (Isaiah 57:17). And nothing is impossible. (Matthew 19:26).
What excuse do you have now for your worrying, complaining, lusting, or addictions? What possible reason could you have to fear, lie, steal, or envy? Don’t you get that Jesus Christ is within you?