My youngest child is a pack rat. She saves lunch napkin notes from Mom. She saves feathers and stones, empty Tic Tac boxes, and stale ChapStick. Her filing system includes the floor. Her closets don’t close.
Every so often, I put on my hazmat suit and come to the rescue. And when I present her with an organized room, she is delighted and filled with new resolve. Mom graciously cleaned her room . . . why would she choose to live in a mess any longer? (At least for that first week.)
Now consider our spiritual mess. Because he knows we cannot clean ourselves, Jesus absorbed the entire hazardous mess of our sins on the cross. He suffered hell in our place. We should shudder to think, “Christ paid my bill, so it doesn’t matter if I sin.” It should shame us to treat Jesus’ forgiveness as a reloadable gift card. We are saved from sin, not for sin!
The apostle Paul writes, “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1,2).
When temptation comes knocking, the Spirit enables us to say, “The part of me that wants to come out and play has died.” Christ drowned that evil desire in our baptisms and scrubbed clean the room of our hearts. His grace does not lead us to plot more sin but fills us with delight and a new resolve that asks, “How can we live in sin any longer?”