Freedom from Sin in This Life and The Next
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith."
1 John 5:3-4 NASB
We know that Christ secures heaven in the next life, yes. But we often forget that Christ is our basis for a growing freedom from sin in this life as well. It's easy to slip into self-effort and start thinking that it's up to us to somehow overcome our sin and selfishness.
First John 5:4 says that faith is the victory not self effort. As we have seen in previous study, the christian faith is never just faith in faith. It is not just some leap in the dark. It is faith in the objective truth of Christ in space, time and history. Christians trust in a Person—the Lord Jesus Christ.
First John 5:4 says that faith is the key to victory, and the key to faith is Christ. Our ongoing focus must be Him—all that He is—not just what He did at the cross. Instead of compartmentalizing Christ to merely being our Savior, we must value all that He is—His perfect life, death, resurrection, ascension, current ministry of intercession, and His promised return. The Apostle Paul says in Colossians 3:4 that Christ is our life.
If we neglect the full scope of who Christ is and what He did and we only focus on a part of what He did at the cross, we will fall apart in our practical living.
Francis Schaeffer wrote of this fully orbed, Christ-saturated view of living the Christian life in chapter eight of True Spirituality:
"It is not we who overcome the world in our own strength. We do not have a power plant inside ourselves that can overcome the world. The overcoming is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ… if we raise the empty hands of faith moment by moment and accept the gift. This is the victory that overcomes the world—our faith."
Intersecting Faith & Life:
Ask God for grace to remember throughout the day today that victory over sin, doubt, and discouragement rests solely on the person and work of Christ.
For Further Study:
Consider memorizing Romans 8:32
32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
33 Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies;
34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.