If I am to walk with God in this life, if I am going to allow Jesus Christ to be my Lord in this life, I must be honest with myself about me.
I am a sinner. Evil ruled my life before I became a Christian. I can stand before God and belong to God only because I am a forgiven sinner.
God earned the right to forgive me. He paid the full price to have the right to extend to me forgiveness. He paid for that right by sacrificing the life of His own son.
I am saved because of what Jesus did for me. Every moment of my life, every day of my life, every week of my life I am saved because of what Jesus did for me. I am never saved because of me. Jesus is always the source of my salvation. I am never the source of my salvation.
It is because he died to save me that I willingly, of my own choice and free will, commit my life and myself to his purposes.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (The New American Standard Bible, 1995 Update, La Habra, California: The Lockman Foundation, 1996.)
I can never generate the power from within myself to make me good.
I can never find the strength within myself to eliminate all evil from my life.
Human ability, human will power, and human choice can never make me as good as I wish to be.
The more earnestly I try to destroy sin in my life, the more I prove this to be true. When I am left to myself with nothing but my own power and my own choices, I am evil's slave. When I fight Satan with nothing but me, I am never capable of defeating Satan in my life.
The more that I, alone, try to destroy evil in my life, the more depressed and defeated I become. I am not the answer. Christ in me is the answer.
For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (The New American Standard Bible, 1995 Update, La Habra, California: The Lockman Foundation, 1996.)
God defeats evil in my life with His own goodness. In His goodness, He sent Jesus. In His goodness, He allowed Jesus to die for my sins instead of my eternally dying for my sins. In His goodness, He forgives me of my sins and cleanses me of the eternal consequences of evil. God's goodness takes the innocent blood of Jesus and gives me mercy. In that mercy, God's goodness gives me new life. In His goodness God loves me. In His goodness God rescues me from my mistakes. In His goodness God protects me through His power.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 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? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; 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. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (The New American Standard Bible, 1995 Update, La Habra, California: The Lockman Foundation, 1996.)
The most serious, costly thing God has done in the history of humanity is to sacrifice the life and blood of His own son for the evil things we think, plan, say, and do. The greatest and most expensive sacrifice God has ever made was giving His son for us. We must not accept that sacrifice thoughtlessly or frivolously. To accept God's sacrifice with less seriousness than God made it is to insult God.
I can never be sinless. I can never destroy all evil in my life. But I can be serious in my commitment. I can be faithful to my commitment. I can serve God from my heart with my life in my commitment.
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (The New American Standard Bible, 1995 Update, La Habra, California: The Lockman Foundation, 1996.)
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