Okay, so here’s the thing: I have the same problem Paul had in Romans 7…it’s called sin. I can’t seem to stop. And as Paul said, sin brings death (or as he out it, “the law of sin and death”). Paul cried out in desperation, “who will deliver me from this body of death?” Then, in the very next verse (Romans 8:1), he gives us the answer: Jesus. Pure and simple, Jesus delivers us from sin.
Not just the effects of sin, mind you. Jesus came to conquer sin and it’s resulting death. The Lord didn’t just scurry off to heaven and leave us to battle sin on our own. No, He defeated sin. As in “it has no power over you any longer”. That’s why 1 John 3:6 says, “Whoever abides in Him does not sin…”
So why don’t I live in that victory, that sinless state that IS possible (no…it’s required) in this life? I think the key is those three words “abides in Him.” I don’t abide in Christ nearly as I ought. I still let my love of the world cloud my heart. I haven’t separated myself to Christ. I haven’t shut off the world’s distractions. I’ve found it easier to constantly ask for forgiveness than to separate myself wholly to Christ and walk in the freedom He promised.
Jesus can and will deliver me from sin. He gave His life to win that battle. The question is do I care enough for Him to live in that freedom. It might mean sacrifice. It might mean running the other way in the middle of a crowd. It might mean giving up everything. It might mean hanging on the cross with Him.
No, I take that back, it WILL mean those things.
Grace is more than just God’s endless patience and mercy with my sin and failure (though it is that). The real essence of God’s grace is the power to stop sinning altogether, to live in the “law of liberty in Christ Jesus” and to escape that law of sin and it’s resulting death. To accept anything less is ultimately to miss the point of His grace.