Saturday, May 09, 2009

Life in Christ isn't about "not sinning."

The other day, Lydia posted a couple of quotes from Ryan Rufus. I saw one quote on her Facebook profile:
"Living a holy life should never be defined as 'living without sin.' In fact sin has got nothing to do with holiness at all."
And another quote on this blog post:
"Holiness has got nothing to do with sinning or not sinning! If that is what we think, then we think WE are the cause of our holiness and I am telling you there is only ONE person who is the cause of our holiness and His name is Jesus Christ!!"
Great stuff! Being holy has nothing to do with "not sinning." We are holy because God has set us apart for Himself and has placed us in Himself - all based on the finished work of Jesus, not based upon what we do or don't do. For a long time in my Christian life, my focus seemed to be on "not sinning." If I sinned, or felt like I wasn't living righteously enough, my focus was on "not sinning." To be quite truthful, my focus was on "not sinning" quite often! My obsession was not my relationship with God. My obsession was how to overcome sin. I now realize that that obsession was fleshly and self-focused, not God-focused.

My life has forever been changed during the past decade and a half, ever since I realized that God is not obsessed with sin! He took care of the disease of sin on the cross, and His obsession (His passion) has always been me, not my sin!

Yes, it's true that "by the Spirit" we "put to death the deeds of the flesh." But that's not the essence of our lives in Christ! It's not the root of our lives in Christ, and it's not the daily obsession that we're to have. Jesus didn't come so that we would live with an ongoing focus on sin. He came so that we could be reconciled to God and have an ongoing obsession with HIM!

We all know how Jesus, in John 3:16, said that God gave Him so that people could have eternal life. And in John 17 He said that this is eternal life: That we may know God! Eternal life is NOW, and eternal life is knowing God! Let's stop making it about sin.


  1. Hey Joel,

    I was thinking about this today. And I was thinking about the way I was. . . And thinking about the way I was raised where I didn't have a high sin conscience. In the sense where I just presumed the grace of God, but it didn't mean a huge amount to me. I still felt bad when I did things, but I didn't really feel condemned by God. It was like I didn't really care. And I see that attitude in many who have been raised in ritual based - but not super law based denominations. The thing that got me was the fact that I would hear people's powerful testimonies and I would think that something was missing from my own life. . . And then I went to a college that was a whole lot more legalistic and I began to think I didn't quite measure up, as I was very undisciplined etc.

    All that to say, that there is a certain blessing in striving, for then you see that you can't measure up. I long for my sisters to grasp how awesome it is to be declared Holy by the Holy One. They just think it's odd that I get happy about being defined as totally holy. I understand it totally! I just long for them to see themselves as needy, so that they may see how their need is met. I just thought I would blab all that out - as you brought up the very thing I was thinking of earlier. . .

    ~ Becky

  2. Becky,

    I've come to realize, too, that I didn't have much of a 'sin conscience' when I was growing up (in a more liberal church setting), even though I was probably doing a whole lot more "wrong" back then. LOL. The sad irony is that it wasn't until I got into the evangelical church that I "cleaned up my act" (whatever)... and yet began to get more of a sin conscience that ever!!

    I mean... the very place in which I was supposed to learn that Jesus had dealt with sin once and for all, and wasn't counting my sins against me, ended up being the very place where I grew ever more conscious of how well or poorly I was performing.

    I can see why a lot of people in the church are messed up! The "gospel" is essentially preached to get people saved, but then it's left at the door when it comes to our daily lives in Christ!

  3. Lydia ??? Lydia who ???

    ps. im so dead...LoL

  4. Leonard,

    You know...


    Lydia, Lydia bo Bydia banana fanna fo Fydia
    Fee fy mo Mydia, Lydia!

  5. Hey, great stuff Joel... and Lydia.
    Lots of truth there!! :)

  6. Thanks FS! And of course thanks to Lydia too! (For putting up with Leo and me). :)