You are free from the penalty of sin … not the presence or power of sin.

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”  Romans 6:6-7

I’ve talked with people who say,

“How can that be since I still struggle so mightily with sin?

That’s a great question, a really great question.  I very much like what John Doyel says about this. (Doyel heads us an EXCELLENT ministry to men struggling with sexual addiction and healing.  The ministry is call 180 Men and is part of Vineyard Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. )

Doyel has some incisive thoughts about these two verses and what it actually means to be free from sin.  His thoughts are directed to anyone, of course, but especially to men struggling with sexual addiction and healing.

So, what does it mean to be free from sin?

* “It does not mean we are free from the presence of sin.  We still have a sin nature that dwells in our body.  It is alive and will remain in us till our body dies.”

* “It does not mean we are free from the power of sin.” (I have seen people freed from the power of certain sins in their lives.  Hallelujah!  But usually not instantly or quickly, and sometimes never.)

We will be one day be free from both the presence and power of sin!

* “What it does mean is that we are free from the penalty of sin.  That is your immediate reality the moment you accepted Jesus as your Savior.  His death and the shedding of His blood completely paid for all the sins of your entire life.”  Can I get an Amen?

I think most people have a hard time rejoicing in that because they become focused on their daily failures and start to worry about even being forgiven at all.  “Am I really forgiven?”

Thus, “We come to God like a dog with our tail tucked between our legs, ” Doyel says.

But here’s the way God says we should come to him:

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

Why with such confidence?  Well because we know that Jesus has paid for our penalty of sin. Doyel quickly points out: “…It does not say, ‘So that we may receive forgiveness.’  We already have forgiveness.  It’s so we can receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.”

Mercy and grace, Yes.  That’s what I want.  How about you?  And loving kindness, too?  Yes.  And no condemnation — none.  I’ll accept that, too.  Imagine… No condemnation when we approach the throne of our loving, understanding Creator.  How sweet it is…

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