Dear sister, lately I feel like battling sin will be the death of me. And Lord willing, it will be. The death of my self apart from Christ; the death of my wretched, depraved sin nature; the death of the old darkness to make room for His light. The truth is, we have already been made alive in Christ.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, 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 coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:1-9, emphasis mine.)
Are we left to battle sin alone? No! We have been given the Holy Spirit, one of the Persons of the Trinity, to indwell us! To fight with us. To pray for us (Romans 8:26). What’s more, Jesus was made man; He not only died for us, He lived for us—“For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
And how do we battle? With the fruit of the spirit. With the full armor of God, with which He equips us. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:11-18a)
Press on, sister. Take courage, dear heart. He has given us an army to fight beside, and He has already won the victory. But the armor of God cannot be set aside or taken off. Polish it while it’s on. Be ever ready.
And in the depths of this battle, what are we pressing toward? Our Abba Father, the Holy One.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us,” Paul encourages us in Romans 8:18. He goes on to talk about the whole creation groaning with us in pain, awaiting redemption. For we were created to be redeemed, for God’s glory. Someday we will see His face and dwell with Him forever, where there will be no sin and no sorrow. What riches. What consolation. What hope!
I love the way R.C. Sproul and Jeff Lippencott expressed the hope of heaven in their Highland Hymn.
Above the mists of Highland hills,
E’en far above the clear blue skies
The end of pain and earthly ills
When we shall see His eyes.
Lutes will sing, pipers play
When we see Him face to face
On that day.
His face now hidden from our sight,
Concealed from ev’ry hidden gaze;
In hearts made pure from sinful flight
Is the bliss that will amaze.
We know not yet what we will be
In heaven’s final blessed state;
But know we now that we shall see
Our Lord at heaven’s gate.
The beatific glory view
That now our souls still long to see
Will make us all at once anew,
And like Him forever be.