If you love me you will keep my commandments. -John 14:15
"Aren't you taking this too seriously?"
These are the words spoken by a friend when I shared my feeling that participating in a certain activity would be sinful on my part.
I admit I was taken aback by the question. My reply was weak. Another question: "Aren't we supposed to?"
This conversation has stewed in the back of my brain until this morning when I read a TableTalk article by Mark Jones addressing this issue.
If I am saved by grace alone, shall I sin more "that grace may abound?"
Paul's short answer: "God forbid (Romans 6:2a)!" As he continues: "How can we who died to sin still live in it (6:2b)?"
Not one of you, I would imagine, would propose to me that we would desire to go on living like the devil now that we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
How crass, how blatant, how ungrateful would such an attitude be in the heart of a Christian person.
Yet I find in my own heart a casualness (dare I say, "a comfortableness?") toward my sin. In Wayne Watson's words: "I took one step away and thought, 'Hey what's the harm? Still see the light from here, still feel the warmth.'"
To learn to hate my sin. What a mountainous task. It is one I will be engaged in for all the rest of my days.
Paul struggles with this in the 7th chapter of Romans: "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin (v.14)," and "...I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing (v. 19)."
Am I as heart-broken over indwelling sin as Paul was? It's called sanctification and I am not that far along in my journey.
One thing I do know. When I consider honestly the darkness of my heart, it is not hard to see the distance that it places between my Heavenly Father and myself. Like Adam and Eve, I wish to run and hide from the consequences of my sin. And from the God who gave Himself to redeem me.
In that sense, I can understand John Owen's words: "You must be killing sin or it will be killing you."