We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. (Romans 6:6, 7 NLT)
Does this mean that we’re supposed to be sinless? Of course not – we are human. The difference for a redeemed child of God is that the Holy Spirit will convict us of our sin. He will make us aware of the areas that need to be purged. And we will have a chance to respond.
At first, the conviction will come before the sin, when the thoughts are taking shape in our mind. It will make us aware that the direction we’re contemplating is the wrong one. Then we choose. Push the feeling of conviction away and head in the wrong direction. Or quickly take a step in the right direction, before the thoughts give birth to sin.
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. (James 1:14, 15 NLT)
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT)
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. (Romans 8:12 NLT)
If we didn’t get the message before or if we chose to ignore it, the conviction will come during our sin and we will suddenly see the ugliness of our actions through the eyes of God. And we will once again get to choose. Continue down the sinful path that leads to destruction or turn and run back to our Heavenly Father who is waiting with open arms to forgive us and wash away the filth.
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. (James 4:7-8 MSG)
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him… for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. (Luke 15:20, 24 NLT)
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. (Psalms 51:7 NLT)
And if we still weren’t paying attention, the conviction will come after our sin. When we are suddenly punched in the gut with the realization that we blew it. By now the devil thinks he’s got us! He will attempt to confuse gracious conviction of the Spirit with guilt and condemnation in the hopes that instead of running back to God, we will run away in shame. But our Heavenly Father does not condemn us if we’ve been redeemed by the blood of Christ. Our sin will make him sad because he knows the earthly consequences we may have to experience because of it. But as a child of God, our eternal salvation is a done deal.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. (Romans 8:1, 2 NLT)
For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn. (Romans 11:29 NLT)