Sin in the Life of a Christian

Written by Stephen Kingery

We know from readingrepparttar Scriptures that Christ was without sin; there was no sin in His life. It was because of this fact that He was able to carry our sin torepparttar 140976 cross so that we can have forgiveness. It was throughrepparttar 140977 sinless life of Christ that it became possible that He wasrepparttar 140978 perfect sacrifice. God would accept nothing less than a perfect sacrifice for our sin. Therefore, we can know with assurance that because of Christ's death onrepparttar 140979 cross we can have forgiveness of sin and look forward to life in eternity with our Heavenly Father.

In our monograph titled "A Scriptural Look at Sin" I discussedrepparttar 140980 fact that we cannot overcome sin by ourselves. We can realize a victory over sin throughrepparttar 140981 strength of Jesus Christ. But how should a Christian live in relation to sin?

I think it is clear inrepparttar 140982 Scriptures that we are expected to live a life apart from sin. Consider what Peter tells us in this passage, "For to this you were called, because Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 'Who committed no sin, Nor was guile found in His mouth'; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten; but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body onrepparttar 140983 tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed." (1 Peter 2:21-24) It is clear that we are to follow in His steps; we are to live a life free of sin torepparttar 140984 best of our ability. When we fail to get rid ofrepparttar 140985 sin in our lives, we are not able to live in harmony withrepparttar 140986 Word of God. Our relationship withrepparttar 140987 Father, Son and Holy Spirit suffers because of it.

Let's explore a little further what happens to us when we become a Christian. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we have a deep regret forrepparttar 140988 sin we have committed in times past. This regret and sorrow causes us to repent of those sins. "Repenting" is not merely saying that we are sorry for those sins. It is, onrepparttar 140989 other hand, a deep regret which causes us to changerepparttar 140990 way we live; to stop sinning!

The Bible speaks of this repenting as being "crucified" or as being "dead to sin." Consider these passages: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me..." (Galatians 2:20); "And those who are Christ's have crucifiedrepparttar 140991 flesh with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:24); "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1,2); "Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:11). Being "dead to sin" or being "crucified with Christ" isrepparttar 140992 same as saying that we have departed from sin, departed from a life of sinfulness. Paul says if quite well when he asksrepparttar 140993 question, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" His response is emphatic; "Certainly not!" We, as Christian, need to recognize that if we are to liverepparttar 140994 kind of life which is pleasing to God, sin must not be a part of our lives.

Our Christian walk should be one which is apart from sin. The Scriptures refer to us as "new creatures" and says that we are walking in "newness of life." "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17) "Therefore we are buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised fromrepparttar 140995 dead byrepparttar 140996 glory ofrepparttar 140997 Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4) "Old things have passed away" - these "old things" arerepparttar 140998 sins which we committed while still outside of salvation. "Behold, all things have become new" -repparttar 140999 "newness of life",repparttar 141000 opportunity to live apart from sin.

Is this merely an opportunity to live a life of sinlessness. No! It is much more than that. It is also a command that we should live a life apart from sin. Consider these passages: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed byrepparttar 141001 renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2); "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness ofrepparttar 141002 flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness inrepparttar 141003 fear of God." (2 Corinthians 7:1); "Abstain from every form of evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:22). These and other Scriptures clearly tell us that we are expected to live a life of holiness. We are expected to fight against sin in our lives and to winrepparttar 141004 victory over sin andrepparttar 141005 consequences that it has in our lives.

Should You Have A Spiritual Director?

Written by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

I have been meeting with a spiritual director for nearly two years. Inevitably, when I return home from my monthly meeting, my husband asks me if I have found my spirit yet. He says that since I am going for "spiritual direction," obviously my spirit must be lost. It is a poor joke on his part, but it serves to illustrate some ofrepparttar misunderstanding that surrounds spiritual direction. I admit, even I wasn't quite sure what I was walking into when I attended my first session, and that was after doing extensive research and attending an open house atrepparttar 140949 Center for Spiritual Direction in Holyoke, MA!

What exactly is spiritual direction? Spiritual direction has existed as long as there have been people who have wanted to explore and deepen their relationship with God and have soughtrepparttar 140950 help of others more experienced inrepparttar 140951 spiritual journey to guide them. Inrepparttar 140952 earliest days, such a guide might have been a shaman or medicine man (or woman). The tradition was continued in bothrepparttar 140953 Jewish and Christian faiths. For many centuries inrepparttar 140954 Christian tradition, however, formal spiritual direction was offered only to clergy and vowed religious. Laity could receive some direction through their confessor inrepparttar 140955 Sacrament of Reconciliation. Forrepparttar 140956 most part, however,repparttar 140957 opportunity for a lay man or woman to meet with a trained spiritual director expressly forrepparttar 140958 purpose of exploring his or her spiritual life is a fairly recent development.

Spiritual direction presupposes that God is at work inrepparttar 140959 life ofrepparttar 140960 person coming for direction (the directee) and that God has been at work sincerepparttar 140961 moment of that person's birth. The role ofrepparttar 140962 director is to helprepparttar 140963 directee see where God is in his or her life at this moment in time. "Direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obeyrepparttar 140964 real Director,repparttar 140965 Holy Spirit, hidden inrepparttar 140966 depths of our soul." (1)

Margaret Guenther, a married Episcopal priest, comparesrepparttar 140967 role of a spiritual director to that of a midwife. "The midwife is present to another in a time of vulnerability, working in areas that are deep and intimate. It is a relationship of trust and mutual respect." (2) Ultimately,repparttar 140968 directee doesrepparttar 140969 hard labor, butrepparttar 140970 director is there with her, to guide, to wait with, to celebrate whenrepparttar 140971 way becomes clear. The directee must be willing to open herself, to share any relevant details of her life. Nothing should be considered "offrepparttar 140972 table" for discussion. The director, in turn, holds these life stories in complete confidentiality, asks relevant questions, and seeks to helprepparttar 140973 directee find God revealed inrepparttar 140974 experiences of everyday living. The director can also help in nurturingrepparttar 140975 directee's relationship with God through prayer and spiritual reading. Spiritual direction provides a sacred space and a dedicated time for reflection.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use