Have you ever done something wrong and then tried to say that you didn’t do it? How did that go?
The best thing about being a Christian is that we are connected to Jesus forever. He lives in us by the Holy Spirit, pouring out his love and goodness into our hearts.
The worst thing about being a Christian is that sin also still lives inside of us too. And the sin that lives inside of us often tries to overpower the love and goodness of Jesus inside of us.
Listen to how Paul says it here in Romans 7:
Romans 7:20. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
It might sound like Paul is making an excuse for his sin – “It wasn’t me…it was the sin inside of me.”
But that’s not what Paul is doing at all. Instead he’s trying to teach us a very important truth about being a Christian – we have two competing powers inside of us. The power of sin and the power of the Holy Spirit. The spirit of Jesus.
And which of those two powers do you think is stronger? That’s right Jesus is stronger. But still there will always be times when you follow the sin inside of you instead of the Jesus inside of you. That’s the bad news. But the good news is that Jesus is always with you and with Jesus you don’t have to choose to sin – Paul will talk more about that in Romans chapter 8.
For now, we need to know that even though we are Christians, sin is still inside of us. And it can be very controlling at times. In fact, for Christians there is an ongoing battle raging in our hearts between sin and righteousness, between good and evil.
But sin is not your true self. Jesus is. Sin is in you but it doesn’t control you. Jesus does. Sin is in you but it can’t keep you from choosing to love God and love others. Sin is in you but it cannot condemn you (make you guilty before God). Why? Because Jesus has paid for all your sin and set you free from all of sin’s guilt. Jesus is stronger than sin. He conquered it when he died and rose again. And one day he will completely conquer sin in your heart too.
Because of Jesus the sin inside of us cannot defeat us.
With Jesus we don’t have to sin.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
One of the most important things you can talk about with your children is this internal battle that they will constantly feel as a Christian – the battle between the power of internal sin and the internal life of Jesus.
The movie Megamind is a good one to illustrate the internal battle between wanting to be selfish and wanting to help others.
You live inside me battling against sin for me. Help me to choose you over sin. And when I fail, help me to know that you have already forgiven and cleansed me.
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