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Yes, Christians Can Commit Heinous Sin
This is why we need a walkie-talking prayer.
This is part 11 in our devotional series, Teach Us to Pray.
“Deliver us from evil.” — Matthew 6:13
Yes, Christians can commit heinous sin.
Sometimes, I think we overrate ourselves.
Remember, the penalty of the flesh has been destroyed. But not the presence. Not yet.
Do not be shocked when a Christian — especially if you are that Christian — does something really dumb. And rebellious. And sinful.
Jesus doesn't call us to flex will-power but to cry out for deliverance.
Remember what he said about “apart from me you can do nothing”?
Nothing means nothing. Not a little, or some. Nothing.
In other words, moral will power = no power.
Let’s at least get that one down. 🙂
Now, for a couple points of theology to help us understand why we can be positionally righteous and functionally unrighteous. 👇
Initial (positional) deliverance is justification.
This just in from the Westminster Shorter Catechism:
“Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in his sight, (but) only (because of) the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, (which is) received by faith alone.”
Shorter answer. Justification is to be forgiven of sin and declared as righteous as Jesus.
This is a one-time declaration. It’s an irrevocable status.
Ongoing (continual) deliverance is sanctification.
Also from the Shorter Catechism:
“Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.”
Short answer. Sanctification is loving like Jesus by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
This is an ongoing work in the believer’s life. Why? Because the presence and power of the flesh remains.
So, we pray, "Deliver us from evil."
This is the walkie-talking on the front line of the battle prayer.
You have no doubt that the enemy is near and has you in his sights.
In this prayer, you call in air power to protect you from both external evil and internal evil.
Because you know internal evil exists, you don’t underestimate the power of the flesh or your capacity to commit heinous sin.
No, evil can’t affect your positional justification. No way. That was secured when Jesus cried out on the cross, “It is finished!”
But sin isn’t only wrong; it’s painful. Like a colorful lure that looks so good. Until you feel the barb on the hook.
So, you pray — we pray — for so many reasons, “Deliver us from evil.”
We can be grateful that in the ultimate sense, he has, through the cross.