I hung my head as I walked towards the altar. I was so touched by the sermon. I asked myself, “When would I stop rededicating my life?, I need to finally surrender. God change me…” The questions had turned to silent prayers in my heart. I entered the small room by the side of the altar where some people were waiting to pray with me. I wasn’t the only one who answered the altar call that day. Myself and some other children were regular customers, then there were a few new faces in the room though.
When it was my turn, the woman asked me why I keep coming back and she told me if I had given my life to Christ, all I needed to do was repent and turn away from my old ways and acts. I told her how I keep going back to my sins and how I really want to change. I told her how that I had even just given my life to Christ this morning at home again only to get to church and fall into sin again.
In her concern, she asked me, “Which sin was that?” “I opened my eyes during prayers…” I blurted out as tears rolled out of my eyes. I was overwhelmed by the number of my wrong doings (which were a lot at that time: mostly troublesome acts of a child) so much that the guilt never allowed me enjoy fellowship with God.
She stooped down to my level and held me and whispered, “That isn’t a sin, my dear. If you have given your life to Christ, You don’t need to be so conscious of what you do wrong. The God in you would help you live right...”
I was seven at that time but that was the first time I was hearing about such. I was so scared of hell and Satan and falling into sin that for a long time, I never understood the work of Christ for and in me. As I grew in God, God helped me and showed me how that sin consciousness is a major reason why I keep falling into sin.
I tried to coin a definition for sin consciousness, I defined it as when one is so conscious of sin than they are of the life of God in them. They are always objects of guilt-tripping in the devil’s hands. Even after receiving God’s forgiveness, they themselves do not forgive themselves and for a long time, they feel as though they have failed God and God would never forgive them.
Truly and honestly, it is not a fun state of mind. For me, the overwhelmingly sad thing is that more than ever with sin consciousness reigning in your mind, you keep falling. That is because Christ and Christ alone is Him who is able to save a man from sin. It is faith in Him that keeps a man and justifies him before God (Rom 5:1) We are not sufficient enough to keep ourselves. The way to keep yourself is by looking unto Jesus (Heb 12:1).
Focusing on Jesus births Christ-like attributes in you. Mind you, you can’t be focused on sin and Jesus at the same time. So you have to guard your hearts and the thoughts you allow in. It has to be a deliberate action: Focusing on the finished work of Christ.
I should say at this point that it is important to note that beyond the actions, sin is a nature.That is why by one man’s sin (Adam), sin was birthed into the world. And like the psalmist wrote, “…in sin did my mother conceive me..” Meaning even a child born into the world today is born into sin! Now, you see that it is beyond the action because the child couldn’t possibly have done anything wrong.
So understand this: Sin is a nature. That is why when Bro Paul would write to the church in Corinth to correct them of some things that were obviously wrong, he didn’t refer to them as sinners, he called them saints! Because that is who we are in Christ Jesus. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We are justified by faith, not by works lest anyone should boast. That is why it is called a gift. If it was to be earned by your dos and don’t-dos, then it would be salary or pay-slip. But no, it is a gift and that’s why I would forever be grateful!
So when the devil comes to overwhelm you with guilt and sin consciousness, be quick to remind him of who you are and reassure your heart. The handwriting of ordinances that was against you, Jesus has nailed to the cross, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.
You are forgiven(past tense), forever loved! God has said that he would remember your sins no more and that as far as the east is from the west, that’s how far he has taken your sins away from you. In this, rejoice and be glad! All of these promises of God abound in the bible. Take time to read it and meditate on it. Say it out to yourself. Pray for understanding as Paul prayed in Ephesians Chapter 1. When you fully understand the depth, height and width of God’s love, never again would you feel worthless or guilt trip yourself for things done or left undone.
As you guard your heart, guard the windows that lead to your heart. Don’t watch or listen to things that exalt sin above the work of Christ. Sin and his senior brother, death has been defeated over two thousand years ago on the cross. You actually have the power to live above sin because of your faith in Jesus. Surround yourself with books, movies, songs, and people that would help focus more on Jesus. Focus on HIM.
In 2 Corinthians 3:18, we see how that as we behold, we are being changed/transformed into His image. We become more Christ-like as we behold Him, stop focusing on your sins. My brothers and sisters, we have just few decades to spend on earth, we cannot afford to be sad during this time. No! We can’t be wallowing in sin consciousness, self-pity, guilt and their other family members. God’s overwhelming victory is enough to keep us rejoicing and joyful all day long, all year long and for the rest of our lives.
Finally, note, on the cross, the wrath of God was satisfied. For the man in Christ, God is no longer angry with you. God is pleased with you because you believe in His son. Yes, we may fall, but we don’t remain there… because we no longer have that nature. We have the nature of God. Even though a sheep falls into the mud as he follow his shepherd, he doesn’t become a pig. He still is a sheep and when he rises, he shakes off the dirt. The ones he cant shake off, his shepherd lovingly washes it off. That’s how it is with God and his children. It is not about our actions… It is more about our nature, the nature of God.
This isn’t in anyway a license to live anyhow. In fact, if you truly grasp the depth of Jesus’ sacrifice, sin would become detestable to you. Honestly, we have been made for good works and good works we shall exhibit as we live this life. If you fall, get up quickly… run back to the Father. He is able to help you back on track and when he says you are forgiven (as He does in His word), believe that you are and act like you are.