What's Your Goal?

Eric Russ

Have you lost sight behind why you don't sin? Are you teaching others unintentionally the wrong motivation behind holiness?

We can often think to ourselves, "will I ever stop being tempted sexually?"  "Will I ever stop acting out of anger?" " Will I ever stop lying, will I ever stop being passive?" The answer to our questions like these will reveal if we are learning and training others to live motivated by grace or motivated by our will. I talk to guys all the time and have been guilty of thinking, " When I finally conquer this sin then I can…."  We can also find ourselves thinking that when we do sin all we have done is for nothing and we have to start from scratch. 

This thinking implies that the goal of the Christian life is to stop sinning. This thinking implies that a successful Christian life is to conquer sin. Obviously, Christ tells us to be holy for he is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). We are to surely pursue holiness as we image God and enjoy him. However, notice that the goals in the paragraph above had no mention of Jesus. That is the tragedy. Quickly in the Christian life our daily task can be to get through the day not committing any of our addictive sins. And if we are really good, we actually try to take on the task to conquer even our desires that are unholy.

This can easily be our thinking if we are not intentionally challenged to remember the evidence of grace in our life. Remember to train your disciple's that the goal, the treasure, the focus, is always Christ and what he has done, not what we do after. Here are a few tips to make sure we are thinking rightly about our goal as Christians and the place of sin in our life.

1. Make sure you explain the difference between having a desire versus gratifying a desire. Many times people think having and gratifying a sinful desire are synonymous but that is untrue. The scriptures do not teach that you will never be tempted by sin or "have a sinful desire." Rather the Bible teaches (Galatians 5:16) that we do not have to nor is it God's will to gratify those desires. This is important because many of us cave in thinking we are already in sin because our old sin nature rises up and tries to lie to us, telling us that it is alive and well. However, I must say again, to have a sinful desire and yet not act on it is victory as we fight sin and trust Jesus to live out of our new nature. 

2. Make sure you explain and live, and explain and live, and explain and live the doctrine of grace. (Please see document 'Doctrine of Grace' on our Resource page)

3. Make sure you spend a lot of time and prayer on the subject matter of our position in Christ versus our condition in life (Please see document 'Position and Condition' on our Resource page)

We must teach our men and women to hate sin.  But instead of focusing on sin, our main gaze must always be Jesus.


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