Summary: Have a sin you cannot overcome? Stop trying to defeat sin. The root cause of our sin is our heart. Deal with the heart, deal with the sin.
Try as she will, Karen could not overcome a certain sin.
She knew it was wrong, she knew it hurt others, she knew it hurt her reputation, but it was as if she turned around, and there is was that sin again. Now, there were times that she would go for days, even weeks, where she would not even be tempted to commit this sin – but then, it would pop right back into her life, and she was, back at square one.
She prayed about it. She kept a journal about it. She confessed it to others to help her work through it. She even swore an oath, determined that this would never happen again…but the next thing she knew, there it was again. The longer she worked on overcoming this sin the clearer the principle of overcoming sin became to her: The more persistently we try to conquer sin, the more persistent the sin becomes – the harder we try to overcome a sin the more difficult it becomes to overcome the sin.
Finally, Karen gave up trying to conquer this sin, she came to realize, nothing that she could do would make this thing go away. She went on with life, doing her best to hide her sin, lying about it, covering it up, denying its existence in her life, hoping no one would notice.
Karen fell into the trap that many Christians fall into: She attempted to live the crucified life.
Karen was right about one thing though, she would never be able to conquer the sin in her life, she would never be able to overcome the sin in her life. Never.
Is Karen now lost to live this shadow of a Christian life forever? Is Karen sentenced to entrapment by this sin for the rest of her life? How in the world can Karen live a life that is real and step out of this world of lies, cover ups and denials?
Paul, in our Scripture this morning, shows us not only who we are in Christ, Paul shows us how to break out of the cycle of failure in dealing with sin we all fall into. Paul shows us that we need to stop living life like we always had in the past and live our new life in a new way in the person of Jesus Christ.
Let’s start with verse 20, which is the key to this passage.
Gal. 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
With your bibles open, let’s take apart this verse.
Let’s start with a basic question, who does Paul say has been crucified? Are you looking there at verse 20?
Jesus has been crucified AND you, also been crucified. What does Paul mean by this?
When Jesus dies on the cross and then is resurrected, what is the purpose of his death and resurrection? Is it to solve the problems in my life? Is it to make my life better? Is it to make sure I never have health problems? Is it to make sure I never get divorced or is it to make sure I never have financial failure? No, how shallow would that be?
Jesus Christ dies and then rises from the grave to defeat sin.
I know what haunts you in your life?
We sin and others sin against us, and things go from bad to worse in our lives…..well, I don’t have to explain it, you experience sin in your life. Sin destroys us, it defeats us, it ruins relationships, it ruins dreams, it ruins our peace, it causes us to worry, it keeps us awake at night, it causes us to fail – And we cannot, let me repeat, we cannot overcome this sin. Humans never have been able to overcome sin, and they never will.
We cannot overcome sin but, Jesus Christ has defeated sin.
Remember, Jesus’ action on the cross is effective outside the dimension of time; Jesus’ death and resurrection, his defeat of sin, is effective past, present and future. It is effective against the all sin humanity has ever committed, and ever will commit. Jesus’ one time action is effective for all time.
Paul tells us, and he is referring to we who are Christians, we who have given our life over to Jesus Christ, Paul tells us that we who are Christians have been crucified with Christ. In effect, what Paul means is that our sin, the sin we have in our lives, this sin has been dealt with, it has been overcome, put away, taken a side and left to die.