Once I wondered if we could really be free from sin in heaven. It seemed too good to be true.
Have you ever asked yourself why you couldn’t be perfect right now? I have. It is so frustrating to keep doing the sins that you hate!
Why do Christians still sin? Did God make a mistake when He saved us? It seems like He forgot to give us the magic wand that poofs away our sin.
But God didn’t forget; in fact, He planned it this way.
Thorns of Sin
“When Adam sinned, God cursed the ground with thorns. This ancient curse still affects us to this day, but Christ saved us from the thorny trap of sin so that we might be free to love Him…”
In part one of this article series, The Curse of Thorns and the Crown of Thorns, I share how thorns are a picture of sin’s curse. Christ wore the crown of thorns to demonstrate how He took our sin and our curse on Himself. This theme of thorns begins in Genesis and ends with a promise in Revelation. Today we will be looking at the spiritual thorns of sin.
What Is The Condition of Your Soil?
In agriculture, we know that thorny soil tells us that the ground is unhealthy. Crops will not grow in thorny soil because it lacks vital nutrients.
How do we recognise an unhealthy heart? We can find the answer in Matthew 7:16-20,
“You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”
The thorny environment of sin in our hearts chokes out a relationship with our Savior, just like in Jesus’ parable of the Sower and the Seed. Sin is a sign of an unhealthy heart condition; we cannot thrive while living in sin. But we have hope. Jesus is the cure to our sin problem!
“Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:7-9
So how do we recognize a healthy heart? A fruitful heart hears God’s word and obeys. “As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” Mark 4:15
The Seriousness of Sin
Since the day we were born, we are encircled in a thorny trap of sin. The moment we believe and put our trust in Jesus we are set free from this curse. It is a serious thing to continue in sin.
“Be very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God. For if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you, know…. (that) they shall be a snare and a trap for you…and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that the Lord your God has given you.” Joshua 23:11,12a,13b
The danger lies in the fact that sin can seem harmless and easy to control. However, if it is left alone, it will destroy our entire lives.
Do you wonder, “What’s the big deal? This sin isn’t so bad.” Don’t believe the lies. Remember:
- Sin grows.
- Sin always hurts others
- Sin always destroys us
- Sin cannot be controlled
- Sin will be exposed
- Sin kills our intimacy with Christ
Sin in our hearts indicates an unhealthy fear of God. Have you noticed how uncomfortable it is to read your Bible and pray when you are at odds with your sin? You may not realize it but your sin creates a barrier of fear. Adam and Eve were afraid to come to God when they sinned; Jonah ran away. We avoid God, but the solution is to come to Him!
Why Do We Still Sin?
If sin is so serious why do we keep doing it? Now that we are Christians we shouldn’t struggle – right? Have you ever felt you had your sin under control only to find yourself failing again?
Well, I’m going to tell you some bad news; we are actually powerless against sin.
We can hold out against temptation for a little while, but eventually sin’s power overrules our willpower and defeats us.
Sin is just as strong as it has always been and salvation doesn’t change that.
But we have hope because salvation changes our position. We are now in Christ and His power is far above the power of sin.
Here is the secret to being more than a conqueror: dependence on Christ’s strength. Without Him we fail, but with Him we can win every time!
Temptations Can Be Used By God
Each time we sin or struggle we have an opportunity to refocus on Christ and remember our dependency on His strength. He wants us to learn to trust Him, to hope in Him, to lean on Him and to realize His glory. Without sin we could not receive daily grace.
However, don’t use this as an excuse for sin! Rather, recognise the precious relationship we can have with Him as a result of repentance and dependance.
When we repent of sin, we experience His forgiveness and mercy. This is an amazing part of being a child of God. It makes our relationship grow.
When you are forgiven how do you feel? Amazed. Free. Clean. Accepted. Loved. Filled with joy. Overflowing with praise.
Hope To Overcome Sin
Christ wants what is best for us. He wants us to be fruitful and healthy, genuine and honest, but He won’t force us into change. God will only work in a soft and surrendered heart. Be willing.
Are you stuck in a habit of sin or afraid to repent? Don’t allow these feelings to defeat you. It is a good sign when you recognise your sin and don’t want it to stay that way. When you feel the convincing of the Holy Spirit, take action right away:
- Humbly repent and surrender to Christ.
- Ask Him to pull out thorns of sin in your life.
- It is difficult to give up old habits. Keep surrendering.
- Ask Him for a soft and willing heart that desires to love Him and His word.
- Ask Him to cultivate maturity and character in your life.
- Allow Him to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit in your life.
- When you mess up, come back and repent again.
The second you recognize your sin, come to God’s throne and receive forgiveness and a clean start. God will never turn you away or punish you for repenting. In fact, He is waiting to restore you. There may be painful consequences for your sin, but God will be with you through them. It will be so much easier with God than without Him.
The thorns of sin still grow on this Earth. But one day the curse of sin will be dispelled. Christ will restore us to Himself and we will be eternally free.
“No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will worship Him.” Revelation 22:3
Dear Rose, when sin discourages you, repent and depend on Jesus, and remember this promise of heaven given us in Christ.
I can confidently say that in heaven we will be completely free from sin. Doesn’t that fact fill you with joyful anticipation? I can’t wait to worship Him, completely free from every weight of sin.
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
A daughter of the King, Gabriella loves to share the teaching that the Lord has given her through the joys and trials of her life. The desire of her heart is to grow her love, knowledge, and maturity for Christ and the truth found in His Word.