The Sin Dog

One of the amazing things that happened to you and me when we embraced the gospel message of Jesus Christ was the beginning of a new relationship with sin.  In short, sin no longer has dominion over us.  Sin is no longer our master.  We are no longer slaves to sin (Rom 6).  (For a 7-page pdf commentary by Jay on Romans chapters 5-8 explaining the biblical basis for this concept click here.)

As for this post, let me summarize our new relationship with sin with this illustration.  Prior to our conversion, sin was the Great Dane in our life that bowls us over and flattens us every time we come home.  We hear him on the other side of the door and sure enough everytime we open it, he pounces.  Soon we are pinned under his paws.  The unbeliever has no power to resist.  Why is this so?  Because our very nature is to sin.  Both the sin nature we inherited from our father, Adam, and the sinful acts we commit enslave us.  Who will set us free from the Great Dane of sin?

Thanks be to God who sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to win our freedom.  Christ’s death on the cross delivered us not only from the penalty of sin, but from its power as well.  His death secured not just a future “not guilty”, but a present day “not enslaved.”  After our conversion, God takes up residence in our lives through the indwelling Holy Spirit and the sin nature that controlled us is relegated to small potatoes.  Our sin is now the Chihuahua that we can kick to the sidelines when it nips at our heels.  (I apologize to all you dog lovers, but this picture helps me visualize the struggle with sin and what changed at our conversion.)

The sin nature has not been eradicated, just robbed of its power.  The Chihuahua can still have a nasty bite.  The Chihuahua can still be a pesky character.  In fact, to take the illustration even further based on Chihauhuas I’ve known, it may even think it is still in charge.  But this is not the case.  And while the nature of sin has not changed (it is still a dog), its power has been greatly diminished.

Are you experiencing this freedom from the power of sin or is there a disconnect between the promises of God and your own experience with sin?  Are you living the victorious life God advertises under the New Covenant?  If not, is God’s advertisement false, or do we not understand the advertisement correctly, or is there something missing in our experience?

I am a stickler for truth in advertising.  Misleading advertising drives me crazy.  I have to know, “What kind of life is God advertising for those who have embraced His gospel message?  Taking the New Testament as a whole, from Matthew to Revelation, it appears to me the advertisement is a life set free from the dominion and power of sin.  Let’s not “water down” the advertisement due to our lack of experience.  Rather than looking for a way to diminish the promise of the new birth, let us by faith embrace the promises and ask God to lift our experience to who He says we are.  Will you join me?

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5 Responses to The Sin Dog

  1. William Brown says:

    Call it the dog-gone Christian life.

  2. William Brown says:

    OK. I’m cheating here but a FB friend recently posted the following links and articles concerning Romans 7. I haven’t yet read all of them but thought I would throw it out there for you reading enjoyment.

    Adrian Warnock takes issue with John Piper on Romans 7:
    http://adrianwarnock.com/2008/06/disagreeing-with-piper-over-man-in/

    The Early Church’s View and the Use of the Historical Present Tense in Romans 7:
    http://sermon.net/PuritanFellowship/sermonid/196309/type/audio

    “Living Under Grace” [excerpts from Michael Eaton’s book on Romans 6-7]:
    http://defleuriot.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/eatonm-romans7-2010.pdf

    Lloyd-Jones on Romans 7:
    http://www.gospeltruth.net/ljrom7.htm (not a recommendation of this “pro-Charles Finney” site). You might read L-J’s “Conclusion” first to get an overview of his arguments.

    “Paul’s Dual View of the Law & Paul’s View of Redemptive History” by Jon Zens:
    http://gospelpedlar.com/articles/Christian%20Life/Zens/st_7.html

  3. Anniebells says:

    Get behind me, chihuahua!
    Thanks Dad, great word picture for those of us who think that way.

  4. Matthew Dorin says:

    Great analogy! I guess the next question is… How does knowing this truth give us strength to not continue in the recurring sin that so easily besets us?

  5. Jay Lehman says:

    Yes Matthew, we can do all kinds of theorizing and theologizing but where the rubber meets the road is just what you asked, “How does this apply to the recurring or besetting sins we all face?” So far we have only been laying the foundation of our new identity, and Lord willing, we will get to some application ideas soon.

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