What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. —Romans 6:1–4
For the past number of weeks scientists have been working around the clock in search for a way to treat the symptoms of COVID19. They are also and working on a vaccination. These are ways of dealing with a disease. The third and best solution for illness is an antidote, which counteracts, or cures the illness.
Strangely enough, there still is no cure, or antidote, for the common cold. All we can do is treat the symptoms. Runny nose, sore through, headache, sinus pressure, stomach ache, and the list of symptoms go on. Pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars every year in cold medicine that doesn’t cure the cold, but simply alleviates some of the symptoms. When it comes down to it all we can do is wait for the cold to go away. The reality is, however, that if you cure it, the symptoms go away on their own. Cold medicine companies would go out of business should someone find a cure to the common cold.
A lot of people wrongly think that Christianity is about treating the symptoms of sin. It’s not. At the heart of the Christian message is the cure for sin; the antidote.
Christianity is not about trying your hardest to keep your sin under control while waiting for death and heaven. So many think that weekly church services, Bible study, Communion, and other means of grace are simply “sin symptom treatments.” This isn’t he case. These activities get us into the presence of God which cures sin.
Christianity is about inheriting the gift of eternal life of knowing God that starts now. The cure of sin is reconciliation with God. This is what Christianity offers. Christians who are united with the Trinity through faith are living out the cure for sin. Those walking faithfully and fully in the life of Jesus will find the symptoms of sin dying off through the sanctification process.
Some symptoms of sin die immediately and others take time. This is what sanctification is all about: the gradual working out of the cure of the disease of sin through the work of the Holy Spirit. During the Christian life the antidote (life with God) is working to gradually purify us from the pervasive disease leading to death. This means that we should always be getting better! The symptoms of sin should become less and less as the cure pervades us.
Furthermore, we too often think that sin is limited to behaviors and this just isn’t the case. Sin isn’t about not lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, and committing adultery (among a whole host of other prohibitions). Nor is it solely about tithing, doing evangelism, studying the Bible, going to church, and going on mission trips. Sin reaches down to the level of our thoughts, attitudes and emotions, as Jesus points out in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. Stepping into the resurrection life of Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit doesn’t just get us to stop sinning, it changes our very nature. This is what the death, burial and resurrection of Christ is all about. It’s about an entirely new start; a new nature; a new you; a resurrected, newly created life. We leave behind our sin nature and take on the nature of Christ.
Don’t just treat the symptoms of sin with an elaborate sin management program, consume the antidote for sin. Know God through Jesus and get healed.