In 1974, 60,000 people watched as two famous boxing champions fought for the heavyweight championship title in Zaire, Africa. In one corner of the ring was George Foreman. His opponent was Muhammad Ali. After eight intense rounds, Muhammad Ali was finally declared the winner, regaining his title as the heavyweight boxing champion. Boxing is not a very ladylike sport for us girls, but it serves a purpose for this post.
Much like boxers tussle with each other in the ring, we as individuals wrestle with sin. Wrong desires. Unkind actions. Hurtful words. And the list goes on and on.
If you have not yet trusted Christ as your Saviour, this pattern of behavior comes naturally to you, and it’s all you know. And even after we become Christians, we still do tug-of-war with our sin nature. We can’t lose our salvation, but we can still choose to do wrong things. It’s part of living in a sin cursed world.
If you’re like me, you can probably find yourself needing to repent of sins again and again on a daily basis. It seems like I’ll never master doing things perfectly each and every time. I do things that I shouldn’t. Lessons I should have learned by now creep up and remind me that I still have much ground to cover in my spiritual maturity.
But, is there ever a point where we have sinned too much? Is there ever anything we could do that God would say, “Now THAT’s enough. I’m not forgiving you this time”?
Not according to 1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive…”
Praise God! The answer is a resounding NO! No matter what you’ve done in the past, or may do in the future, it is impossible to ‘out-sin’ the grace of God. When we mess up, if we will genuinely turn back to God and repent of that sin, He will forgive us. That’s a certainty.
But does that mean it’s okay to sin, as long as we remember to ask for forgiveness later?
Back to the Word: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1-2 KJV) We are called to live our lives in a way that pleases and honors Christ. Sin is unacceptable. It’s why Jesus had to come to die for us on the cross in the first place.
For those of you that are still unsaved, this means you don’t have to receive the punishment for your sins (eternity in hell) when you die. You can choose instead to trust Christ. For us Christians, this means we now CAN live a right life here on earth because we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us helping us become more like Christ. We have the power and grace of God that can now help us to resist and overcome sin instead of “caving in”. But, regardless of our spiritual status, we all still have free choice. And we all still sin. Over and over again.
So, since we know we’ll never grasp sinless perfection, at least not this side of heaven, is there any point in continuing to try to do right? If we’ve established a track record of extreme sin, is there a point where we’re declared utterly hopeless and should just ‘go with it’ since that seems to be where we end up most of the time anyway?
Back to our boxing example. When an opponent falls to the mat, the referee begins counting. As long as the boxer rises to his feet before he reaches 10, he’s still in the round. He still has a ‘fighting’ chance, so to speak. The boxer is only out of the match when he fails to get up.
We may sin. We may sin big time. And that’s not ok. It’s wrong. But don’t reject the forgiveness that is waiting for you. We are only failures when we keep lying on the mat. When we quit and ‘go with the flow’, we’ve abandoned our purpose for being on this earth. And we’ve essentially told God that we believe His grace is just not enough to cover (insert your sin here).
No matter what, don’t quit my friend. Get back up. The round is still open, and it’s still worth fighting for.