I am an addict. There is no doubt about it—Drew Berding is an addict. I’ve been an addict as long as I can remember. In fact, I was born in addict. My mother was an addict so I became an addict as a fetus in her womb. 1 It’s a terrible condition. My cravings are irresistible. I try so hard to resist, but then I fail. Over and over I fail. It seems like a hopeless situation. I don’t want to give into these cravings but my body has overpowering urges. “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” 2
Yes, my addiction is sin. So is yours. We are all addicted to sin. Small ones and gross ones.
It is so much stronger than alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography addiction, nicotine addiction, etc. No amount of medication or psychotherapy can free us from it. There is no Alcoholics Anonymous for sin. There is only one solution. As the apostle Paul said: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” 3
It seems that in this life we will always have the old man (what Paul calls the flesh) and we will not be free of it until we die physically. But in the meantime, it is our free choice whether we will serve the flesh or whether we will serve our loving God. 4 I know I will occasionally fail — perhaps even frequently. Because we are human, we cannot live the sinless life even in the power of the Holy Spirit since we are free to make that choice and we often make the wrong choice and succumb to temptation. Jesus is the only one who ever lived a sinless life. 5 But it is so assuring to know that I am forgiven and my sin is not counted against me because He paid for it.
Does that give us an excuse to sin? No way! In Romans 6:15 it says: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!” Jesus has freed us from the mandatory obligation to sin, 6 so out of response to His incredible love, we should eagerly7 choose to do and be that which pleases Him. As we more and more consistently make good choices to serve Him, we will be transformed more and more into His image.8 What a beautiful goal!
Photo by Ksenia Yakovleva
- Ps 51:5, Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
- Rom 7:24
- Rom 7:25
- Rom 6:19, For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
- Heb 4:15, For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
- Rom 6:2, May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
- Rom 5:11, And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
- 2 Cor 3:18, But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.