Battle of the Mind

Introduction

It is obvious that mankind has been struggling generation after generation to get rid of sin. People understand the concept of being conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5) without any effort while unable to digest the truth of being sanctified and saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, like Paul is genuinely admitting the battle of his mind, (Romans 7:19-20) no one else is genuine in accepting the real state of their own minds.

Acceptance of our condition and repentance are two essential factors for obtaining forgiveness. To get rid of sin we must understand our sovereign God in a wholesome manner.

Origin of good, evil and sin

From where has sin emerged? Who has created it? Has sin appeared on its own? The dictionary defines ‘sin’ as an immoral act against God. Sin is an abstract noun, an intangible thing, a concept or an idea of the human mind. Sin doesn’t exist on its own but always relies on the concepts of the mind for survival. According to the Bible, the concept of sin at first was formulated in Eve’s mind and because of her own concept, she was induced by the serpent to act immorally against God.

But now, who has laid down a line to denote an act as moral or immoral? The answer for this question is definitely God. In Genesis, God planted trees in the garden of Eden and told Adam not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

In the beginning, God did not want to burden mankind by giving us the knowledge for discerning good and evil and thereby making concepts. He created righteous people and wanted them to remain righteous forever. As He created them in His image, He gave them the free will to develop constructive concepts.

God has created good things to provide comfort to mankind. But God also created evil while creating the good. When He created light, He also created darkness. This evil and darkness is not created for the righteous but for the wicked ones to formulate concepts for the day of destruction (Proverbs 16:4). As the creator, God has control over good and evil.

I form the light and create darkness,
    I bring prosperity and create disaster;
    I, the Lord, do all these things. – Isaiah 45:7 (NIV)

Our efforts to abstain from sin fail

The more we try to abstain from sin, the more we will indulge in it. The Bible has transparency in recording the lives of the characters who have led a sinful life and later became righteous. Every single immoral act of the Bible characters is recorded carefully along with the emotional setbacks that they have caused.

Later, the Bible gives us their account of repentance and salvation. These are given in detail as an example, to encourage us to turn back from our evil ways. Our contemporaries who have been saved from their sinful lives are hesitant to reveal their past mistakes neither do they tell us the sequence of the encounters that they had undergone prior to their salvation. The absence of transparency misleads others to think that the forgiveness of sin is an automatic process, received through rituals like baptism.

Why do we fail in our attempts to get rid of sin?

“In your struggle against sin, you have not resisted to the point of shedding your blood” – Hebrews 12:4

When Jesus has shed His blood for our sins, why do we have to shed our blood? Paul in his letter to the Romans very clearly wrote that,

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” – Romans 5:12

It is a a widely regarded view that as Adam sinned we too are sinning. Though it seems like an automatic adoption, we have brought it upon ourselves by desiring the concept of sin. Likewise, when one man’s righteous act resulted in life for all people, we too must desire for righteousness.

“Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people” – Romans 5:18

Our desire for righteousness should be strong enough that we must be ready to cut off our organs which are leading us towards death. A simple desire like this will give us life. When Abraham desired to sacrifice his son as a symbol of obedience to God, God did not let him kill Isaac.

If we too resist sin to the point of cutting our organs, the desire to become righteous will please God and we won’t lose our organ, instead, we will gain eternal life (Matthew 5:30).

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” – Matthew 16:25

Why did Jesus come to this world?

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and because of the concept of sin, God’s wrath came upon the sinners.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

Why will a simple disobedience of God’s command bring death to mankind? Will simple mistakes cause death sentence to us? Assuming every sin we commit is a simple act against the will of God, we miss out on the gravity of our sin and its consequences.

The below illustration may help us understand the consequence of our acts against God.

In a classroom, a naughty boy injured his classmate with a stone. The teacher asked him to kneel outside the classroom for the entire day. After some months he was up to his old habits and inadvertently hit the principal of his school with a stone. He was dismissed from the school.

After few years, he got into an argument with the local police and tried to force his way by hitting the officer with stones. He was sent to a prison for some years. Soon after coming out of prison, he joined an activist group and while attending one of the rallies of the President, he threw a stone at him in protest but the authoritarian President wanted to set an example and sentenced him to death.

The crime he committed was the same for all four times but the punishment imposed on him was based on the person he committed the crime against. Likewise, even the simple act of disobedience with God, shall invite an eternal death sentence. Now, death is assured but God Himself sent His only Son into this world as a ransom for all mankind. The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Now the way to get rid of sin is through focusing on the unconditional love of God, who gave His Son to give us eternal life.

Jesus suffered in our place and bore the wrath of God. If we ponder upon His sacrificial death, sinning becomes difficult to us.

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