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The Illusion of Making Better Choices

July 30, 2019

“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

As long as we believe we can save ourselves, we’ll live under the illusion that being a Christian is basically about making better choices: “Stop the bad stuff; do the good stuff.” We make light of sin when we live as though the power to make that change lies within us.

Sin has power, and its power is deeply rooted in us. What we need is regeneration from the Spirit of God.

Augustine says it so clearly in his Confessions: “The enemy had a grip on my will and so made a chain for me to hold me a prisoner.” Paul says the same thing about our natural condition: “[I was] a prisoner to the law of sin at work within my members” (Rom. 7:23). “Who will deliver me from this?” How do we know that he’s talking about the unregenerate?

Because when you come to Jesus, he sets you free! “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). This is a marvelous promise. It’s more than forgiveness; it’s the promise of power—the Great Physician bringing healing to the soul, new light to the mind, new responsiveness to the heart, and new strength and direction to the will.

You will be free indeed! You are set free from the past by his forgiveness. You are set free for the present by his power. You are set free for the future by his promise of full redemption.

Regeneration puts you in an entirely new position. Sin is still your enemy, but it is no longer your master. The flesh is not what you are; it is what you are fighting against.

React to this, “Being a Christian is basically about making better choices.”

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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