Americans celebrate the Fourth of July to remember the freedoms we have, including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to own private property.
While Americans enjoy freedom in several areas, there are other areas where many do not.
- Many are enslaved to addictions.
- Others are under the tyranny of materialism, thinking that having more money and stuff will provide lasting satisfaction.
- Still others struggle with the pain of the past and present, unable to see hope for the future.
The effects of sin can be devastating. The well-known phrase, “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23) not only applies to an eternity separated from God, but also the power sin has on our lives now.
Trying to overcome the power of sin in our own effort can feel like a car stuck in the mud. The more we hit the accelerator, the more the wheels spin and dig the hole deeper making it nearly impossible to move forward.
“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Rom. 7:19).
What we need is a power greater than our own. Just as a car stuck in the mud needs a tow truck, so we need a power greater than our own to overcome the power that sin has over us so we can move forward in life.
We often think of the gospel in terms of the death and resurrection of Jesus providing the remedy for the penalty of sin to those who put their trust in Him, and rightly so.
However, we also need to emphasize that the work of Jesus provides the remedy for the power of sin over our lives.
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11).
When someone trusts Christ, their new relationship with the Lord provides the power they need—the Holy Spirit—to overcome the power of sin in their lives. Does it happen instantaneously? No, but we learn to walk by the Spirit day by day to overcome sin’s influence over our lives.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).
Remember, when you share the gospel, you are not only offering them eternal life in heaven, but eternal life now in a relationship with God that gives them the power to change, to overcome, and to move forward in life in hope toward the plans and purposes God has for them. Now that is a cause to celebrate!