At age 11, I resolved to stop sinning. After all, I knew that God hates sin and Christ saved us from sin. What possible excuse could I have for continuing to sin? By my own estimation, I lasted about a week before things went haywire. I’m sure my sisters would say the time was much shorter!
As Christians, we should be “done with sin” (v. 1). Christ has won the victory. It’s as good as ours. So why do we still sin? Because we’re still work in progress (see 1 John 1:8–10). Sanctification is the part of our salvation journey when we’re on the way to being finally and completely “done with sin.”
Nonetheless, there should be a startling contrast between our old and new lives. Our old lives were built around “evil human desires.” Now we live for the “will of God” (v. 2). In our old lives, we wasted time on sins such as sexual immorality, drunkenness, and idolatry (v. 3). People will be surprised at our new lives and the changes in our behavior. They might “heap abuse” on us for not joining them in our former sinful behaviors (v. 4).
If they don’t trust in Christ, they will be the ones surprised on the Day of Judgment (v. 5). They will be held accountable for their sin and pay the just penalty of death (Rom. 6:23). “This is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead” (v. 6). This might sound confusing, but it just means that the gospel was preached to people who were alive but are now dead. They had a chance to receive Christ when they were alive, but that opportunity is now gone (Heb. 9:27). If they did receive Christ, then their spirits are now absent from the body and present with the Lord (see 2 Cor. 5:6–10).
>> Sometimes we get too comfortable with sin. We should long for our sanctification! We encourage you today to make a renewed commitment to Christlikeness.
Reset our minds and attitudes, Father. Without constantly reorienting ourselves to You, our priorities fall into disarray, and we find a million ways to justify living as we please. We live for You, not for ourselves.