Of Free Will.
Chapter 9, Paragraph 4.
“…yet so as that by reason of his remaining corruptions he doth not perfectly nor only will that which is good; but doth also will that which is evil.”
Ah, the struggle. Changed by Christ we are free to will and do that which is spiritually good, yet find ourselves falling short and sinning every day. Failing for the fifth time, the tenth time, the hundredth time, over and over and over! Frustration, fear, and doubt all sidle up to you in these moments, offering their unwanted advice. “Look at your sin,” they scoff. “Real Christians don’t have this problem. There’s no hope for you.”
While the life of a Christian is sometimes presented as all beaming smiles and living happily ever after, the godliest Christian alive still sins. Every Christian still sins. These sins are not always the “oops, I went 10 miles over the speed limit” type of sins, but even vile, horrid transgressions. To admit otherwise is to deny the remaining corruption of sin that remains in the believer.
If Christians still sin, then, what makes them different than the rest of the world? The difference is this: the Christian is able to will and do good. When convicted of sin, the Christian is sorrowful for their sin, repents of it, and trust the work of Christ for forgiveness. Through reliance on the Holy Spirit, the believer hates sin and grows in godliness. The Christian is never left to wallow in despair, but receives in due time the comfort that only God can bring to her soul. Sin does not define a Christian – Christ does.
So when the struggle seems particularly strong, remember that Christ has saved you from this body of death. He who began this good work in you will complete it. Don’t harden your heart to prove yourself never called in the first place. Repent, humble yourself, and lean on Christ for a “more constant dependence for their support, upon Himself” (LBCF 5.5).
Questions to Consider
- Do you ever think that Christians are perfect?