Ridding your life of sin is not an easy thing. Our very natures are corrupt. Our basest desires fly in the face of God's perfect and righteous nature. As people who are saved by grace, we have been forgiven and freed from the bondage of sin. However, while we are justified in God's sight at salvation, we will continue to sin after that moment of salvation until our lives end here on earth.
At the moment of salvation, then, begins the beautiful and challenging work of sanctification or becoming holy. What does it look like to become holy? Well, God is the standard of holiness. To become holy is to become like God, free from sin.
So long as we are human we will not be completely perfect. That is where grace comes in. In the absence of perfection, grace is necessary. Our imperfections cause us to daily fall at the feet of Christ. We must constantly be repenting from our failure to meet God's standard. And though this can be discouraging, His mercies are new every morning.
Although we receive grace, we should not keep on sinning deliberately in the face of such a gift. To have a life completely characterized by sin is opposite to the message of the gospel. We need to examine ourselves and pray for conviction of our areas of weakness.
Sometimes it seems far better to continue on in the comfort of sin than to undertake the task of giving it up. Yet, to continue on in the same pattern means resisting the good work of Christ in our lives. To resist the work of Christ means a distancing of ourselves from God. There is no place as dark and lonely as to be caught in sin and far from Him. As we pray that our areas of rebellion against God would be exposed, we will become increasingly aware of where we are still not yet surrendered.
God gradually opens our eyes to the places where we still need to cut out the disease of sin. Although it would be overwhelming to see all of our wickedness at once, our Father is gracious and gentle not to burden us at once with the full weight of our shortcomings.
From conviction, action must come also. To be convicted only is not enough. Leaving behind the passions of our former ignorance, we must pray in repentance and then resolve to live differently. This is not a pain-free process. To kill the sin in our lives may often feel like it will kill us too. Yet, a life surrendered is a life that contains a fullness of joy experienced through closeness and communion with Christ.
We are weak. While we are responsible for turning from our old ways and looking to Christ, sanctification is only possible through the help God. He has redeemed us and will be faithful to complete the work He has begun. For the believer, that is good news indeed.