We all deal with sin on a daily basis. We all deal with our past mistakes and issues. God wants to remove the sin from our lives so that we can live in harmony with Him. It’s easy to be more focused on what we’ve done wrong instead of looking towards how we can move past the problem. The truth is that God is more concerned about us being freed of sin than He is about the sin we’ve committed. We let the guilt of the things we’ve done wrong hang over us and hold us back from being everything we’re called to be. God wants to clean house and help you be free from sin, you just have to let him. In the book of John we see a story where Jesus is more worried about someone being free from sin than the sin they just committed.
John 8:1-11 (MSG)
8 1-2 Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.
3-6 The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
6-8 Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.
9-10 Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”
11 “No one, Master.”
“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”
What we see Jesus do in this passage is incredible. If you were in the woman’s shoes and you had been the one that the Pharisees brought to Jesus, you might have expected Jesus to condemn you for what you’ve done. Jesus does the opposite, he silences the Pharisees and tells the woman to go and sin no more. He is less concerned about the sins we’ve committed and more concerned about us being free of sin!
Being free of sin is a constant process in our lives. If you’re battling addiction and old habits, they won’t be broken easily. We must continually allow God to “clean house” to keep living without sin. Just like keeping a house clean, the small things that build up can turn into bigger issues in the future. It’s one thing to have piles of mail on the counter, but it starts to become a problem when you store boxes in the oven. Sin in your life may be like a pile of mail; it’s not a big deal and it’s easy to clean up right now, but if it isn’t addressed it can become a bigger issue and clutter will take over. Once a house is cluttered it is more difficult and overwhelming to clean.
We need to allow God to clean the house but we must follow through and keep the house clean. Follow through is not just doing what you set out to do, but it is also doing what it takes to keep it from coming back. We have to clean house and maintain it. We have to let go of our sin and the guilt that comes with it. We don’t take trash out to the dumpster and then bring it back inside the house in our physical homes. Trash belongs outside, not inside. It’s the same in our hearts, when God cleanses our hearts we need to leave the trash outside and not bring it back in. The way you keep trash out is by maintaining the clean house. You can maintain by renewing your mind with the word of God and spending time in His presence.
The only way you can let go of your sin and truly be set free is to let Jesus Christ have full run of the house. 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Who the Son sets free is free indeed, is freed through and through but He has to have full run of the house. The way we allow God to keep our house clean is by keeping Him first and renewing our minds with His word.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!
Chad Ketcher is the Forward youth pastor at Word of Life. Forward meets every Wednesday night at 7 pm for 6th-12th Graders