Free from sin
Hebrews 12:1-2 1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, 2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
The next step to running the race that is set before us is to get rid of the sin that so cleverly entangles us. Reading this we might have a tendency to think, “I’m ok on this one. I don’t have any big sins in my life”. However we have to examine our hearts. Even if we are not stealing, killing, committing adultery etc… are there things in our lives that we need to correct? Do we talk badly about other people? Do we judge the motives of other’s hearts? Do we neglect to walk in love? Even if we are not involved in “big sin”, there are probably things we need forgiveness for on a regular basis. I know for me personally there are many times I speak, even when I felt in my heart not to say it, and immediately have to repent. Every one of us has the opportunity to sin every day, and most of us almost certainly do. Even the apostle Paul said in Romans 7:18-20 18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.] 19For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing. 20Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it [it is not myself that acts], but the sin [principle] which dwells within me [fixed and operating in my soul]. If that great man of God had trouble doing what he knew was right, how much more will we wrestle with right choices and decisions?
Paul wrote more about sin in Romans 6. The whole chapter is great and I encourage you to read it on your own. It talks about how we have dominion over the sin that tries to trip us up. But I will highlight a couple of verses for you. Verses 6-7 say 6We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. 7For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men]. This shows us that sin has no power over us. Verse 11 says 11Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus. We have to see ourselves as being dead to sin. Once we get a revelation that we are free from sin, we will be better able to resist it when it comes.