While preparing for the Maundy Thursday service, I went digging for a quote from Sinclair Ferguson in his book By Grace Alone. I found quite a bit more appropriate for an addictions group I meet with.
I thought of 3 different things: Unrealistic Expectations, The Agenda of the Enemy and the Agenda of the Father. I’ll cover these in 3 different posts. So let’s start with the first of these.
“When a person is delivered from an addiction, the effects remain and the ‘pull’ of the old life lingers on. Constant vigilance is essential. It is exactly the same with ‘addiction’ to sin (and we are all by nature addicts to sin in one form or another). The addiction is broken so that its energy no longer dominates our lives. We no longer want the old way, it is not part of the family life we now enjoy. But while we no longer want the old way, we are not finally delivered from its ongoing influence. Increasingly sanctified we may be, but we are not yet glorified. We are free from sin’s cruel dominion, but we are not yet free from its seductive presence. So we battle against its influence for the rest of our lives.”
We often suffer from unrealistic expectations with regard to our sin, especially when we are repenting of an addiction. Jesus has delivered us from the penalty of sin and the power of sin. But not from the practice of sin, yet.