Monday, January 30, 2012

The Holy Spirit and Sin

In the sermon, "Do I Have It?," I wrote, "Our sin cannot be in the same room with the spirit—it cannot be in the same body. The weaker one is burned away, and the Holy Spirit is not weak." Now, because of Adam's original sin, we are inherently sinful. Even St. Paul said in Romans 6 that he himself is sinful by nature and does what he does not want to do. How can the Holy Spirit inhabit our sinful bodies if they are full of sin and the Holy Spirit cannot be in the same "room" with sin? No one is free of sin. The answer lies with grace. Just as when the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts through God's mercy and grace, so, too, the Holy Spirit remains in the same body with sin, constantly forgiving and constantly repairing the damage we do to ourselves through God's mercy and grace. When the Holy Spirit is in us, we are not immediately sinless, and we will never be completely sinless until the next world, but the transformative power of the Holy Spirit is working throughout our lives. As, I wrote earlier in the same paragraph: "The Holy Spirit is a transforming spirit. It is not merely enlightening or comforting. The spirit changes us into the image of God. We thirst to be like him and to cast off sin. When we get the Holy Spirit, our destructive lifestyles are cast away." This not an immediate or complete transformation, but it is noticeable. As John says in his first letter, if we say we do not sin, we are liars, but also if we say we love God and our lives are just depraved and rotten as they were before we met Him, then we are liars, too. We are not going to be perfect by any means, but there will be noticeable fruits of our walk with God, and noticeable fruits of the indwelling Spirit working on destroying our sins as we commit them and forgiving them.