Strachan: God’s Enabling Mercy

One of the most powerful acts one can witness is a person rejecting sin. We were not made as beasts, after all. We are not animals, mere slaves to our appetites. God created us and made us for himself. Though we have fallen from the Lord, from the lofty heights of Eden, we have tremendous dignity and worth. We were not made for this fallen earth; we were made for heaven.

As believers, by the “mercy” of God, we “reject the sin” that beckons to us. This is not a virtuous act that we provide for ourselves; all our forgiveness and all our standing with God comes from his kindness. But his mercy is an enabling mercy. When tempted, we have the power to turn away from evil. It has no hold over us. Clearly, God wants sin to suffer defeat to the fullest possible extent. He meets the perfect demands of his justice through the blood of Christ—so he achieves “satisfaction,” as Jonathan Edwards puts it. God forgives us through “repentance,” offering “pardon” to the penitent. And he gives us the ability to scorn unrighteousness. Sin is not merely wounded on our behalf; it is routed. Put to flight.

We have the opportunity today to show a watching world that God is vindicated and Satan is cast down. Let us not manage our iniquity today, moving it around from one account to the next, trimming a bit here and there. Let us own the power of Calvary. Let us glorify God by rejecting the sin that seeks to entangle and choke us. All around us, people give in to their lusts and base appetites. But we are not spiritual animals. God has redeemed us, and God has freed us from the power of sin. We are conquerors.

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (Romans 16:20)

-Owen Strachan, Always in God’s Hands: Day by Day in the Company of Jonathan Edwards, 296

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