Sin Management

I spent over 40 years in sin management, trying to overcome the evil that lies close at hand. I thought if I just tried harder, I would become a righteous person. I was raised in a denomination of rules that held me captive. I’d miss church one Sunday and think, “why bother going again?” I’d already sinned, again. Honor thy father and mother is a tough one for an eight year old, but sometimes even for a thirty-year old. I’d sin, I’d confess, and be resolute in my conviction to not sin again. But, again, I would sin. I’d be racked with guilt that I wasn’t strong enough to overcome my desires.

Rev. Malone explained Romans 7 with a statement from Martin Luther: Simil Justus et Peccator or “Righteous and at the same time a sinner.”

The Bible teaches us to focus not on ourselves and our sins, but instead to focus on Jesus Christ.  In Colossians 3:1-2 (ESV) we learn: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Paul reminds us in Romans 8:1-11 that God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could never do. By sending his own Son, He condemned sin in the flesh and justified us. Jesus has already defeated sin; if we don’t accept this we are attempting to decrease Jesus’ grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10-“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

I’ve finally learned the unforced rhythm of grace. I am a sinner, and will continue to be a sinner, but at the same time I am redeemed by the grace and mercy of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The more I know myself, the more I understand that the “whole life of believers should be repentance.” I’ve stopped trying to “manage my sins”, deluding myself that I have the strength to overcome them. I recognize that we are all weak sinners; we’ll never overcome sin in our lives with sheer willpower alone. Because I have been named godly by Jesus Christ, I no longer desire to sin, but instead I want to go out and do good works to honor God.

It is only through God’s grace and power that we are made righteous; His power is made perfect in our weakness.

Blessings, my friend,


(Excerpts from the sermon, “Simil Justus et Peccator” by Rev. Malone Gilliam, July 3, 2011, St George’s Episcopal Church, Nashville, TN)


Sin Management-(click here for MP3 file)