Cinnamon Rolls And Jesus
“I just can’t resist myself.” That’s what the lady in front of me at the coffee shop said to me this morning as she took a large cinnamon roll that the woman behind the counter was handing her. I'm not sure why she felt the need to say anything. One look at me will tell you that I enjoy a good cinnamon roll as much as anyone else, so there was no judgment coming from me!
I smiled and said, “Looks good!”, and then stepped up to order my coffee. As I waited for my order, I kept thinking about the woman's comment. And as I reflected on it, it occurred to me that her statement was full of deep theological truth, because she was expressing a problem we all face: we just can't resist ourselves. It’s in our very nature to do what we want - to be selfish in our approach to life. And it’s a condition we've had since we were born.
The problem with being human is that we all inherited a sinful nature through Adam. Romans 3:10 puts it like this: “No one is righteous, not even one.” The truth is that our sins don't make us sinners, they're just the evidence of what we already are. Or another way to say it is that we're not sinners because we sin, we sin because we're sinners. It’s the human condition. So much so that God had to go to great lengths to cover our sin. It required the death of His Son on the cross. That’s what God had to do to redeem us.
The good news for us is that He did what needed to be done. God sent His Son to die as the penalty for our sins. So while we were born sinners, now we can have new life. But the news gets even better because, not only can we have new life in terms of an eternity in heaven, but we can have new life here on earth. God liberated us from sin's power over us in the here and now as well. And that freedom comes from the work of the Holy Spirit showing us how to live, and giving us the ability to resist Satan's attacks. Jesus describes the work of the Holy Spirit in John 14:16, when He says: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.”
The Holy Spirit shows Truth to us, and in doing so He unites us to God through the work Jesus did. At the same time, He lives in us with the goal of helping us be like Christ. That’s how we can “resist ourselves”. That’s how we can live how God is calling us to live. The challenge of course, is to listen to the Holy Spirit's prompting, and to follow His leading as He works to transform us into the people God has freed us to be. All-too-often we try to live this Christian life in our own strength rather than in the power of the Holy Spirit, and we always end up failing because we’re not God. But the Holy Spirit IS God - and He’s living in us right now, ready to help us resist ourselves.
So today, let's pray and ask God to help us believe in the truth that, if we have given our lives to Christ, we are a new creation. We are no longer slaves to our old, sinful nature. And with that truth in mind, let’s trust in the Holy Spirit's ability to help us live how we're called to live. Let’s commit to allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us and help us resist our old, sinful nature, and live in the freedom God secured for us through the death and resurrection of His Son.