Easter is here! Celebrate! Feast!

 

But why? What is so uniquely great about Easter?

 

You might reply, “The forgiveness of our sins through Jesus’ death and resurrection.”

 

Yes—it’s true. Forgiveness through Jesus is a beautiful thing. But our lavish God gives us even more than forgiveness. There’s a path to freedom over the slavery of sin.

Easter cross

 

Romans 6:6-7 teaches, “We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin.”

 

Every sin in our life has numbered days. A day will come, through the victory of Jesus, that it is gone from our life. We are not slaves to that sin. It has no ultimate power over us.

 

How can you live out your faith in this glorious victory? I use 4 steps (4 Rs) to move from victory to victory over sin in my life. But take note: Each step is preceded by grace. Each step is preceded by dependence on God’s victory. I cannot bring about any of the steps through the force of my will, no matter how determined I am. I need God to go before me in every step.

 

1. Revelation

I need God to reveal how he wants me to grow. What is the next territory that he wants me to take? Which virtues is he calling me to grow into? Which sins is he calling me to stop? He wants me perfect, yes. But if he made me perfect all at once, I would fall to the greatest of sins and pridefully think I did it myself, scoffing at others who are still struggling. So, he reveals my path of holiness bit by bit. I ask him to show me what victory he wants for me next.

 

2. Resolve

Even when I understand what he wants and why, I may not want to grow in that way. Often, I feel self-justified in my sin. Or like St. Augustine, I might want it, but not yet. I need the Holy Spirit to give me a firm resolve to grow in the way God is calling me to grow.

 

3. Remind

When I am resolved to not sin in a particular way, or to grow in a certain virtue, I find that the moments of life come fast. Before I have a chance to act differently, the moment is gone and I have found myself mired in the same patterns. I lose my temper with my child, I swear at the rude driver, I exaggerate a story to get attention. I need a reminder from the Holy Spirit to brace myself for the coming moment and ask for his help.

 

4. Response

Even with a reminder, I often still choose my old patterns of behavior. I don’t have the grace to respond in the way he is calling me to respond. I turn away from his call in the moment in favor of my sin. Recognizing my poverty of will, I ask for more help next time to respond in a way that pleases him.

 

Over time, praying for each new step in my battle with particular sins, he answers my prayers and leads me to victory. I evaluate which step (grace) is missing. Do I need God to give me clearer understanding, firmer resolve, better reminders, or strength to respond? I ask for it, and I watch the power of Jesus’ resurrection stream into my life in these ways to overwhelm my sin. 

 

This Easter, during this season of victory, confidently approach his throne and ask for these Easter graces in your life. Take ground away from the dominion of sin in your life. You will be delighted to see his victory creating more space in your life for love and joyfilled sacrifice. The fruits of righteousness will abound in new ways. 

 

Blessed are you who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for you shall be satisfied!

 

Jason Simon is the President of the Evangelical Catholic. The Evangelical Catholic’s mission is to equip Catholics to live out the Great Commission. Learn more.

 

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