In manufacturing, the daily, relentless, requirement is to get parts out the door. We must finish the job or the doors don’t stay open for long.
I’m a finisher, some might even define me as pathological in this pursuit. Once I start something, I am determined to complete it. Because this is an inherent personality trait, my continuous struggle with sin and the failure to do what I know is right has been a source of unending frustration.
Luckily, I’m not the only one to face this limitation. Perhaps you’ve experienced it as well. If so, we can both receive comfort from Paul, who penned much of the Bible’s New Testament through inspiration by the Holy Spirit. Here’s what Paul wrote to the church in Rome.
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart.23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (Romans 7:21-25)
Paul understood. I want to do right, but I don’t. I hurt God, I hurt others, I hurt myself. This sounds quite hopeless. Paul doesn’t leave us there, though. He opens the door to freedom from this sin-prison. The answer is Jesus. He paid for our sins with his death so that we are released from this viscous cycle.
God is a finisher, too. He sent Jesus to defeat sin once and for all. When we accept Jesus as our savior, we are accepted by God as his adopted children (Galatians 4:5-7). Amazing! Here’s how Paul explains it.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Take courage, friend. The parts have been shipped and received. Payment has been made. You are saved through belief in Jesus. It is finished!