Today’s Scripture: For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? RomansĀ 6:14-16

Many people reject the notion that a Christian can get involved in gross sin. I beg to differ. On the way home from church, a man and his wife noticed flashing red and blue lights behind them and pulled over to the roadside. A policeman approached their vehicle, motioning for the man to lower his window.

The officer noticed the driver wasn’t wearing his seatbelt. Suddenly aware of his negligence, the driver said, “Sorry, officer. I had my seatbelt on, but I just took it off when we stopped.”

“Liar!” The man’s wife blurted.

The officer asked to see the driver’s license.

“I left it at home.”

The driver’s wife added, “Harry, you know that expired three months ago.”

The policeman scratched his head in surprise and said to the woman, “Aren’t you being a little rough on him?”

The woman responded, “I only do this when he’s drunk.”

Can a Christian be a drunk? Many Christian leaders believe that a believer whose life does not meet certain criteria (which include abstaining from drinking) was never saved in the first place. The fact is believers have two natures – the new birth which cannot sin and the old birth which can sin. A battle rages within their hearts. Whether or not a Christian gets drunk (or commits other more “acceptable” sins such as covetousness, slander, idolatry, or prejudice) is a matter of influence.

In his book Forever with God?, my dad explainsthat Christians who are under the controlling influence of their new nature will produce the Fruit of the Spirit in their lives (Galatians 5:22-23). Those who are under the influence of their old nature will produce the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).

Did you know you are living under the influence? Every word which leaves your mouth, every thought which lingers in your mind, every action, and every reaction reveals whether you are being influenced by your old or new nature. Which nature have you been allowing to influence you? The outcome of your life depends upon the choice you make.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.