Sin consciousness relates to the awareness of our sin nature and our propensity to sin. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All of us have sinned, but not all of us are sinners. When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour, we become the righteousness of God. This is not a human righteousness, as we cannot attain righteousness on our own. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Grace is unmerited favour, which we did not deserve, but was given to us as a free gift. Jesus’s death on the cross paid the price for our sins and made us righteous before God. All that is required is for us to confess our sins, as God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9-10). We are then saints who have been saved by the grace of God. Sin consciousness is the devil’s attempt to keep us in bondage. The devil wants us to remain enslaved by sin. “and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18).
I felt enslaved by sin, when I felt like it was up to me not to mess up. I was worried that I needed to remain righteous and remain clean before God. I felt tremendous freedom when I learnt that, it is God who keeps me from falling and presents me faultless before his throne of grace (Jude 24). Learning what this scripture means, helped me to walk in a newer sense of freedom. I recognised that once I surrendered to God, that the Holy Spirit would enable me to live free from sin. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
We do not have the power to keep ourselves from sin. We can practice spiritual disciplines such as prayer, reading the word, fasting and worship to remain connected. We have to guard against a works based lifestyle which focuses on trying to earn our salvation. Salvation and the gift of righteousness is free, when we surrender to God and accept his grace. God knows that we are not perfect but his strength is made perfect in our weakness. Salvation is accepting that we need a saviour and that we cannot make it without the help and grace of God.