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Fighting a Finished War

I laid in the darkness around my bed, where secrets are best kept. My phone laid on my pillow with the screen blacked out. The weakness of my flesh was on full display and my heart was being dragged into back into depression. Instead of the usual self-induced chastising, I told myself, “I’m still overcoming this in the end.” I shrugged my shoulders, cleaned up, put my phone on the nightstand, and went to sleep.

I used to believe that pornography was a war for me. I thought it was an enemy to defeat or a sin to avoid. After backsliding from the freedom from it throughout the years, I’ve come to learn a little thing about this “battle” against powers and principalities[1]. The Holy Spirit instructed me through John 19.

In John 19:30, as Jesus Christ’s life as a man came to a close, He said, “It is finished.” and died[2], or rather, gave up His spirit. After years of studying the faith of Christianity, certain men have come to realization that this historic moment was actually the Son of God sacrificing His body, by adding the weight and penalty of all sin to it, thus ushering in the gift of salvation and sanctification.

All my life, I have been taught that the cross was the end of the weight and penalty of sin, and the reconciliation of God, the Creator, to man, the created. There were teachings about Christ being a ransom for sin, death being defeated in the grave, and an extremely great opportunity to resurrect with Christ and be alive as new creations through baptism to the beyond. I’ve walked through that life and, despite struggle, have found the Gospel to be true.

Though I have come to know God and His word, and both are very dear to me, I still struggle with sin. I used to look at it like, “What is wrong with you? Jesus already died for this sin, so why are you returning to it like a dog to its vomit?” but ever since the Spirit redirected my thinking, my thoughts have become more so, “(Satan/demons/temptation) You still aren’t taking me from Jesus, and as long as God and I role together, you’re just a dead bug on the windshield that’s getting washed off at the end of the journey.” This mentality grew due to the acceptance that it, sin, is finished.

What does God mean when He said, “It is finished.”? Just a few verses before, John explained how the last prophecy about the Messiah was fulfilled, where Jesus took a sip of sour wine just before giving up His Spirit. Had Jesus finished all that He came to do in a short 33 years of life? We know that the work of the Lord continues even to this day, and will continue beyond our lives here.

So, what does, “It is finished,” mean? John began his testimony with:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

“All things came into being through him,” indicates that this is a reference to creation. After all, “In the beginning” is the very line that started the entire Bible[3]. Knowing that John started with the beginning and ends with Jesus resurrecting and revealing Himself to His disciples depicts the intent and desire of God. From the very start of life, He already had it written that He would save us no matter what decisions we made. As long as we believe that He died on the cross for our sins, we will live with Him in eternity[4].

Many people take this fact and use it as a justification for further sin. “Since God already saw it coming, it shouldn’t matter if I continue to do it. It is covered by the cross.” This ideology reflects less on God and more on the abusive nature of people enslaved by their sin. If you love someone, you change your behavior so as to not hurt them. You wouldn’t intentionally do the things that would cause them grief[5], sorrow[6], jealousy[7], or anger[8]. God has already declared, “They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me…”[9]

The main descriptors of God’s commandments are these: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[10] This was spoken by Christ Jesus when interrogated by yet another Sadducee, or religious Jew.

In order to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul, you must first understand who God is. This can only be accomplished through prayer, interaction with God, and study of the Holy Bible. It is not enough to study it on your own, but you must also gather interpretations from others who are well-versed in the many translations of the Bible. Once you have taken on a clearer understanding of the scripture, then, you will be able to understand what God is doing and how you can help or remove yourself as an obstacle.

Loving people is only possible when you love God and love yourself. This takes getting to know yourself and getting to know God. What makes you laugh, cry, get inspired, or just be a better person as according to God’s will? You need to search the inner workings of yourself so that you know where you need help. Once you figure out a good portion of yourself, loving others will not be as hard.

Loving God, self, and others means that you do not take the gift of salvation as a justification to sin. You take the gift of salvation, with thanksgiving, as a foundation to learn what it means to love and understand God. So when God said, “It is finished,” you understand that it was not a finite declaration for a moment over 2,000 years ago, but it is a declaration for eternity.

The aftermath of the cross was a delay by God’s mercy to give the world a chance to know what He has done for them[11]. He asked the disciples to go and make more disciples out of the people of the world[12] so that everyone can have a chance to say yes or no to His gift. Salvation can indeed be rejected. God doesn’t force anyone to choose life.

Today, just about every culture, tribe, nation, and language knows who Jesus Christ was and is, and they know what He did on the cross. Some have chosen to believe it, and others have rejected it. Still, the knowledge of the event is there. His relenting will only last so much longer before the “finished” portion of His final statement on earth takes place.

When God said, “It is finished,” that was the end of the power of sin. We no longer have to be slaves to urges, pleasures, or temptations. We can willfully choose to reject sin. It has no power over us. Sin is essentially on death row, along with satan, devil, serpent, dragon, beast, demon, and all sorts of other people who have chosen death. Therefore, when I still commit sin, I realize that it is a part of me destined to die, and I’m at peace with that. I actually look forward to never being tempted again and seeing my life with fresh, innocent, untainted eyes.

The power of sanctification and salvation are magnificent! I am witnessing, firsthand, the deaths of many sins in my life. Growing up, I used to think, feel, and do horrible things (in my eyes). The closer I’ve grown to God, the further sin has been sent from me[13]. There are things I’d never do again, and I’m perfectly fine with that. I do not feel trapped or caged. I feel liberated, at peace, and happy. I’m glad I’m not who I was a decade ago, and I’m glad I won’t be this guy a decade from now.

When God said, “It is finished,” He meant that. Everything you don’t like about yourself is finished. It is only up to you to walk in that freedom. You don’t have to be weighed down by your thoughts, mistakes, or negative emotions. You can choose life and freedom! So, choose it! No longer walk around thinking, “I’m the villain. I’m evil. I can’t do no right. I can only be evil.” These are the thoughts of powers and principalities destined to die.

They want you to continue thinking the worst about yourself so that you can die with them. They want to keep you enslaved to their system so they won’t be the only ones burning. They know their end and they want as many with them as they can get to spite God. Don’t give them the satisfaction. Accept the gift of salvation, start the path of sanctification, and be free.

“It is finished.” Every time you sin again, say, “It is finished.” I don’t care if you’re on your thousandth time committing this sin, say, “It is finished.” I got drunk again last night. “It is finished.” I fornicated last night. “It is finished.” I lied again. “It is finished.” I hurt someone. “It is finished.” I was envious of another person. “It is finished.” I dabbled in astrology and witchcraft again. “It is finished.” I still have desire to do homosexual things. “It is finished.” I still don’t feel like the sex I was born in. “It is finished.” I watched pornography again. “It is finished.” Whatever your sin, vice, bad habit, mistake, or evil is, commit it to its sentence. It is finished.

The Bible is clear on the things that get thrown into the Lake of Fire[14]. You don’t have to join them. You don’t have to burn, or be trapped in death. None of this stuff is worth it in the end anyway. Flee from it, declare its fate, and be happy. I know it’s hard to see right now, but things are going to end on a good note if you want them to. It just takes recognizing and living by the verdict decreed from the beginning. Satan, sin, and death lose. Jesus, you, and I win. It is finished. I hope the knowledge of this helps you break free from the things that bring you guilt, shame, and sorrow in return for participating in them. May freedom cleanse you from all iniquity, shame, misery, guilt, condemnation, and sorrow.

With love,

Dario Augustus


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[1] Ephesians 6:10-13 NRSV - The Whole Armor of God - Finally, be - Bible Gateway [2] John 19:30 NRSV - When Jesus had received the wine, he - Bible Gateway [3] Genesis 1:1 NRSV - Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath - Bible Gateway [4] John 3:16 NRSV - “For God so loved the world that he - Bible Gateway [5] Genesis 6:5-6 NRSV - The LORD saw that the wickedness of - Bible Gateway [6] John 11:28-36; romans 6:23; genesis 3:1-19 NRSV - Jesus Weeps - When she had said this, - Bible Gateway [7] Exodus 20:1-6 NRSV - The Ten Commandments - Then God spoke - Bible Gateway [8] Exodus 32:1-10 NRSV - The Golden Calf - When the people saw - Bible Gateway [9] John 14:21 NRSV - They who have my commandments and keep - Bible Gateway [10] Matthew 22:36-40 NRSV - “Teacher, which commandment in the - Bible Gateway [11] 2 Peter 3:9 NRSV - The Lord is not slow about his promise, - Bible Gateway [12] Matthew 28:19-20 NRSV - Go therefore and make disciples of all - Bible Gateway [13] Psalms 103:12 NRSV - as far as the east is from the west, so - Bible Gateway [14] Revelation 21:8 NRSV - But as for the cowardly, the faithless, - Bible Gateway

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