Friday, July 30, 2010

Silly Sinner

Have you ever encountered something inside yourself that is absolutely hell-bent against God? I've found that place inside me and it gives me the heeby jeebies (sp?)!

Why do I find this unhappy place over and over and over again? Why do I habitually think my way is better than God's? I could simply say that I'm human and I have flaws. But that is a totally pagan way of looking at sin. These aren't flaws or imperfections in my character but my sin is an out-and-out personal statement of my hatred for God and his loving commands.

Wow, now not many Christians would admit to hating God. But I guess that at bottom, I often do. The sin that I still entertain is adamantly opposed to God and to partake of it is to hate all that is good.

I can write about this with some confidence, because, guess what, I've just sinned, and the attitudes that spurred me on in my rebellion are still fresh on my mind. This has all been written about a ton, so I know that I'm not adding anything new, but I'm simply trying to wrestle with something I believe a lot of Christians wrestle with. That is - the way we view our sin.

Alongside a host of other people, I've given in to the idea that sin is just a flaw or imperfection in my character, not an infatic statement that I want my way and God and his ways can hit the highway. But for me my sin is a lot more than a flaw! For example, the sin I just commited was premeditated, thought about, analyzed with my own personal cost/benefit analysis, and then cooly calculated and executed (and it wasn't even murder!).

What does this say about me? Well it forsure says that I'm a sinner in need of a very merciful God. It says that I'm in a place of desperate dependance on God for continual acts of saving mercy. And it says that having been saved from the ultimate consequences of my sin on the cross, I still desperately need that cross.

A lot of people don't like to call themselves "sinners." And in light of our new sinless state before God and Jesus' substitutionary work on the cross, I can see this perspective. As Christians we're not really characterized by our sin anymore. And to characterize ourselves only as sinners minimalizes the reality of what Jesus achieved on the cross. When we turn back to sin, we're turning back to a defeated foe, something that's already dead to us and something that we are dead to.

That's part of the beauty of the Gospel. The fact that we even struggle now with sin is a sign that we are under a new king, with new loyalties, and alive to something totally different. The fact that the we keep turning around and stabbing our new king would make you think that his enlisting us to be in his army was kind of a comical idea.

But that just shows more of the beauty and humor of the good news that makes up the Gospel. For the good news is that God doesn't love us in spite of our sin, he loves us, and takes our sin upon himself. He did it all at once on the Cross. Our sins are paid for. And now we serve a loving and faithful God, who is able to fight his own battles. Which is a good thing, for with foot soldiers like me, God has to watch his back.

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