Sunday, October 11, 2009
The gospel is for Christians too
If you check my facebook profile you will see that one of my "interests" is holiness.
I put that there as opposed to some of my hobbies, because even though I have them, I am genuinely interested in being holy. The thing is, it seems rather elusive at times in the Christian life. Think about it, holiness means being like God, it means being free from sin.
There have been many times in my life when I have wished to not be enslaved to sin in my life. Take Romans 7 into account, Paul wrestles with the idea that each of us returns to sin, even though we don't want to. One thing he does not do is mention the frequency of return to sin. I would have a guess that overall the Apostle Paul was probably a holy guy. Sin probably did not enslave him very much. I take his word for it when he encourages us to be "slaves to righteousness."
Then my mind drifts to John's first letter. He talks about the person who says they have no sin, as being a liar or essentially having no place in fellowship with God, as they are deceiving themselves. Yet at the same time he says that anyone who continues to sin can not have fellowship with God either. Hold on, isn't this a no win situation?
I do tend to think that there is a way to win. It has more to do with the fact that we no longer need to be slavesto sin. But we therefore have a problem. In my opinion, there is much slavery to sin in the church. There are many people who are burdened down by so many things that are not dealt with. I guess I don't want to go too far with this in one post, because I am a work in progress. But let me say that there is a way for genuine change in our lives. So many of us leave things unconfessed and unforgiven in our lives. These can be hidden sins, or they can simply be things that we refuse to admit to ourselves are actually sin. But when we sit down with the true counselor, the Holy Spirit, He begins to speak to us about these things, and we had better be honest.
Holiness is possible in the church, but not without honesty before God. Why not sit down with your Creator and have a chat together.
Reflect and pray the words of Psalm 139:
Search me, O God, and know my heart
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
God will likely reveal things hidden and people unforgiven. We have a mediator in Christ Jesus who goes before the the Father for us and guarantees us forgiveness for our sins, and victory in our lives.
These words from 1 Corinthians 15 can become true in our lives:
Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.
But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.