Wednesday, August 1, 2007

...How Sweet the Sound

It is in the moments where right after sinning, you feel the weight of your sin. You realize exactly how helpless you are without Christ in anything. If I cannot even be consistent in simply controlling my temper, how in the world am I to walk in an unhindered fellowship with our holy Father everyday? How can you ever have intimacy with a God detests sin? "I thank God through our Lord Jesus Christ!"

The truth that I'm no longer suppose to be conscious of the sin that dwells in me is amazing!! I don't have to go through that condemnation, re-dedication cycle where I pout to God about how much of a dead dog I am, and how I am not worthy of anything. Then I eventually muster up the motivation to try again. Whereas in grace, I can simply say "Thank you, Father for Jesus!!!!!" and get right back up, asking for His Spirit to change me. Realizing that Abba isn't ashamed of me or angry with me, removes those times of "time out" I usually give myself before I'm able to come again boldly to the throne of grace. How do you come boldly? By grace!!! Just accept the grace. I know it hurts, but you'll get over it.

Normally, I would beat myself up, call myself a poor excuse for a Christian, and wonder how in the world I could ever get people to know Christ when I continually fail at representing Him.

But now, I think representing Him is not so much being perfect, but being full of grace and truth. The truth is realizing we are as dead dogs. Grace saying that doesn't matter. God loves you no matter how much you stink or how filthy you may be. Because His Son has reconciled the world to Himself.

Maybe representing Christ is showing His agape and grace to others by being real to them about your flaws, but showing them how much God still accepts you and loves you. I'm not very smart, but I think sinners are more attracted to grace, rather than perfection. A sinner cannot bear to be around a human who is perfect or self-righteous. That just makes them feel like utter sin and gives them all the more reason to continue in sin, because from their perspective, they will never be able to qualify for God's love. I would know. I've been there.

1 comment:

Joel Brueseke - Grace Roots said...

From first knowing you, Matthew, I've always appreciated your big heart right there on your sleeve. Thanks for sharing this.

The difference between living by grace and living by self effort is huge indeed! When we see "sin that dwells in my members" raise its ugly head and take control of our minds and actions, if only temporarily, it's hard to see that in reality, the sin that kept us from God was nailed to the cross with Christ, forever. Jesus is the Lamb of God who took away the sin (noun) of the world.

Who shall rescue me from this body of death? Amen... I thank God through our Lord Jesus Christ!

We wait, groaning inside these bodies for the day when "we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'... The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor 15:52-57)

Jul's "Knowing God Under the New Covenant" post reminded me of why we can come boldly before the throne of grace. Under the Old Covenant, if there was the tiniest amount of sin to be found in the priest, God would strike him dead when he came to present the sacrifice. But in Christ, the Perfect Sacrifice has taken place and Jesus has become our High Priest forever (Heb 6:19-20), and we have "boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh." "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." (From Hebrews 10).

Now, that's grace. :)