Sunday, May 30, 2010

Brothers, We Are Sinners

It's no surprise that the philosophies and religions of the world are offended at the notion of calling people "sinners", in the true sense of that word. Man-made traditions have a too high opinion of the human condition. That's why they don't have the solution to our common problem; it's just not found in man-made traditions, it can't be "found" at all, it's a matter of revelation from God, who alone truly knows what is in a man's heart.

Not everybody who professes Christ acts like they understand these things. I've been around believers with whom I've shared a little of my sinful past as part of a testimony. I mean, I am what the Bible says I was..."by nature a child[ren] of wrath", a "sinner", "wicked". I mean, yes, I'm also a "saint", a "son" by God's adoption, because of Christ. I have no merit of my own- only what He did for me. However, when past sins are mentioned, to demonstrate what I once was, what Jesus suffered to save me from, people in the church act like I slurped a tea cup of Darjeeling and wiped my mouth with the sleeve of my shirt. They're offended! I think a lot of these types grew up in and had the benefit of a Christian upbringing-and good for them. Nothing wrong with that. However, not everybody has.

I suppose nobody needs the gory details of the past. There's a "forgetting" of past things, and a "pressing on towards the high calling of God", and thankfully we can do that. Also, some things are too offensive to mention and I never would. Barring that,why do some church people act like there's a leper in the room if I talk about what I was once, before Jesus saved me. It's as if Jesus only came to save the righteous or Church is only for the "ceremonially clean", an elite of moralistic, upright Evangelicals who disdain any talk of what Christ saved us from, i.e. real sins, real wickedness.

Our sanitized testimonies are soulless and unimpressive.We've (some of us) imported the false evaluation of human nature I mentioned in the beginning, into our mentality. I've found that there's an unwritten rule in the churches that you don't say too much about whether you were a fornicator, an adulterer, a murderer, or anything else that God actually justifies us from. See, that would be too shocking to our sensibilities and we're apparently too holy to hear about real sins, real lives, and what the true power of God's forgiveness in Christ. Why the shock? Our most revered biblical heroes were the worst offenders. Noah built an ark by faith. But his story ends in a drunken, incestuous scandal. Yet we remember him as a "preacher of righteousness". David the King...after God's heart, but a conniving murderer and adulterer. Why don't these church regurgitate their Sunday brunch when they hear these stories? Are the sins of saints past any more "acceptable" because they made their way into the biblical cannon? Is Moses' manslaughter or Paul's persecution more elevated since they are mentioned by inspiration of God? No. These people are of the same flesh and blood Adamic line as we are. They sinned and their sins are just as heinous to God.

Brothers, God is going to cast away false, hypocritical, adulterous, lying, murderous, professing Christians. He's got a Lake of Fire reserved for the condemned, for all time. He appointed the death and spilling of rivers of blood of sacrifices for thousands of years until the Messiah, his perfect, sinless, Son, had his body nailed to a crucifix, for our sins. He died for our fornication and lust, and adultery, and murder, and gossip, and a thousand other sins. Real, black, vile, repugnant sins Jesus willing took on Himself, in fact he was made SUCH so that we might be God's righteousness in Him.

Let's not pretend anymore. It insults Jesus who condescended to our level for our sins without sinning himself. We're not righteous people. We're not to think of ourselves as better than anyone else. The message of salvation is joyful, but only because of the wretchedness and vileness of our sins. We need to hear the whole Gospel.

Let's begin here: Nothing good is in us of ourselves. We are sinners vile. Christ died for us while we were vile sinners. And because of that we can talk all we want about His righteousness in us.


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