Sunday, June 6, 2010

Paradox #2: Dueling natures

The next paradox deals with my identity in Christ. Am I a wretched sinner, or a blessed saint? Can I be both at the same time? Can I be one without the other?

How can I acknowledge my tendency to sin before God without dishonoring my status as a "new creation"?

The Apostle Paul refers to his sin and his weaknesses in many places. However, I doubt that he constantly wallowed in grief over his wrongdoing. In my opinion, that would not fully represent the Gospel message. He certainly wrote about love, faith, spiritual fruit, church life, and many other topics.

We are not called to be in a perpetual state of repentance. To me, that borders on asceticism. Faith is believing that Christ died for our sins and reconciled us to God so that we might live new lives. Yet, if we forget for one instance the depth of our need for Christ's sacrifice, where does that leave us?

What are we to do? Continue/-

If we say that we are washed clean and beyond sin, then we boast in our own righteousness.

If we say that we are the worst of sinners, then we ignore our new identity in Christ.

If we say that we will no longer sin, we make empty promises to God.

If we say that we expect to sin again, we express doubt in God's ability to lead us and protect us from evil.


I suppose part of the problem with these statements is that they are focused on ME. Christ is the one who is powerful to save, forgive, and heal. If I am going to boast about any aspect of my life, may it be in thankfulness to God.


Christ washed me clean.

While I was still a sinner.

I will face temptation in this life.

But the Holy Spirit has been sent to help me.

In my own strength, I can do nothing.

3 comments:

  1. Спасибо, Лиза. Важные темы ты затронула.
    Мне вспомнилась книга:

    "Two of Me. The Struggle with Sin"

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lizz, what a blog!! I love the way you express the struggle so many of us feel. great insight though, it truly is all about Christ ... thats the simple, pure, truth!

    Faith

    ReplyDelete
  3. О! Спасибо за ссылку!

    Hey Faith, thanks for the encouragement! There are some camp entries somewhere in the archives that you might relate to...

    ReplyDelete

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