“I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind, but now I see…” This line from “Amazing Grace” is the anthem of all in Christ. Each one of us started from the same place, deep in sin. The only way out, not by works (“not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” [Eph 2:9 ESV]) it is only by Jesus, “But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (ESV 2:13) This remedy all though it sounds simple enough is made difficult by the flesh of man. The war the wages inside us is real. “23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh, I serve the law of sin.” (Romans 7:23-25 ESV)
This sin problem that we have is constant. It is why we are told to meditate daily on the Word. To pray without ceasing. To lock up the Word in our hearts, tieing them as symbols around our hands, over and over we are reminded because we can become complacent, apathetic even and the sin that so easily ensnared us before will yet again. However, we now know better! Therefore we must strive upward and onward, for we are no longer blind to sin, but we see.
5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:1-11)
…And Character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame (or let us down). There seems to be a recurring theme these past few weeks around this idea of hope. Hope is central to our faith. It is what will push us forward. It is the wind in the sail of life when things get rocky, when we fail, when we feel lost, lonely, afraid or hurt. Hope is the catalyst to “love poured out”. In Christ, all things are possible. Therefore we can not continue to settle for the statement, “well, we are sinners saved by grace.” i counter that with this, we “were” sinners saved by grace. Jesus told many, “go and sin no more.” Was He setting them up for failure? No, absolutely not. Was His expectation sinlessness? Again, No. Paul sums it up best here in Philippians 3:12-16;
12 “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”
Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Let me once more share my life verse with you from Micah 6:8; “He has shown you, oh man, what the Lord requires of you; to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk Humbly with Him (God).” When you find yourself in any sort of situation ask yourself this, are you acting justly? Are you showing mercy? Are you walking humbly with your God? i assure you that the answers will either inspire you onward or challenge you to grow. In our sin, He saved us, by His sacrifice He made away. Therefore our desire should remain, His perfect Kingdom Come.
In our sin, yet by His sacrifice, Thy Kingdom Come.
You are loved,