"Where then is thy glorying? It is excluded. By what law? Of deeds doing? Nay, but by the law of faith. For we deem a man to be justified by faith, without works of the law." - Romans 3:27-28 (Wycliffe NT)


"Anytime the Christian makes sense in a Bible study or sermon, you can almost bet your life you're not hearing Christianity."
Pastor Tom Baker



Everyone draws lines. All stand guilty. The line I am talking about is the line of good and evil. Where do you put yourself usually? On the "good" side of the line or the "bad" side? Where do you place others usually? On the "good" side or "bad" side? Let's face it, we will always put ourselves on the "good" side and place others on the "bad" or "evil" side. What might we say when we delineate in this way? "It's not my fault!"
We can look back to Adam and Eve to illustrate this. They went out of their way to place themselves on the "good" side and everyone else on the "bad." The woman blames the serpent. The man blames the woman. ("It's not my fault!") But if you read for yourself in Genesis 3:12, there is one important person placed on the "evil" side of the line....... God Himself! Did you catch that? Adam tells God that it was the woman who gave him the fruit but he ultimately blames God because He was the one that GAVE him the woman! That little hidden gem has eluded my thoughts in relation to the Garden story. It never dawned on me that it's not just people that we place on either side of that line. We are quick to put God there. Where? Our mouths say, "God goes on the good side, cause He is good!" But in reality we are quick to place Him on the "evil" side.
Why, though? Because it is our nature to find righteousness in ourselves and not in someone else. It's way easier to blame others and for us to wallow in our "rightness." It's the inherited problem of self-righteousness. (Thanks Mama Eve and Daddy Adam. Oops, I drew a line.) It was the Pharisees problem and it is our problem.
What then makes a Christian righteous? Is it our faithfulness? Is it our theology or doctrine? Is it our constant striving to do the right thing? Following the big 10? Not going to an R-rated movie? Stopping ourselves from sinning? I really hope not! If the answer is 'yes,' then we are delineating "us" from "them." The "good" from the "evil." Who's job is that? Who has already made that decision? And who can we trust to put US on the truly good side? Christ Jesus! Because until you understand how truly evil you are, you will never understand the Gospel to its fullness. Even as a Christian who understands the Gospel to that level, my "old Adam" is alive and well in my person! He (i.e. me) is forever leading me fully into sin. My flesh loves the stuff! It is one of the wonderful paradoxes that are present in our Salvation. Somehow, through Christ, we are sinner and saint at the same time!
Why is that little device still in effect if Jesus accomplished what He did? So that we cling to His Truths and walk confidently in His righteousness knowing that it is not OUR performance that God is looking for but that when God looks at us, despite our sin, He sees His Son and His finished work in imparting to us His righteousness. Amen!

1 comment:

Lee Higginbotham said...

What is this voice that tempts us to doubt what we know is true about our identity in Christ as you have laid it out here? I know what you say is true because the spirit in me testifies that it is so. I guess in Christian words it is the devil or the flesh that causes us to doubt these truths. We sense that if we could just believe the truth all the time, we would have much more peace in our walk with God. We know that the truth is what sets us free. Why do we usually understand that the devil/flesh is lying to us only after it has already had its way with us? Are we not meant to be objective and always be able to observe and be aware of this devil/flesh when it is talking to us and lying to us? But we are not (objective). Why? I think the answer to this is the key that unlocks a door that leads to a whole new level of freedom.