Sunday, November 04, 2007

A much needed message

I am really amazed at how God uses others to communicate to me exactly what I need to hear. The message today was a perfect follow-up on what I learned in Bible study. It was on 1 John 2:1-2.
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin, and if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

Note that it doesn't say so that you can do better, it says so that you man not sin. Our job is to aggressively pursue holiness. We must not ignore any kind of sin in our lives. The problem is that we have two truths that are very hard to put together. The aggressive pursuit of holiness, and the fact that we will sin anyway. In order to live with both of these truths, we must learn to rest upon the forgiveness of Christ, while not allowing even the smallest sin to be ignored. His mercy does NOT change His justice. I am again in awe of His amazing grace. He is our advocate (defense attorney), and yet He also died for us. We are completely guilty and without hope, and He died so that He could trade His righteousness for our punishment.

I have definitely been guilty of tolerating sin and setting artificial standards for myself. "Everyone does it" is not a good excuse. All throughout the New Testament, Jesus says, "Go and sin no more." Just because it is not possible to live completely without sin doesn't mean that we have an excuse for not aggressively pursing holiness. I have found such incredible joy in this transformation of my heart. I commit myself once again to pursuing God's standards of righteousness.

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