March 10, 2013

Inside or Outside the Outhouse

Sometimes I suspect many people misunderstand or underestimate how offensive sin is to God including myself. I intend to at least try to shed light on the repulsiveness of sin from God's view of it in Scripture  I will present the offense in layman's terms as I have never been one to go easy on people when it comes to understanding the Truth.

We have to admit outright that no one would've ever looked at the Brazen Serpent if they had not been bitten by venomous snakes first (Numbers 21). They would've never looked unless they knew that they were threatened with their own demise or death. It follows that none will look to Christ either as it is not within them to do so. None will look to Christ with an understanding that they are in need of Him unless they understand that their lives (eternal) are under the threat (curse) of death. It is only when people become painfully aware of their sin and the awareness that they need to seek forgiveness of it that they will ever truly recognize their need for Christ and a true understanding of who He really is.

Not only do we need head knowledge of our sins but the understanding that we need to repent. Therefore we need to understand the acuteness and severity of sin. To be able to repent we must be utterly convinced /convicted of our nature. We must be completely on-board with the fact that we are guilty before God. We are twisted by the Fall. We must acknowledge that there is a steep price to pay for our sins and that God is a just judge who is perfect to judge those sins because He is not sinful...He is holy.

We don't need the Devil and the powers of this world to trip us up either. This is just our consciences trying to blame-shift guilt of our sin to others or something else. Frankly, I believe the Devil is to incompetent to be blamed for all of our sins all the time. I suggest he is not that organized as he is always running to-and-fro in a chaotic manner literally raising Hell. In actuality it is just our own twisted and fallen consciences and morality there to convince us otherwise. Even our own morality becomes an encumbrance when it is based on emotions or consciences that are not first guided or led by Scripture. Without the Scripture and God's Spirit in accordance with Scripture, our own minds become a trap as we will go astray of God without Scripture. Only morality based on Scripture that spiritually regenerates in the image of Christ is legit. Morality based on our old nature in any form is not a Gospel holiness! It stands to reason that anything divorced of the Gospel cannot be holiness based in the Gospel! Duh.

More often than not our tainted consciences let us off the hook, and excuse us from our infractions against God. Yes, the conscience is a warning system but it will not be able to accurately discern right from wrong without the guidelines of Scripture. Scripture is righteous...we are not (Romans 1-3). Conscience can send up the red flags to tell us something is not right but it cannot always tell us the true severity of the sin.  Just like the Law and the Law written on the hearts of the believer, the Law will show us our sin...but it cannot save us. Our own conscience and measure of morality will convince us that our sins are not that bad, are excusable or worse, it will convince us that a sin didn't exist at all. Eventually the conscience can become so "down-tuned" to wickedness it effectively shuts off (Romans 1) like an overstimulated hormonal system. The biggest sin is to be convinced that we're "basically good" so we don't really need God nor forgiveness. Our offenses against God are therefore taken lightly and barely warrant a second glance when in fact they have stored up justice against us.

The truth is that to be able to understand the extreme depth of our sickening and twisted nature we must fully grasp our demented sinful condition and our need for judgment, not just our deserving of it. In other words. Without the benchmark and understanding of what is acceptable to God, we must be shocked into the holy through a paradigm shift of understanding. Without this shock to the system, people will continue to believe they can justify themselves before God. Given the chance we will always try to talk ourselves out of the guilt of our sin. It is just our nature.

We see this quite a bit in the faith but it is rarely acknowledged as such. Even in our conversion I suggest that we take the seriousness of our former selves too lightly. We  forget just how murderous, sick and broken we are and after our conversion we attempt to distance ourselves from what we are/were. This then presents the inherent danger of setting ourselves up for a fall by downplaying the severity of just how catawampus  we are. Although we are new creations in Christ, we forget the sin is only a breath away. We forget that being free in Christ does indeed allow freedom but doing everything is not beneficial and in some cases is downright sinful and an abuse of grace (1 Cor. 6:12, 10:23).

1 Corinthians 6:12 ~ "I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.

1 Corinthians 10:23 ~ "“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive."

A true understanding of our former condition would have us approach God with a tentativeness  respect and awe but with the understanding He loves us. When we do not fully understand our transformed condition and how mutated by sin that we used to be, we come to our new life with a devil-may-care-attitude and approach God with irreverence and treat Him as our buddy, our pal or our homeboy. I got news for you, if you are coming to the throne this way you should be ashamed. He is our Father, our Savior...our King...not our buddy. It shows that you don't truly understand what you were saved from...therefore you might not be. We were lost and demented. It was as if our eyes had been gouged out, our heart ripped from our chest and a stone was placed in our rib cages. All the while we were wading in offal, debris and waste of the cesspool of this world. No life, only a blind  dead man, prisoner to sin and locked in spiritual dementia. All the while doing the backstroke in a septic tank.

People that have just been plucked from a cesspool must realize that they have not been necessarily pulled from the waste only to be placed right back in the very septic system of sin that we have been pulled from spiritually. We were separated from it for a reason. We are to remain detached from the world and act as a dispatch from the Holy One and be messengers of His Gospel. We go in, deliver the message and we get out. We engage and then disengage not immerse ourselves. It is called a surgical strike. Occasionally, we will need to drag the fallen out if the cesspool's pit (Jude 22-23) just like dragging the wounded from the battlefield.

Jude 22-23 ~Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

People need to distinguish between what is possible and what is probable. Our path towards holiness in sanctification is a process that isn't meant to be pretty nor clean. It is a dirty messy process not because of God but because of us. We are our own worst enemy, probably even more so than Satan since neither he nor his minions are omnipresent and cannot be everywhere at once. We on the other hand are everywhere that we are at standing in our own way hindering our own progress. 

If we truly understand ourselves and how flawed we are we would understand this and accept this. Because we're so horribly flawed we do not accept it...even after conversion. Even after conversion I suggest many do not understand this fact. It shows in the fact that we often fight this process tooth-n'-nail thinking we are better people once we converted but all the while failing to realize we are the same person. The only difference is that we have Jesus Christ's righteousness imputed to us so that we can be saved. It was through His grace that we are now washed, sanctified, and justified in His holy name and by the Spirit of our God.

Our natural condition is to fight against this even after conversion (Romans 7). What's worse is that a sinful fallen condition might actually convince some that they are actually saved when in reality some never actually understood their true depravity and therefore were not really convinced of their need for salvation. I suggest this might be because...just maybe...they didn't think we really needed it. Sometimes I think the greatest lie many are given over to is that they are truly saved because we followed some type of formula and then showed absolutely no outward signs of Christ being in us whatsoever. The proverbial, "...I'm a Christian because I said a prayer to accept Jesus into my heart when I was six years old." Then the next thirty years showed absolutely no signs of the indwelling Spirit of God.

2 Corinthians 13:5 ~ "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?

Do we see a growth of Christ in our lives in accordance with Scripture? Do we see a diminishing of sin in our lives? Sin will continue to negatively affect our lives but does it continue to gain victory over us? Do we exhibit the sins of the flesh or the outworking of the Spirit? What spirit rules our life-the spirit of the world or the Spirit of God? It stands to reason that we cannot have the righteousness of God and be ignorant of it at the same time. We cannot do the things of God unwittingly. We are to be conscious and volitional in our actions and holiness should shape our behavior. The origin of some sins may be of omission but righteousness will not be.

If we are still doing cannonball dives into the cesspool and wallowing in the jetsam of the world we will be too dull of senses to see our own depraved condition...and this is why we always think we are "good enough". Only through the measure of Scripture and Spirit of God can we know for sure. If we do not acknowledge the Word and Christ how could we ever know for sure that we are truly saved? The answer: We cannot know outside of Christ and Scripture.

Are you in a cesspool of sinful waste and doomed to the fiery sin-heap of Hell or are you justified through the life, death and blood of Christ? The difference is a stark contrast and should be an easy discernment. It would be like living happily in an outhouse and not realizing we're wading in filth and sewage...or looking at the inside of the outhouse from the outside. Either way, inside or outside the direct grip and imprisoning affects of sin, the stench of sin still reeks and we cannot fully remove its smell from our lives until we are fully removed from it's contaminating effects. This can only occur once we move on to be in glory with Christ. Only death stops our sinning.

It is in these stark offensive terms that we begin to come to grips with what God through Christ has done for us. He has literally plucked us from the sewage of our own lives and wiped us clean in God's eyes. Yes, we still have a rank stench that hangs on us but its from the indwelling sin that we never seem able to rid ourselves of. Once we're saved we still have a stench like a freshly manured field because of our own inability but God is long-suffering and His forbearance is great and He is willing to overlook (over-smell) our sin because of the blood of His Son.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...