After I posted yesterday and went about my tasks, it occurred to me that I may have left the door open for a perpetuation of an idea that is counter to the Gospel of GRACE. I was also reminded of many a Sunday when I left the classroom and headed to church and mid-sermon or praise song, I would be gripped with concern over something I said and how it could be misinterpreted…sigh…the joys of not being able to share what you have been taught with others.
So for clarity I want to emphasize that my picture of taking my shortcomings and errors and current sin situations out to the trash heap and burning is in no way…let me repeat NO WAY…a suggestion that I can take away my sin.
My sin was nailed to the Cross of Jesus Christ. He took my sin and the sin of all the world on Himself.
He also, literally, BECAME sin and His death paid the price that is necessary for atonement. That is a finished work.
Because I have accepted His gift of salvation through grace (undeserved merit and favor), my sin is paid for. I can’t do anything to compensate for it, it is already taken care of.
However, I am still of flesh and bone and there is an old nature that I continue to encounter. I will not be perfected until I stand before Him, justified by Him and not by my works. So in the meantime, I will struggle against old patterns and a fallen world.
If I let my old nature slide into first place, THAT is the stuff I need to intentionally get rid of. Often we pray for God to remove the junk of our lives without putting forth any effort of our own to haul it out and burn it for the garbage it is.
When I am convicted of something I have done or some pattern of bitterness, contention, jealousy, envy, strife, pride…I need to recognize that for what it is and make every effort to get rid of it so that my worship and laying down of all things beautiful is pure and worthy of Him.
If I harbor sin in my heart, I cannot give Him all that He deserves.
The fallen nature of this world also brings out things in me.
Again, I am not to condemn the world…that is not my job…but recognize the fruit that rises in me is evidence that I have areas I have still not surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
So…out to the trash heap with those things I have tucked away and then back to the altar to give Him my best.
It’s a process and I may not have explained it well or perfectly, but let’s continue to work out our salvation…with fear and trembling…as instructed in Philippians 2: 12-13
Let’s be participants in the process.
We were set free, not to be free-loaders, but to live out the freedom of life in Christ both actively and dynamically.