Sunday, October 10, 2010

Solution Sunday--It is About Our Identity, Not Our Behavior (and an organizational fix)

Well, church was really good again today.  Really, it was Sunday School.  And God used my mom to reveal a truth I had not really thought about.

If we are truly Christians, should we really refer to ourselves as "sinners saved by grace"?  I bet we could really have a debate about this.  Are we saints?  Oh, no, we are not Catholics.  We don't use the term "saint" in our church.  And after all, you might be thinking, of course we are sinners.  And of course, we were saved by grace. After all, Adam sinned, and we have a sin nature.  We can't help it.

I am sorry, my dear readers, but I hate to disagree with you.  According to Scripture, before we are saved, we have no choice but to sin.  Just read the book of Romans.   As the book goes on, the question is asked should we continue to sin after we are saved?  Some might say that we should.  The more we sin, the more grace we receive as Christians.  Sorry, but when we become Christians, we no longer have to sin.  We make the choice to sin.  I remember in college when I was taking the book of Romans (I went to Bible college) how this changed my thinking.  As Christians, we make the conscious decision to sin.  We are free from sin.  We have been given a brand new spirit.  And the real struggle is that our spirit wants to follow God, but our bodies and souls sometimes do not allow the spirit to dominate us.

When we refer to ourselves as "sinners saved by grace," I believe that we give ourselves the freedom to sin.  We have an excuse.  When we mess up, we can say, "Well, I'm just a sinner anyway.  I can't help it."  That is flawed thinking.  Once we are saved, we become saints.  God gives us a brand new spirit.  We make the choice to sin.  But we don't have to.

So what is it that saves us?  Is is God or what we do for Him or both?  I think I would have said that my behavior absolutely must match what I say I am and it if doesn't, I have to do better.  It is up to me to work hard and fight against sin.  I must resist.  I must do this.  I must do that.  How wrong we are!!  It is all about God, not us.  He does the work in us.  It is His new spirit within us that we need to let do the work.  It is not about us--it's about Him.

Now I am not saying that we are totally absolved of responsibility.  But I also know that I have spent too much time trying to do the right thing.  I will give you the perfect example.  I've mentioned certain things concerning my relationship with Martin before--my friend in England.  He is not saved at this point, and I am very much in love with him. He is drawn to me, but he refuses to say he is in love with me.  There is a certain electricity between us that causes us to sometimes be tempted to do certain things.  It's hard for me because I am a Christian, and I have to draw the line.  I have to stop and make it very clear that this is the boundary line.  I prided myself on being able to stop.  I could do it because God was there with me, and I would not do it.  And so far, I had prided myself on being able to stop.  But I still felt that I wasn't pleasing God and doing what I should do.

In church today, God pointed out to me that it was not up to me to stop myself.  I needed to let the new spirit within me control my flesh and my soul.  My flesh cries out for Martin.  I want him.  But if I can let God control me, I will be able to resist temptation.  I have been worried for a while that I wouldn't be able to resist.  I had seen blogging as my escape hatch.  I was going to blog and blog and blog so that I could ignore Martin and make sure that nothing happens between us.  There I go again--I was trying to do it on my own.  I CAN'T!  So I have given it over to God.  And I know that if allow God's Spirit within me to control me, I will not fall into temptation.

My mom said something very profound,  She said that we need to stop responding to our fellow believers based on their behavior--we should base it on their identity.  We often don't embrace who  we are in the Lord.  We are not sinners saved by grace,  and all of us Christians would live a lot differently if we could change our thinking.  Because God is holy, we are holy.  Before the Lord, we are without blame because when God looks at us, He sees Christ.  I know it's an unusual thought, but trust me, it is a freeing thought.  I am still grasping it--truth be known.

Quick solution I am committed to this week is the following:
I will spend 10 minutes each day this week (at least) doing something around the house.  I will put the computer down at that time, and just do it.  I did a lot of work  today, and I feel really good about it.  I will keep you up to date on how I do this.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings tonight.  I surely hope I made sense!  Or I should say, I hope that God spoke through me to your heart.  At least you have something to think about.  And please do ponder it.

1 comment:

  1. Amen Ruth,
    What a powerful post, so much to learn and remind ourselves of from this post. This is spiritual medicine for the soul. Thanks for sharing.