Tuesday, March 3, 2009


The above cartoon would probably be more humorous to me if it weren’t so true. I spent many years of my life (after being born again) burdened down with the guilt and shame of sin that had already been pardoned by the blood of Jesus. I had been set free but lived as a captive in a constant state of unrest, trying to live up to the requirements of Gods law. A law that if we are going to live by them, contains not only the ten commandments but were added to by Jesus who said that hate is murder and lust is adultery. A law that judges not only our actions but also the “thoughts and intent of the heart.” (Heb 4:12) As difficult as living without lying, cursing or coveting is, how could anyone possibly live holy under a law that judges by our thought life as well. For the moment we repent from one foul thought, another unholy thought may surface. I was taught that when any such sin occurred in my life I had fallen from grace. Because of this improper understanding of grace, I must have been resaved several hundred times per year. Living with this kind theology makes one very sin conscious, which leaves you with three choices,

1. Repent constantly (which leaves little time to enjoy any of Gods goodness.)

2. Rationalize and categorize sin (try to convince oneself that what you do is not sin)

3. Live under constant guilt, condemnation, and fear of hell.

I lived doing a combination of all three of these things. You would think being very sin conscious would keep you living as good and holy as possible, but the reason that isn’t necessarily so, is that if one sin is going to send me to hell anyway, then committing five, ten, or one hundred doesn’t make much difference. Jesus didn’t die just to have us continue to live in fear with the weight of sin and hell precariously hanging over our heads like a 10-ton block dangling from an old frayed rope.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Gal 5:1

I thank God daily that He revealed to me the truth of his grace, that salvation is a free gift that I don’t have to earn to receive, or earn to keep. That Jesus paid for my sin debt and died my death so I can be free from sin and live unto Him. “Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Rom. 6:11 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

I ask the question earlier how can we possibly live up to God’s standard of perfection in both thought and deed? The answer is that we can’t; but how blessed we are that the law’s requirements were fulfilled in Jesus. The purpose of the law was never to make us righteous, but only to expose our sin and drive us to Christ. “I had not known sin but by the law.” Rom.7:7 “The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.” Gal 3:24 “That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God…by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Rom. 3:19-20 Just as a mirror can never clean the dirt from our face, only reveal it; the law can never make or keep us righteous and holy, only expose our sinful condition. God’s standards of perfection are beyond my reach, but praise His Holy Name, He is the “Perfect One” on whom my sin was laid. No longer do I have to stay in the prison of guilt and shame for by the blood of Jesus my debt has been paid and I have been pardoned and set free! Halleluiah!

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

No comments: