My beautiful, beloved family,
So….What about sin? This has been on my mind a lot.
I lie about sin. I try to hide it. I sweep it under the rug. I excuse it. I justify it. (I’m only human. It’s not gonna hurt anyone. That jerk deserved it. I was tired. Anyone else would have done the same thing. On and on and on.)
Even so, these things that I think or do just don’t sit right with me. I know what they really are if I’m honest with myself. A good friend of mine told me recently, “You can’t lie to God. And you can’t lie to yourself.” So true. When all is said and done, even the little things just don’t sit right.
Here is what I’ve found in my life, within the last year. When I do that…, hide, excuse, justify,… I give sin power in my life. Don’t get me wrong, it is false power. Jesus conquered sin. It has no real power. But I give it some sort of imaginary power. I try to present myself as some sort of good person, kind, considerate, caring, loving. But I know the truth. God knows the truth. I am hiding all of my crud so that people see me in a good light. And that fake power grows. It takes a hold of me. Like a jail cell with the door wide open. I’m sitting in there rotting when I don’t need to. I’ve let stupid, powerless sin hold me down and keep me from walking out into freedom. So, lately, I’ve been bringing my sin into the light. At least to myself. I call it out and have words with it. But maybe that’s for another email.
I know there are parts of the Bible that indicate that God punishes people for their wrongdoings, especially in the Old Testament and Revelations and other places. I don’t know about all that. But I know what Jesus said about how God feels about those who sin against Him.
Jesus tells us exactly how God feels about His enemies.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
God isn’t punishing for sin. He may use it to shape us, but God is not punishing. Jesus took any punishment that we deserved. He finished that work and sits at the right hand of God the Father.
So, again, what about sin?
I was reading Romans 7 this morning and that’s what made me think of the Zombie thing. Paul was addressing our sinful nature in that chapter. He said that according to the law, if a woman is married to a man, she is bound to that man for as long as he lives, but if he dies she is free. Then he said that we are dead to the law (Zombies) and we are free in Christ Jesus. Here is how Paul put it…….
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15For that which I do, I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me (my dead zombie person that I drag around).
(I highly recommend reading all of chapter 7 and 8 if you feel inclined.)
Then in verse 24: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
We all know the answer. Jesus delivered us all. We all died with Him, and the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead now dwells in us, raising us up in light and love and life from the grave of our own dead Zombie existence. THANKS BE UNTO GOD FOR HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT!!!!
Then, in the beginning of the next chapter of Romans, Paul tells us, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”
So let’s not be afraid or ashamed. Let’s not let stupid, impotent, powerless sin hold us in a prison that doesn’t even exist anymore. Let’s step out and not be afraid to air out all that crap in the glorious light of God’s incomprehensible and unconditional love. We can start by being honest with God and honest with ourselves. Whom God has set free is free indeed! Glorious!
I love you all, so very much.
This song by Jennifer Knapp really sums it all up well.