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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

sin or god must die

i just read a great excerpt from the classic devotional book by oswald chambers my utmost for his highest. today's reading is called "acquainted with grief" and references isaiah 53.3, "he is...a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."
My Utmost for His Highest/Hard Bonded Leather (The/Christian Library)we are not "acquainted with grief" in the same way our lord was acquainted with it. we endure it and live through it, but we do not become intimate with it. at the beginning of our lives we do not bring ourselves to the point of dealing with the reality of sin. we look at life through the eyes of reason and say that if a person control his instincts, and educate himself, he can produce a life that will slowly evolve into the life of God. but as we continue on through life, we find the presence of something which we have not yet taken into account, namely, sin - and it upsets all of our thinking and our plans. sin has made the foundation of our thinking unpredictable, uncontrollable, and irrational.

we have to recognize that sin is a fact of life, not just a shortcoming. sin is a blatant mutiny against god, and either sin or god must die in my life. the new testament brings us right down to this one issue-if sin rules in me, god's life in me will be killed; if god rules in me, sin in me will be killed. there is nothing more fundamental than that. the culmination of sin was the crucifixion of jesus christ, and what was true in the history of god on earth will also be true in your history and in mine - that is, sin will kill the life of god in us. we must mentally bring ourselves to terms with this fact of sin. it is the only explanation why jesus christ came to earth, and it is the explanation of the grief and sorrow of life.
this really spoke to me this morning because of the reality of this second paragraph. as humans we have no choice but to be ruled by something. most of us think that we are free, but the truth is that just like in the movie the matrix, we are slaves in our own minds-slaves because of the very fact that we have deceived ourselves into thinking we are free. the reality is that we are either slaves to sin or we are slaves to god-there is no 3rd option.

many people would rather be a slave to sin because they think this is the option that gives them the most freedom. why is that? wouldn't we rather be slaves to the ruler for which we were created in the first place? every human being has longings in their soul that other worldly - where they think they have a higher purpose than this life. cs lewis says that if a person has a longing that cannot be explained by something in this world it is because they weren't created for this world.

what i'm getting at is that a life in god, will provide meaning to these longings. whereas most of us try to quench this thirst through intellectual assent or by numbing our minds through the lusts of the flesh, there is only one thing that can truly quench these longings. that is to be acquainted with our creator. and, as oswald explains above, as we are filled more and more by him, the things that we make up to try and fill his place in our life gradually gets put to death.

my call for you is to find life in god which will put sin to death. notice what i am not saying. i am not saying "put sin to death in order to find life in god." life in god must come first. that is the only way sin gets put to death in us.


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