Shall we carry on sinning?

A few days ago I wrote a blogpost on the gospel being such a scandal of unmerited grace that if you have understood it correctly it should make you come to the conclusion that if this gospel is so unmerited does that mean that I should carry on sinning so that grace may abound.

The answer to the question is an obvious no. Sin is like a pit of quick sand that just draw you further and further down and your own actions, your own righteous deeds, that you do trying to get out actually makes it worse and you sink even more (which is why Paul says that he counts his own striving as a loss). Then Jesus comes along and he pulls you out from the pit totally independent of your own works why on earth would you want to have anything to do with the quick sand again? God’s grace, pulling us out of the sand, actually gives us a distaste for sand [sin] as it were.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” Tit 2:11-12

In the same way as God’s love to us has made it possible for us to love God, God’s grace given to us has first of all made us totally free from condemnation of sin and secondly the grace of God is training us to say no to sin and yes to righteousness. Through God’s grace there is no separation left and my sin is no longer and never will be a problem between me and God, it has been dealt with. At the same time the love that the Father so gracefully has covered me with gives me a longing to no longer give myself to what once was the cause of separation between me and God. Being drawn near to the Father gives me a longing to be more like him. In this way, through His kindness, love, grace and acceptance I am drawn into a longing to say yes to righteousness and no to sin.

If you are a believer, would you say that this is true according to your experience? What has given you the greatest longing to live for Jesus? Is it people who tell you the given standard to live by, the do’s and the don’ts or is it the moments where you have realised how loved and accepted you are through God’s grace?

If you are not a believer in Jesus I would say to you, stop trusting in your own ability to make it and I would want to give you this invitation to trust in another, in Jesus, to pull you out of the quick sand you are in. Receive his grace by trusting in what he has done for you, dying on the cross with your sin to reconcile you to God and then being raised from death to bring you into a new life.

What does God think about…

My first real blogpost will be of the philosopical kind. I have been reading some different debates and articles on God’s opinions lately. I will leave those aside and this is not an attempt to involve myself in them, but it has spurred some thinking on my part.

So often we try to define God’s opinions depending on what our current culture says to us. Our view of who God is easily becomes political correct. My suggestion though, is that God must be defined by his character in eternity, whether we like it or not in our current culture.

God is love. This is neither unfamiliar or uncomfortable. We know this because God has revealed this character to us through the Bible and first and foremost through Jesus Christ.

The Gospel of John states: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”

The law did reveal something of God’s character as well. Something of his standard, his holiness. Now the ultimate purpose of the law was not for us to try to live by it, but for us to realise that we can’t live by it. The law is our teacher that teach us our need for grace is the point Paul is making in his letter to the Galatian church.

Grace and truth came through Jesus. In Jesus, in his grace, and in the truth he reveal we see God. In the grace that has been given to us, that even if we have not lived according to God’s standard, even if each and every one of us are sinners, we have been given grace through Jesus. On the cross he has died with my sin and through faith in him I am now free from the condemnation of law, death and sin. Jesus also came with truth. On the cross Jesus not only put an end to condemnation on every believer, he also manifest that there actually is a righteous condemnation on sin that need to be dealt with. God does not change his opinion on sin according to current waves of popular culture, he deals with sin on the cross. Jesus came both to reveal the eternal grace and love of God’s character as well as His eternal holiness and truth.

Let me use an example that is not very controversial. Pedophilia is a sin in God’s eyes. Now that is not very difficult for me to grasp since it fits very well into my culture and worldview. My point is that it has always been a sin in God’s eyes. In ancient Greece it was considered an ideal for an older man to have a sexual relationship with a young boy [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pederasty] and in their culture this would probably be considered normal. My point is that God did not suddenly change his position in 1650 BC and he doesn’t suddenly change his position 2009 AD.

God is God, and he doesn’t deal with sin by wiping it under the carpet and forget it. He condemns it on the cross of Jesus and then recreate us with a cleansed conscience and a new life in Jesus Christ.

Grace and Truth. We need to acknowledge both aspects of God’s character to see God revealed to us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.