Drinking Deeply

Wednesday, August 09, 2006 at 8:10 PM

A Hard Religion?

Someone mentioned that Christian faith is the only faith that "gets harder the more you work."

Now, I'm not too sure about the truth of the 'only' statement, but I personally mentioned that I haven't found that to be the case.

I'm not saying that I've conquered all my sins, or that I'm making much progress against them. To the contrary, I've seen deeper and darker sins the more I wage war against my sinful self. Open and outward sins which are easily seen by others and which impact my relationship with others are easy to root out, but heart sins, the ones that only God holds me accountable for, are always here. Sins of the tongue are particularly hard for me, as Bible itself said it would be.

So the Christian faith certainly has gotten "harder" in the sense that sins are becoming more and more difficult to see, root out, and overcome.

But what I did mean was that the more I learn, the more I realize it's not dependent upon me. This last weekend especially, where we examined Galatians in depth over and over again, was especially rich. The most difficult part of Christianity, in fact, the whole part of it, has been done completely outside of myself. Thus as I learn more and more about Christianity, I learn more and more about my own sinful nature yes, but I learn more and more about Christ's victory over sin. I learn that it is comprehensive, that it is accomplished, that it was planned, that it is wholistic, that I, an ingrafted branch who was undeserving, am now sharing in the spoils of that victory. More than conquerors.

So does the Christian faith get harder? Not really. The call is always "be perfect." And the more I learn, the more I see the response is not, "I'm trying!" but "I can't." This isn't to say that I am not seeking to root out sins in my life. This isn't to say that I'm going to become complacent about my eternal state, using the grace of God as an excuse for sin. And this isn't to say that I don't find sanctification a painful and difficult process.

But I am saying that I'm done. It's accomplished. Christ has risen. And I, a sinful saint, one who was lost, who was hostile to God, who still is rooting out sins, can proclaim, "Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting?"

Sure, this assurance can go up and down, but my security will not, and that's what I trust in, not my battle, but God's war.

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Blogger Joanna Martens said...

The Christian faith has not be tried and found wanting, its been found difficult and left untried. :-)  

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Blogger Joanna Martens said...

That was quoted by GK Chesterion by the way.  

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Anonymous theocentric522 said...

"...my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

"...come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."

"...but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am!"

"...But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

"...But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

"...whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

It's hard, but then we realize we're on something solid. Everything other than Christ is stinking sand.  

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Anonymous theocentric522 said...

*NOT stinking...sinking. LOL. can make sense tho. =D  

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