Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sin and Grace

We are taught from day one in Sunday School about Adam and Eve and the fall of mankind. Every Sunday preachers dance around the pulpit and hoot and holler about Romans 3:23 and how sin separates us from God. We all can quote the verses in the "Roman's Road" and we know how to prove to sinners that they deserve hell because they have "missed the mark". 

And then we sin. 
We fail.
We give in to temptation. 


We dive headfirst into a sea of condemnation.

God says that He throws our sin into a sea of forgetfulness, but we just don't believe it. 
We are the exception.

Can we rewind for a moment? 
Can we revisit that Bible story we all know so well?

Genesis 3 (Paraphrase)
The snake pays the woman a little visit (She has not been named Eve yet. 
This little snake says, "So woman, did God really tell you that you can't eat from the trees in this beautiful garden?" 
Our woman friend was like, "No. We can eat from all of the trees except for this one little tree in the middle of this huge garden. We can't even touch that tree cause we will die." 
Mr. Snake was sneaky, he exclaimed, "You won't REALLY die!! You'll actually become gods! You will know good and evil."

Now, if you are a woman, you know that we are prone to having moments of weakness from time to time... Oh what I wouldn't give for ice cream on a hot summer day!! The woman in our story had a moment just like that!

The woman saw the tree and the fruit of the tree and realized that it looked pretty darn good. Her mouth began to water and her stomach growled.  She decided to take a bite. Then she shared it with her hubby. 

If you are a woman, you know that if you are going to give in to that ice cream sunday you feel a whole heck of a lot better if you have a friend who will give in to it with you! That's what she did. 

As soon as Adam and the woman ate from the tree, their eyes were open and they realized that they were completely naked!  Uh oh!  "This is awkward!" they thought, "We need some sort of clothes!" So they made themselves some nice, organic, eco friendly clothing to wear.

Here is my favorite part... You ready for it? Get ready!

They hear God's footsteps. Just like every other day before, God comes down and calls out to Adam. 

Just like every other day.
Just like God did the day before.
Just like God did.
Always Had.
God came down to hang out. 
Just like he always had done.
Before they disobeyed.
Before they sinned.
God came down to hang out.

Did God not know they disobeyed Him?
Did God miss the memo that sin separates us from Him? 
Did God skip class the day the teacher taught on how God is supposed to turn His back on the bad little humans who have a moment (or a lifetime) of sin?
Was God confused?

(The place where the Devil lives) 
Adam and the woman hear God coming. 
They freak out.
"Oh crap. We messed up!" 
They ran and hid from the presence of God.

Adam and the woman hid.
Adam and the woman separated themselves from God.

The worst part about sin is that is causes us to separate ourselves from God. 

Our shame, our guilt, our condemnation.

We run from God.

God wants to meet with us 5 seconds after we have fed our addiction just as much as he wants to meet with us the day that we lead 12 people to the Lord, baptize 8, and spend 7 hours in the prayer room. 

God isn't afraid of our sin. 
God isn't ashamed of our nakedness. 
We are the ones who make the nakedness awkward. 
We are the ones who turn our backs.
We are the ones who separate ourselves. 
We do.
Not God.

When we sin or are tempted to sin the we need to run boldly into the throne room of God. 
Not hide from it. 

Hebrews 4:16 

ESV- Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

ISV- So let us KEEP ON COMING boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

YLT- We may come near, then, with freedom, to the throne of the grace, that we may receive kindness, and find grace--for seasonable help.

NLT- So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. 

Get the point?

God wants us. 
He doesn't want our show.
He doesn't want to see how good we can be.
He wants us. 

Just because I know that some will disagree with this...
Yes, we need to live lives of holiness. 
Yes, we need to obey God.

When eradicating sin is your focus, sin will be your identity.
When loving Jesus is your focus, holiness will be your identity. 
I have found more freedom from temptation than I ever have before when I just fell in love with Jesus. 

When Jesus is the center of my attention, sin doesn't get my attention.

The last thing I want to mention is about Romans 3:23.
We all know it. 
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." 

Honestly, I could go on to talk about the following verses that make this point, 
but I just want to focus on the one verse right now.

Come short---> hystereƍ

It means to come late or tardily to. 

We come late to the glory of God. 

Glory of God ---> Doxa

A most glorious condition, most exalted state
Of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth
The glorious condition fo blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Savior's return from heaven

Yes, we must repent when we sin. That is a given. I am in no way saying that we can live in sin with no consequences. The Bible clearly states that there are eternal consequences for sin. But what I am saying is that our sin shouldn't cause us to run and hide in a closet away from God. 

I feel that the body of Christ as a whole has done a huge injustice to broken people. 
Sinners sin.
Christians sin.
We sin.
But we have no reason to separate ourselves from God when He is walking through the garden calling us. He still wants us. Even in our sin.

Final thought:

What would have been different if Adam and Eve had not hidden from God? 
Do you think that things may have been different had they repented right there?

Obviously there would have still needed to be a sacrifice... Jesus was sacrificed before the foundation of the earth. 

But would anything have been different? 

Let me know what you think. :)

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