Friday, April 23, 2010

Devotional Snapshot 69 - Sin Boldly

"Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world." pastoral advice of Martin Luther, 16th century Christian reformer

"Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!" Romans 5: 9, 10

Isn't this a little shocking? Sin and sin boldly! That's not what we preach or teach. I didn't raise my children this way. I don't speak to myself like this or my Christian sisters. The exact opposite. "Be good." "Do what is right." "Be like like Jesus...pray like Jesus...speak like Jesus."

But something about that quote lifted my spirits today. I was stuck in muddy self pity. I hadn't been good. I hadn't done what was right. "Oh why can't you be like Jesus? You fall short. Everyday in someway you blow it." Self reprimanded me.

Be a sinner and sin boldly, BUT believe...BUT rejoice. In who? In Christ. Why? For He is victorious over my sin! This reminds me that I am not justified by being a good girl today. What I do or don't do today does not negate one drop the power of Christ's blood to declare me righteous...NOT MY OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS ("that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ..." Philippians 3: 9)

This justification by Christ's blood is far more gloriously sufficient than I live by. I say, "yes, I am going to heaven, but I need to prove myself worthy and fit to be there now that Jesus has saved me." Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! None of us can be worthy, ever, in ourselves to earn heaven. We are free! Free to make mistakes. Free to take risks. Free to forgive and ask for forgiveness. Free to be imperfect. Free to say "no". Free not to introspect. Free not to blame. Free to let go. When we were God's enemies he saved us, how much more are we saved by His abiding permanent life living in us?

Martin Luther goes on to say: "As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin....It is enough that by the riches of God's glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sins by so great a Lamb is too small?"

We are not to seek to sin (Romans 6:1), but when sin happens we come boldly to the throne of grace. When sin happens we believe and rejoice in the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5) When sin happens we thank God that it is not by our efforts but His mercy that we are loved for eternity by Jesus Christ.

Believe and rejoice in Christ more boldly today!

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