Okay, so whoever reads this blog and attends the Gathering Church came yesterday eager to hear something I had never said before. Last Friday I announced it with some fanfare, that a new, original thought was going to emerge. Nothing like building expectations.
So, what was it?
I suspect that the life-changing, new thought didn’t come out with the clarity that matched the intent, so let me summarize.
We don’t have to ever think about ‘sin’ like we’ve thought about it before.
Christ killed it in his death. Not the capacity that we still have to mess up, but the whole system of it that pressures us, makes us feel guilty and ashamed.
When the Bible says that we have died to sin it means more than that we have forgiveness for our mistakes. It means that we have been set free from a whole system of life that was based on falling short, keeping accounts, trying to be good.
Have you ever thought about how many people achieve great things in their jobs, in society because they are basically afraid of failing? Do you think that the pressures you feel in life come from the free abandonment of your life to the joyful purpose of God? Are you honest enough, and self-aware enough to know what motivations are shaped by insecurity, not love?
Why don’t more people who profess a faith in Christ live with the joy and freedom of Christ?
Because we think that the whole system of sin and its reckoning are still intact. Most of us still live with the same pressures and the same self-audits we had before being Christians. Now, it’s worse. We have more to feel guilty about. Faith in Christ has only raised our expectations of ourselves, created more ‘shoulds.’
I have known that the death of Christ killed the guilt of sin. I don’t think that I’ve known that it killed the whole administration of sin – the pressure, the self-auditing, the self-condemnation – every bit of it. Grace, life, right-living have taken the place of these things.
Pressure to measure up, to perform better, to hide our faults from others – all those things suggest that we don’t know that sin is dead, that we are dead to it.
I still have a long way to go to figure this out, so the thought might be a bit premature, but, I’m working on a new question:
What is everything like when grace is in charge instead of sin?