But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:57
We, which includes you and me, were born sinners. Bound to behave in direct obedience to God’s will. Please don’t misunderstand, this does not mean we had no choice. We absolutely chose to engage in sin, however, we didn’t have the ability to understand the nature of bondage that sin had on us. Many people will try to justify actions by stating, “well that depends on how you define sin”. If we use that logic, there would indeed be many definitions of what sin might be. But we don’t use man’s standard to define sin, we look to the perfect God Almighty and His set of standards. It’s interesting how many of the same people, including me at one time, claim that life isn’t fair, but then want to live in a world where ethics are situational. Wouldn’t it be more fair if everyone lived by the same set of rules? Imagine a sporting event where one team played by one set of rules, but the other team played by the rules that felt right to them. Ludicrous, isn’t it? Understanding this idea of one set of rules for everyone, we must admit that we have all fallen short of following those rules, so like it or not..sin is a reality.
If we have absolute rules, we must have an absolute ruler. If we agree that one consistent set of standards has been set, we have to ask ourselves, who made these rules? It wasn’t a committee, not a vote, not an agreement on what should be right and should be wrong, NO! We have an absolute ruler because we need someone with the authority to enforce those rules, even when we might not agree or like the rule itself. If the rules had been established by some committee, we could demand amendments. Form a new committee, let’s change the rules that are too hard to keep. See how quickly we can go down that road. We must come to the understanding that, like it or not…God is sovereign.
I hated algebra in school. The process of solving a problem was complicated and many times nonsensical. That is until a very patient and talented teacher showed me how algebra truly works. In summary to our combined level of understanding, A+B = C. Let’s look at the two previous paragraphs in that way. If we are born into the bondage of sin and God is the sovereign ruler, then…like it or not, we have broken the relationship of harmony with God Almighty.
God is not only a loving God, He is the source of love and the only one capable of pure love. In His love, He wanted to repair the relationship that we broke. If a relationship is broken, it must be repaired, and the only way to repair the brokenness of sin against the sovereign God is sacrifice. If it’s perfect love that God offers, the sacrifice must be perfect as well. God’s absolute rule states that only the shedding of blood can be the payment of sin, again that blood must be pure. Jesus the Christ, came to this earth for two reasons. The first was to model what a perfect walk with God. Complete obedience to His will. Knowing that we are incapable of perfection in ourselves, the second reason for Jesus’ perfect walk was to provide the atoning sacrifice for the relationship that we broke. Like it or not…the sacrifice of Christ is the only way to restore a relationship with God.
The relationship has been restored, now we can walk in perfection! Wait, isn’t that the way it works? Through the sacrifice of Christ, we can model His walk of perfection, isn’t that the way it works? How often to we beat ourselves up because in some way we believe that to be true. There are times when we have committed a sin that we are shamed because we didn’t meet God’s standard. There is nothing wrong with understanding that we missed the mark, again. There is nothing wrong with feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but we are never to walk in shame. If we do, we completely misunderstand the complete Grace through Christ that we can claim in salvation. Like it or not…we will fail in our walk.
How many times have we thought, “if I just try harder to follow the rules”, “if I pray harder, if I go to more church events, if I just do more”, then I will make God love me again. WOW, that thought process sure gives us a lot of power doesn’t it? But, it has to be me doing better doesn’t it? Well, frankly no. We can’t do enough good things to make God love us more, if we understand He loves us completely and purely. On the same note, we can’t mess up enough to make His ashamed of us. See, we don’t have the power, He does. Going back to algebra for a minute, if He is perfect and we aren’t and perfection is the requirement, then I better rely on Him to provide that perfection. Our victory doesn’t originate in our behavior, our victory originates in who we are in Christ. He is our victory. Like it or not…only in Him can we find the victory over our faults.