The Down-side of Grace 1 Cor. 5

  • Friday, February 17, 2012

  • "I have never fallen into sin!"

    That statement, boldly declared among the more that 45 men assembled, brought an uncomfortable hush to the room. Words like: ARROGANT, SELF-RIGHTEOUS, IGNORANT, certainly filled many minds. Such pride!

    The context: At the opening gathering of a men's retreat, our host/coordinator had initiated a get-to-know-you activity. Andy personally introduced himself and added a brief bio of his spiritual journey. As each man around the room followed this template, a definite motif unfolded. Most of the men had a clear testimony of saving faith in Jesus Christ. But nearly everyone also included a statement that sounded a bit like this: "After I believed, I fell into sin. I fell into the kind of things I had been doing before I trusted Christ." Now, gratefully, we were spared most of the gory details, but salvation followed by falling back became a theme.

    A gracious God effects a most gracious, rescuing gospel. He snatches from the binding grip of sin its helpless slaves and emancipates them to become servants of righteousness so they may joyfully pursue a new life of holiness. From the agony of bondage to the hilarity of freedom. One could rightly expect that every memory of past decadence would produce increasing repulsion. Who would ever want to go back?!

    "But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin from the heart...having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness." Romans 6:17-18

    Regrettably, so much like thankless Israel enjoying longed-for freedom from Egypt, slowly the painful memories were replaced by romanticized flashbacks. And they longed to go back.

    "I have never fallen into sin." Then, following an appropriate pause for impact, our brother John added, "Every sin I have committed, I chose to do!" And the room was filled with conscience-convicted laughter that acknowledged that truth...

    "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?" Romans 6:1-2

    See you Sunday, Church!

    Pastor Tom


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