Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Terror of Sin, The Power of Grace, The Tragedy of Distraction

God created Adam with freedom to choose sin or blessing, obedience or disobedience, life or death. Adam freely chose sin. Sin killed Adam's soul, corrupted his mind and enslaved his will.

Imagine how terrible sin is: that every child of Adam is likewise killed, corrupted, and enslaved by it. All of the pains, sorrows and injustices in this world - and all of the torments experienced in hell - can be traced back to the basic reality of sin. How awful sin must be! It is a destroyer.

Now, consider the immense and almighty power of grace: that God revives, restores and reclaims sinners by it! By grace He liberates the sin-slave, eliminates the condemnation, and delivers the captive! By grace He restores rebels, turns hearts from destruction, justifies the ungodly and establishes holiness where there was only toxic filth.

Adore the greatness of the mercy that delays judgment and provides a remedy for the helpless!
Stand in awe of the sacrifice that redeems and raises dead souls, heals corrupted minds, and renews a willing spirit in us! 

Bless the God who makes all things new!
II Corinthians 5:16-21 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
The trouble is, too many of us have forgotten, neglected, trivialized or discounted the very simple and awe-inspiring facts of the Gospel. Thus it is no wonder we need more and more light shows, dancers, multimedia presentations, huge crowds, superstar worship leaders, and Hollywood sermons filled with provocative, morally questionable content. We have lost the ability to worship God in the simple yet infinitely mystifying reality of WHO He is and WHAT He has done. Yet the mighty cherubim adore Him eternally and without distraction, never having been redeemed, reconciled, restored or liberated  from misery. They only have God, as Creator and King, and they worship unceasingly on that basis alone. He is their light show. He is their star. He is their hero. He is their drama. He is their crowd. He is their display of greatness. He is all the pageantry and excitement they need. They are fully satisfied in Him, and He is glorified in them.

Today's worship services might just be too distracting. All the trappings of our "worship" are useful only as they lead us to a fresh appreciation of the simple Truth of the Gospel.


  1. I love this! I have been thinking this same thing ever since I took my three-year-old to the park yesterday. She has so much awe and wonder over the "little things" of life, and I wonder, "Where did I lose sight of this awe and wonder? When did I let the 'little things' get crowded out of my mind?" The truth is, those "little things" are really the big things. Those moments of child-like (not childish) wonder are more worshipful than my mere head knowledge of theology or, on the other end of the spectrum, my fleshly desire for pageantry and performances with God's name attached.

    Great post!

  2. Matt,

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts, which are quite a good addition to the post and very well said.


  3. Great post. Sadly many churches have forgotten the Gospel which is the distinctive of Christianity.
    I have a parallel concern. Many have forgotten the Law and without the recognition of one's personal sin there can be no true conversion. The great preachers of the past understood that a person must see how they fall short of God's standards before they are willing to realize they need a remedy.
    God bless you as you continue to minister in the service of our great and gracious God.

  4. Bob,

    Great point and I agree. Just because we as believers are "not under Law" does not mean God no longer has a Law (which would be equivalent to saying He is no longer holy or just), that fallen humanity is exempt from the consequences of breaking it (which would mean all are saved, or universalism), or that the Law has no use or purpose (which would deny the ongoing usefulness of huge portions of Scripture). It simply means the Law has no power to condemn us because it is no longer the basis of our standing before God. Thank God that Christ fulfilled the Law for us, paid its just penalty, and increasingly frees us from the Law's power to stir up a sinful response in us (a la Romans 7), so that we may walk in the Spirit (a la Romans 8)!



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