Passion to Know More has a public Facebook page where I share Christian songs, quotes, Scripture pictures, Did You Know facts, Bible trivia questions, and my blogs/ posts. The page was set up to be encouraging and to teach about the Bible.
I can see how many people read/ interact with each post. And I've noticed the people on the page love to hear about how much God loves them. How He will help them in times of trouble. How He is their rock and their strong defender. How He rescues them. How He saves them. All very true.
But I've also noticed (actually I couldn't help but noticing because the difference is humongous!) that people don't want to read anything that has the words "sin" or "holy" in them.
I wrote a post on that God's "lovingkindness" is a key word found in the Old Testament. In the New Testament it talks about His compassion. Same thing. That post got a ton of reads. But another key phrase found in the Old Testament is "fear of the LORD" and how this means He is holy. We should have profound reverence for Him. I wrote a post on this. Virtually no one read it.
It's the same with quotes and other things I post. If it is a feel-good post, you read it. If not, you don't.
I've noticed this trend throughout our society. We don't want anything to do with a holy God who condemns sin. We want to hear how God loves us and will be there for us and fight our battles. We want to hear that we are going to heaven. But owning up to the sin in our lives - well, no sir. Nothing doing. No one wants to talk about sin.
You want a Savior, but you don't really want a Lord.
Meaning you want a God who will love you and save you, but who will ignore the sin in your life and let you go on living the way you are.
It doesn't work that way.
You want God to do His thing when life is hard and you need help. But you don't want Him to tell you how to live. You want to go on sinning.
It doesn't work that way.
God is in the transformation business.
We must recognize we are deplorable sinners before a holy God. Our sin is worthy of death. We must fall on our knees (literally or figuratively) and ask for His forgiveness. Jesus has paid the price of that sin with His sacrifice on the cross. It is a free gift from a holy merciful God to those who want that forgiveness.
We have to first admit we are a sinner before we can receive His forgiveness!
Then we surrender our lives to Him and let Him become our Lord.
Christians don't become perfect at the time of conversion, called justification. We become righteous. We are saved. But in this world we will always be miserable sinners. Albeit, forgiven sinners, but sinners nonetheless.
After this initial conversion God starts working in our lives and transforming us into the image of Jesus. God is making us holy. This process is called sanctification. We must continue to confess our sins to God and ask for His forgiveness to be in an intimate relationship with Him. Yes, we are saved, but if we want Him to work in our lives and use us for His kingdom, we have to continually address our sin issue with Him. We do this by confessing our ongoing sins to Him and asking Him to forgive us and change us. And our Lord will change us. That is what He does.
"Sin" shouldn't be something we ignore and act like it doesn't exist. God wants to help us be victorious over the sin in our lives. Admitting the problem is the first step.
When you read the Bible, read it with a balanced view of God. Yes, He loves you. He created you and desires only good for you. You are His beloved child. But recognize He is holy. I have heard His holiness is His most defining attribute.
We can't ask Jesus to be our Savior and then ignore how He tells us to live.
He is holy. We are not. We are sinners.
He is almighty and powerful. We make a mess of our lives.
He is our LORD. We are His bond-servants (bought with a price that He paid.)
Don't read the Bible and ignore all references to sin and holiness.
Don't read the Bible and only pull out the things that make you feel good.
A genuine relationship with God recognizes who He is and who we are.
I love this testimony by Darren and Heidi Mulligan. Darren is in the Christian band We Are Messengers. Their music is awesome! They both understood this sin thing and that they needed a holy God to save them. And then they gave their life to Him. Heidi can tell you the exact date she made this decision.
"It is something worth living for."
Our sinful nature is a reality. Ignoring it won't make it go away. Recognize it. Confess it. And surrender it to our holy God so He can transform us into His image. As our minds and hearts and actions become more like His, we find that abundant life that had been so elusive before.
that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Ephesians 4: 22-24