Monday, July 20, 2009

Christian Breathing

by Ben

Yesterday we heard a great quote in the sermon: "Repentance and faith are like Christian breathing." For the Christian, life is a continual process of breathing out -- knowing our brokenness, seeing it more deeply, repenting of it -- and breathing in -- turning from other objects and our own efforts for satisfaction, self-worth, significance and turning and trusting in Christ alone with all our being through faith. I think this is close to what Jesus described as "abiding in my love," (John 15) and "feeding on me." (John 6) Repentance and faith are not only things we do when we become Christians, but what we do every day as Christians. But what is faith? I also came across this article about what it means to fight your sin. On the one hand, it's not "morbid introspection or ascetic legalism." It's not just telling yourself: "I'm just going to knuckle down and be a better Christian, because Jesus tells me to." But on the other hand, grace doesn't mean that "sin is really no big deal, that Jesus paid for it at the cross and therefore we are home free." Faith in the bible is described as fighting -- "by the spirit, put to death the deeds of the body, and you will live." (Rom. 8:13) How do we FIGHT without becoming legalistic, relying on our own moralistic efforts? The key is HOW we are fighting -- the bible always describes fighting as fighting in the spirit, by faith, trained by grace, abiding in Christ's love. The article describes fighting this way: "The greatest weapon against our opponents is Spirit-empowered faith in the promises of God, promises that have been guaranteed by the death of Christ. Don't trust the promises of the flesh; trust in the promises of your Savior."

Fight to believe and trust in the radical grace of God above all.