Sunday, July 09, 2006

Fam-tastic

I'm trying to think of a way to start this without saying 'i love my church' or 'church was great today'...but i really can't. So pick whichever one of those you prefer and we'll get on with it!

Today was great, things were really buzzing after Brighton, even those of us who weren't there were really, well, buzzing, like it was something in the air (i think He's called the Holy Spirit!). I love the fact that when He turned up, Sean had to throw His schedule out of the window and Anthony didn't even start preaching until 1140! The fact that when Liz spoke out in tongues the meeting stopped totally until someone interpreted it, which wasn't that long but still a noticable gap. I love how safe i felt standing at the front of church waiting to be prayed for. Aware of the fact that i was physically speaking in full view of everyone, and yet safe, and protected. I loved knowing that however long it took Sean and Sitho to work their way round to me, and today, it took a long time praise the Lord, that they would, and that they would pray for me lovingly.

Anthony was preaching on Romans 6:1-14, and something really struck me about the language he used to describe our state before we were Christians. The sin that people ask Paul if they should continue in, that grace may abound all the more. Now, as Anthony preached it, this was obviously just his scene setting, his 'wobble on the tee', but it really struck me about the nature of sin.

When we were dead in sin, before we were saved, we were like walking corpses, bound up to a slave master. Drenched and enslaved to and in sin, and yet totally unaware of it and it's condition. Our whole lives were chrecterised by sin, our whole lives were marked by the evil we did rather than the good. Sin made up who we were, sin was who we were. We were prisoners in the dominion of darkness. In prison, someone tells you when to get up, when to sleep, when to eat, when to use the toilet...you have no freedom. Is this not the state we were in before we were saved, whether knowingly or not? It really didn't matter whether on the outside your life was a mess, or whether you were doing ok by the world's standards, because we were all unknowingly slaves to sin. Sin was our master, and we could do nothing...and it was killing us every day. The problem was so bad that Jesus didn't try and fix it. Paul says that Christians are united in His death on the cross. Jesus didn't try and fix our sinful self...He killed it, uniting it to Him on the cross. Thank God that Jesus did not come to call the healthy but the sick and broken.

And people are asking whether we should continue in sin? Paul rightly says 'by no means', what a horrible perversion of grace and freedom and truth, but also, we would we want to? Sin often feels good. Thats the problem, that sinning makes us feel good because our desires are too weak and we happily settle for second best. If the enemy couldn't make sin feel good, he'd have lot the biggest weapon in his armoury. It feels good, to an extent we enjoy doing the things we hate, and i know that sounds like a paradox, but thats the best way i can think of to explain it. But like the wolf, lured in by the blood soaked knife...sin is killing us. Why would we want to live in that again? Why would we want to carry on in sin, being a corspe when Jesus offers us LIFE. And PEACE and JOY and HOPE and a FUTURE and SELF CONTROL. We are commanded to turn our minds to whatever is pure, whatever is right, whatever is good...we must think upon these things. I don't want to continue in sin! I don't want to try and ressurect that which God saw fit to kill. A ransomed prisoner does not try and fight his way back in gaol does he? Do not believe the lies sin tells us. We are dead to it, and we must must align ourselves with this truth each morning.

I wish i could hate sin more. I wish my hunger for righteousness and light would blind me to all else. I wish my desires for joy were stronger so that they could only be satisfied by God. We must do all we can to fight sin. Not compromise it but fight it and root it our ferociously were ever we see it (are you listening Ed?) We must clothe ourselves in Jesus Christ, who has ransomed us from its power, once and for all.

2 comments:

thebluefish said...

Sounds great. Arborfield was fun today too - lots of JESUS stuff from Luke ch3.

You've said a couple of times about waiting for a tongue to be interpretted - which seems a fair interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14's instruction on orderly worship... just wondering if you might share what the interpretation was, here, and in an earlier case you mentioned at Christmas - such that we might get a grasp on what sort of tongues message had been given. Do you know what I mean?

I love that you love church. I love that you want to hate sin. I love that you want God to give you greater desire for him... pray that your heart would be inclined to his word.

The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers. Let these words of mine, with which I have pleaded before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires... (1 Kings 8v57-59)

Praise God that where we fall short, Jesus is the perfect son of God.

spammy said...

sounds like Fam was really good. I'm glad you were able to be there.

I love what you blogged about today, but i was thinking while i was reading it that you reminded me of Paul. Haha, not a bad comparison! no seriously, i always feel so bad when i hear a message like that because i feel like i can't stop sinning and i know i shouldn't and worse than that i know i no longer need to even.

I take comfort in the fact that Paul felt the same, as he said if i remember rightly 'that which i will to do i cannot and that which i don't will to do i do' or something like that anyway.

I guess the beauty of it all for me is that God still forgives us even when we are so mindlessly stupid! I imagine God is just there saying come on guys what are you doing. He has given us everything and we are settling for something old.

Also i am so glad that it is not what we do that counts seeing as i fail so much. God has paid the full price completely when we became christians and this goes back to what you said before Ed about sin being completly gone not moved on as if we still have to do something with it. sin was completely eradicated on the cross. We are just waiting to see the effects of this in glory. When God will be praised forever! Yay! I can't wait.

Sorry mate, bit of an essay there, and i prob made no sense! Good blog though :)

Spammy xx