Thursday, April 30, 2009

The source of guilt

Guilt is often presented as a good thing among religion. Many see guilt as a sign of sensitivity towards sin and the first step towards repentance. I think the church teaches from a wrong premise that the ministry of Holy Spirit is about convicting believers of their sins. Thus, as a result of such conviction, according to them, it is good that people feel guilty, so they can repent, ask forgiveness and get back into the fellowship with God.

People sit in pews Sunday after Sunday waiting for the bashing statements from the preacher so that they can feel guilty about their wrongful actions of the previous week; and they kind of feel good when they feel guilty. Then at the end of the sermon, the preacher usually throws an invitation for people to come forward to confess their sins and 'restore' the relationship with God. And it is commonly understood that the people who are 'sensitive' to sin would go forward and confess it. But the rigid, insensitive, rebellious ones sit back and spectate. Or may be the preacher did not use enough law to effectively stab their heart that they aren't bleeding yet. Well, may be, next week he can do a better job!

I think, the source of guilt is self-righteousness, pride and a faulty understanding of the ministry of Holy Spirit in a believer's a life.

When I sin, why would I feel guilty?

Its either,
  • I do not believe that Jesus took away all my sins at the cross.
  • I had always thought I would never do that sin. (self-righteousness)
Lets say, you did the worst possible sin imaginable. The sin which you thought you would never do.

Well, there is the problem!

Why did we even think that we would never do a particular sin? When I think or say that I would never do a sin, what I am saying indirectly is that Jesus didn't have to take that sin away for me, thereby devaluing His superior act on the cross. Out of my arrogance, I thought I could abstain from it by the energy of my flesh. No wonder that I am surprised when I do it, and plunging myself into guilt, shame, self-pity and condemnation.

A person who has a grasp of the 'finished work of Jesus' and the 'finality of the cross' do not have to feel guilty when he/she sins. They doubtlessly know that all their sins are behind the back of God, never to see them again. Its a message which humbles us, and enables us to say 'Thank you, Jesus' when we sin. It is not about being insensitive to sin, its not about seeing the unconditional forgiveness as a 'license' to indulge in sin. It is an understanding that, we are capable of doing any sin under the sun, but we don't have to lose heart when we do it, because all our sins are forgiven at the cross once and for all, and rejoice in the fact that God's power rests upon our weakness.

The Spirit of Jesus, who took away the sins from the sight of God, would never ever bring up the already forgiven and forgotten sins back again to condemn us and put us into shame and guilt.

Holy Spirit is not oxymoronic!

He is/was one among the Triune God, "who was in Christ, reconciling us to Himself, not counting our sins against us" (2 Corinthians 5:19). That being an accomplished fact, Holy Spirit would always point us back to the cross, and to the fact that we are perfectly righteous because of what Jesus did and thereby reminding us our need to stand on His grace alone every single day of our life.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Does God love everyone or just Christians?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. - 1 John 2:2

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Handling of our freedom

Freedom always comes with a risk. The risk of misusing it. The risk of licentiousness to go uncontrolled in life. No wonder the churches over the ages teaches about freedom in Christ doctrinally, but never encourage people to apply it in practical life. For the practical purpose, they think, that people need law. At least some of them, like the 10 commandments for example. So they 'teach' freedom, but never let them live in freedom.

The result is slavery.

Slavery (law) is not the solution for the misuse of freedom.

Apostle Paul said "Everything is lawful, but not everything is profitable" (1 Corinthians 10:23). He also said, "do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another in love." (Galatians 5:13)

There is another passage which has a lot of implications in it: "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak." - 1 Corinthians 8:9

Apostle Peter also encourages us saying "do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God." (1 Peter 2:16)

What is NOT the solution?

Apostle's solution wasn't suggesting to put us back under the law even while it was a fact they knew very well that people could misuse their freedom and indulge in sin. But, as a solution they did not give a set of principles along with the freedom they preached. In fact, Paul had some strong words against people falling back in to the law.

He said "stand firm in the freedom" and "do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery"

Is there a solution?

I have heard a great analogy about the difference between the country dog and city dog. The city dog usually live inside a fence, restricted from his freedom. So he is always looking for a crack in the fence, so that he can escape from his slavery. and He WILL sneak out, when he get a chance. Whereas, the country dog is totally free, he can go anywhere he wants, there is no fence, law or restrictions. But where would you find him all the time? At the feet of his master! He don't want to go!

He knows his master loves Him. He knows that His master has given him freedom. He sees His master's love and acceptance, and don't want to run away...

Knowing His love is the solution. As we get rooted and established in His love, we don't want to go, we don't want to misuse our freedom. Our desire is Him, His presence, His love and His grace. We realize that the temporary pleasures out there is nothing compared to His love and His presence in life. His grace "teaches us to say 'no' to ungodliness"(Titus 2:12). And as we see this truth, we would start living in His best interest.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What is your identity?

What is your identity?

Are you "just an old sinner saved by grace."or a saint (holy, righteous child of God)?

Apostle Paul, as he writes to different assemblies, he addresses them by calling them saints:

To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints - Romans 1:7

To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia - 2 Corinthians 1:1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus - Ephesians 1:1

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi - Philippians 1:1

giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. - Colossians 1:12

It looks like the believers in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi and Colossia were called saints, although their actions weren't so much saint-like all the time. Those were ordinary people just like you and me, they pretty much looked like you and me (may be even bad), they didn't act holy all the time, they had problems in their lives just like you and me, they had questions and confusions, they didn't have the Bible like you an I have it today, they didn't have a stack of 'how to' christian books in their living room, they weren't perfect parents, husbands, wives or children, yet Apostle Paul called them "saints". In other words, God call them "saints". And God call us saints, because we have the very same righteousness of Christ Jesus. Is it too good to be true?

Monday, April 6, 2009


"True obedience is the unrestrained indulgence of our new nature" - Dwight Edwards