Friday, August 10, 2007

My two cents

I've noticed several bloggers talking about it lately, and when I did my daily check on blogs this morning I noticed Chet Swearingen talking about it as well. He quoted John Bevere who said:

“But when you tell people we’re just no different than sinners, ‘were just sinners saved by grace,’ you have a bunch of people sinning, because that is what you are preaching to them. We got to preach that this Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. It changes you, praise God, it makes me happy."

If you go to Chets blog, you'll also he has a great list of his posts concerning the issue and a list of Dan Edelens and Peter Smyths posts on the issue as well.

I've said things about it before myself, only to find angry saved by grace sinners quoting me scriptures about how if I say I don't sin I'm a liar and the truth is not in me. That's a good way to end a conversation, because I can't see any reason to keep talking once you've labeled me with that stick. And at that point I don't exactly see the point in trying to convince someone that obviously wants to remain a sinner saved by grace.

But I've said it before, we allow ourselves to sin. We even excuse it sometimes before we sin "I probably shouldn't say this but... " We can do that... if we're sinners saved by grace. But a saint. Saints have higher standards don't they. The difference between the saints and the sinners seems to be that one side holds the standard to the best of their ability and with Gods grace to do so, and the other side simply know the standard and don't expect to have to hold to it on every single teeniny issue because that's just nitpicking.

I'll hold myself to a standard but I've watched myself at times specifically allow myself to sin. I give myself permission. I shouldn't say it, but... BAM it's said. I shouldn't do it, but BAM it's done. And I promise you, if you point out my error to me I'll probably be frustrated with you for being so nit picky. It's wrong of me to think it, I know, but it generally takes a bit before I'm willing to let go of that sin of frustration.

Did I really just use the word sin? I should have said it was hard to let go of that feeling. It was just a feeling. I wish! My feelings are sometimes often sinful. I can say I'm justified to have my feelings, but again... that's just allowing a sin on the premise of "I'm not perfect, I'll never be perfect, quit trying to measure me by a perfect stick, and let me be" but I don't want to do that.

I want to be holy. I want to be perfect. I want to be set apart and peculiar (if you're reading the verses I'm linking to, make sure to note the word "all" and "zealous" on the peculiar verse). I want to be righteous. I want to be like Jesus (1st vs is best, but whole chapter is a good read for the discussion of saint/sinner).

I may be the funniest looking saint in the entire Christian world but I want to be a saint. I don't want to be a sinner anymore. I want to be a new creature. Old things passed away, born again. A conqueror. No, not a conqueror - MORE than a conqueror.
I don't want to be a sinner anymore. Not even a sinner saved by grace. I want to be a child of God adopted and saved by grace.


SLW said...

I think the big issue in saying you don't want to be a sinner anymore is in practics. If you are exerting effort and enery to live up to the standard, some of those grace folks could well say that's works righteousness, and that's a dead end street. We can never earn (i.e. deserve) God's favor by our efforts. We are receivers (by faith) not earners of grace. On the other hand if you live without effort doing whatever it is you do, and trust God to, by grace, wink at your indiscretions, I would say don't be fooled, God is not mocked...

What the Bible spells out, I think, is getting saved (born of the Spirit) and thereafter living out of the impulse of the Spirit rather than our old natures (which are only reckoned dead until the Rapture). In that modality, sins are failures of faith in which the "sinner" walked after the flesh rather than keeping in step with the Spirit. Righteousness is not merely an imputed legal status but the reality of moving in concert with the Spirit of righteousness who dwells within us. What we need to learn is not Calvinism or any other ism about our legal status in Christ, but the practics of walking in harmony with the Spirit who made us alive.

SLW said...

I should add, in this new creaturely walk, I do not sin because I'm a sinner, I sin because I'm a saint who took my eyes (faithlessly) off Christ.

flyawaynet said...

You gave me a lot to think about slw, thank you. There are several people that I'm hoping will chime in with comments because I wanted to know their thoughts on this issue. You were on that list.

One thing I would add into what you said is I'd say part of the big issue as well is motive. You kind of touched on it in what you were saying, but not much. I hold onto a standard of holiness (not to be mistaken for the holiness standards that concern long hair, dresses & makeup) for the sake of love. I love God and know His way is the best, most satisfying. I want to please Him, not to gain/earn salvation, but to live a life of gratitude for it.

Mikey's God Talk said...

You really should take a look at Dr. Neil Anderson's Freedom In Christ Ministries webpage.

I am a Saint who sometimes sins.

flyawaynet said...

Hey Mikey, I headed over to the Freedom website. I didn't find much to really absorb unless I bought the books. Have you read any of them?

Mikey's God Talk said...

Did you look at"The who I am" statements? Yes I have read Bondage Breaker and Victory over darkness. Both are great reads. Look again at who you are in Christ statements

Chet Swearingen said...

Thanks for adding "Your Two Cents." I experienced the same thing you did when I blogged about this topic. Some of the comments on my blogs were very adamant about wanting to remain a sinner.

We will have to just keep plugging away. I believe in time attitudes can change.