(Hi, this is Josiah. I help run the Sunday morning services and design the look and feel of actionchurch.)
I confessed something a little awkward in my prayer closing our service this past week. I referred to myself as an “awful person”. Immediately I felt like I needed to also pray some excuses and explanations to the crowd. It just felt weird saying I was awful. This thought was swirling around my head:
“Christians are not necessarily Math people, they are just people who still believe the Math book!”
If you missed the sermon, Don was using “Math” as a metaphor for truth.
“Christians are not necessarily truth people” I don’t possess the truth in me. I’m not perfect. Jesus was perfect. I’m not even pulling a D- in this “class”.
I get this lie stuck in my head: I’m a Christian who “was a sinner” in need of a Savior. I needed forgiveness yesterday, or maybe last year for the things I might have done.
The truth is: I’m a Christian who IS A SINNER in need of a Savior EVERY DAY. I might seek forgiveness regularly, but I can easily make it seem to myself and others that I only need forgiveness for something “in my past”. I need to seek forgiveness tomorrow, the next day, and the next day. And I’m going to struggle with the same sin, every day of the week. Lust. Pride. Anger. Repeat.
This doesn’t mean that my actions don’t matter because “I’m just going to sin anyways”. I want to be more like Christ, and at the same time, I’m definitely going to fail at being like Christ. I’m not THE model math student, Jesus is. I’m going to work hard at being a good math student, but in the end I need forgiveness because I’m not a good math student. I’m actually pretty awful.
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.
Roman 3:23-27 NLT