Sin is Still Sin!   Leave a comment

Whenever a Christian misrepresents the character of God in his/her behavior by infidelity, dishonesty, greed, strife, jealousy, anger, dissensions, drunkeness, immorality. then the intent of God to express His character through that Christian is not taking place. That is a tragic misrepresentation of the life of Jesus Christ.

As we allow Jesus to express His goodness in our behavior, which manifests God’s grace, we conversely disallow “fleshly indulgences” (Colossians 2:23), which religious moralism was impotent to deal with (Romans 7). We disallow fleshliness to be selfishly and sinfully expressed in our behavior. This is how we “deny ourselves” (Luke 9:23) and “abstain from every form of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22). As we allow Christ to manifest His goodness in our behavior, He supersedes and disallows the misrepresentative sinful behaviors. The positive swallows up the negative.

Jesus Christ wants to express His character of goodness in the social community of the Church. The Church is the “Body of Christ” intended to collectively express the character of Christ. The Church is the “People of God” expressing the character of God’s goodness. Paul wrote, “Let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). The particular emphasis on God’s goodness as revealed in the Church reminds us that God wants to demonstrate the social community that He intended for man as we allow the Creator to function within His creatures. Through the example of the churches God wants to show that man can dwell together with man in “peace,” when they allow God’s goodness to be expressed through individual relationships.

The apostles wrote about a Church where God’s people could get along with one another in goodness as each person is receptive to God’s love and goodness, expressed to one another, despite diversity of race, sex, age, nationality, intelligence, personality type, difference of opinion ….

 How we doing so far, Church?

Yeah, I think we have some problems.

Behavioral goodness is a fruit of the Spirit of Christ. It never issues from the soul of man, which is still entangled by sin. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness…”(Galatians 5:22,23). “The fruit of the Light consists in all goodness…”(Ephesians 5:9). “We walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work…”(Colossians 1:10).

It is not that we produce or manufacture goodness or perform goodness, but we bear the fruit of goodness derived from interacting with God’s divine character. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

As Christians, our focus must be on Jesus Christ as the divine source of all goodness. “We fix our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2). Our theology, our lives, our relationships must be Christocentric; not morality-centered, not even good-centered, but God-centered, Christ-centered.

“Christianity leads you on, out of morality, into something beyond. One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of those things, except perhaps as a joke. Every one there is filled full with what we shall call goodness as a mirror is filled with light. But they do not call it goodness. They do not call it anything. They are not thinking of it. They are too busy looking at the source from which it comes.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. pg. 130)

The distinctive of Christianity and Christian behavior is that Christians are looking only at the source of all things in Christ and deriving all from Him by the dynamic of His grace.

Ah, I think we’ve just discovered what is wrong with the Church today. Maybe we’re losing society’s interest because we’re not looking at Jesus and we’re trying to conform ourselves to the world rather than being conformed to Christ.

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