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Friday, September 09, 2005

Jesus Christ,, Sin, the Holy Spirit, & forgiveness


There are parts of the Bible we would like to skip. There are parts of the Bible the world would like us to skip.

There are things God says that make us uncomfortable saying them.

There are answers that we can give glibly, or accurately, but not both.

It is not about us, it is about Jesus. If he said it, we need to say it. It may not be fashionable, but that does not matter. Speak the truth.

Psalm 15:

1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?

2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart

3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,

4 who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,

5 who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.

That is an example of truth. As a fellow that enjoys finance I don't like that last verse. Usury has been part of the financial equation for centuries. It is however truth, since I don't like it, I think you may not like it. I want you to find the same joy and fulfillment I have found in Christ, so I would like to skip unpleasant or confusing stuff. I really wanted to just quote the first 4 verses rather than the whole Psalm, most of you would not have noticed. Just a note at the end, Psalm 15: 1-4 and I would have been covered. But that last part may reach someone, God had a reason for putting it there. Just possibly it is there to reach me.

God is smarter and wiser than I am. God loves you, I probably don't even know you. God loves me more than I love myself and he loves you more than you love yourself. I will give accurate introductions; you two work out your relationship.

It is God's word. It is true. I must put it out there and let God work, I will honor him and his word, sometimes to plant, sometimes to water, and the Holy Spirit will bring fourth the increase. Revisit this introduction to our young missionaries. They preached and learned not to follow comfort and fashion, but to follow God. You will find a couple of their stories in our archives; God did bring the increase.

Christians are not alone in this scheme of marketing by omission. Science has for a long time avoided mentioning how weak some of their facts really are. It took a Nobel prize winning physicist like Dick Feynman, father of nanotech, to admit that they can sometimes figure out what will happen close to exactly, but they don't know how or why it happens. Feynman, a great character, said he thought why might not matter. If you are following the current design/evolution debate, why and how do matter. (I have my own other idea).

The point of the last paragraph is that we all, no matter how brilliant, avoid uncomfortable facts. As a Christian I can not afford a cavalier attitude; I need to find where I am missing it so as to be open to all God wants to do through me. If I stay where I am comfortable I will not continue to learn. So...

If it is uncomfortable, it is worthy of study.

Back to the Bible, back to truth.

Jesus is Lord!