Did you know that Christians can believe lies about God?
No Christian, I hope, desires to do so. But I am certain that whenever we sin, we have already believed something about God that is not true.
Lies and wrong IDs
We all live out the identities we believe in and find our purpose and satisfaction in.
A woman may claim to be a disciple-maker. She might say her aim is to be an exemplary employee and win souls for Jesus at her workplace. But if all that excites her is the monthly SMS notification about her account having been credited with a huge salary, God knows she has little to do with making disciples; she is living out the identity of a money-lover.
She has believed in the lie that money in her bank account will give her more pleasure or security than Jesus could.
A pastor might say he loves his wife and children to bits and might have provided a house, cars and all the snazzy gadgets they could enjoy in life. But at night when he has shut himself alone and his eyes and mind rove all over the dark side of the internet to get what his sexual desires want, God knows that he is living the identity of a pornography-lover.
He has believed in the lie that indulging in sexually impure fantasies will bring more pleasure to him than the presence of God could.
It is possible that both these people are actually children of God. Oh, the scandal.
“How could you possibly say that someone so sinful is saved?”
Well, if you know me, I usually hesitate to say so. But to paraphrase John Owen’s observations – “Some lusts flare up over others… One lust can be greater in one man than another”. Chapter 6, Right Way to Kill Sin, Mortification of Sin in Believers.
We might be quick to say such people are definitely not Christians, who are supposed to be dead to sin and alive to God. I am tempted to say the same. And some might even be not truly Christian.
But I will fool myself if I promptly declare myself better than them. Selective amnesia is sinful amnesia. Surely we remember how we have easily repeated sins for years and how easily have swept them aside?
To continue- the people involved may feel “genuinely” sorry about their repeated patterns of sin and their self-absorption. They might feel the tearing guilt inside, the controlled-demolition of their conscience with the silent pleas of God the Holy Spirit in the background. They might fall on their knees by the bed, hands on the floor, saying through desperate tears –
“GOD, OH GOD I’M SO SORRY .. PLEASE FORGIVE ME. PLEASE FORGIVE ME, OH GOD OF GRACE!”
If the sins of over-spending, man-pleasing and lust had stopped, it would have made sense.
But maddeningly, this cycle repeats.
If you are a Christ-follower and are honest with yourself right now, you know sins can repeat in your life. Continue reading “Why Should Any Christian Be Gospel-Fluent?”