Weekly Wisdoms for the week of April 7, 2008
Outside of conservative Christian circles, it's not very common for people to believe that they are inherently bad. Instead, people's logic often goes like this: Sure, I occasionally do bad things, but at heart I'm a good person.
Although it may be tempting to give yourself credit as being a good (or, in Biblical lingo, righteous) person at heart, such a view of human nature is at odds with what God reveals in his word. God makes it very clear that every one of us is "bad." We don't just do bad things; we are bad.
Our unrighteousness is not due to the fact that we break God's commands. Instead, we are unrighteous because we are "in Adam," to borrow the language of Paul in Romans 5. Even people who did not sin by breaking a command still died because they were by nature sinners (Romans 5:14).
The bad news is that you're sinful by nature. Even if you lived your whole life without breaking a single command of God you'd still reap death. The bad news is probably worse than you may care to admit.
Fortunately, that makes the good news better than you had imagined. Despite your sinful nature, God offers the life of his very son for you (Romans 5:8-10). God doesn't owe you anything, but he gives you everything. That's love.
Your sin is placed on Christ, and Christ's righteousness is placed on you. You gain what he deserved—life—and he gains what you deserved—death. How great is the love God lavishes on us! (1 John 3:1)
Everyone faces many trials; however, these trials are not in vain. God uses them to do a work in us, developing us into mature Christians.
In James 1:2-4, we are told, Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. In other words, God uses the tough times in life to sharpen us, making us mature and complete Christians.
Furthermore, God will not permit you to remain in the same trials all of your life; in His proper timing He will deliver you. Psalm 34:17 says, The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
So don't run from your trials, because the testing of your faith develops you into a mature and complete Christian.
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