Forgiveness is not the End!

1 Jun

To pull yourself up by your own bootstraps is an expression that is prevalent in our society. Nevertheless, it is physically impossible for a variety of reasons. Of course, everyone understands enough physics to get that concept. What I believe many discount is that the condition for which it is used is also impossible.

It is completely impossible for someone to dust himself and improve his life on his own. That is what we realize as Christians, we cannot improve ourselves on our own. (Or, maybe, I should say that any “improvement” we can achieve on our own is still vastly short of what is actually good). We can only improve with the saving grace of Christ. Our own good works are as filthy rags. We cannot, of our own accord, do anything to earn our forgiveness. Excitingly enough, we have another means.

My grace is sufficient for you! There is power at The cross! Your sins have been forgiven! These promises and others like them are so encouraging to us as Christians that we tend to revel in them. And the more we discover our own depravity, the more we appreciate the wonder of God’s forgiveness of those he loves.

I think one of the major reasons that this is so appealing to us is that we are incapable of such complete forgiveness. The way we are forgiven makes our own inability to do so even more appaling. Then again, it almost seems like it is human nature to not value those things which we achieve without effort.

Therefore as we realize our own inability to do anything to earn This forgiveness and grace, do we then naturally feel less inclined to walk worthy of that calling? While that may be a “logical” conclusion, it is certainly not the way we know that we should live. Yet, as we know, we cannot do it ourselves.

Well this leaves us in quite a predicament. We know that we cannot achieve righteousness on our own, yet we also know that we are supposed to strive to attain it. And this is where most people stop. Those who find themselves on the unsaved side of the argument tend to come to conclusions like this. They say it is just inconsistent.

This is not (at least not yet) the forum to discuss how poor of an idea atheism is, but we can sometimes understand their point of view. We often find the total inability to do good on our own difficult to reconcile mentally with the requirement to attempt to do good. So, where does that leave us?

At the cross, of course. You see forgiveness is not the only thing the cross grants us. It also grants us the ability to become more like God in our actions. And when we fail, as we inevitably will on our own, coming back to the God of cross is where we can acquire the strength to actually accomplish great things for the Kingdom.

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One Response to “Forgiveness is not the End!”

  1. Jenni April 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    I love this! I think that for me, striving to attain righteousness happens primarily in my heart – my willingness to listen to the Holy Spirit's conviction and then my willingness to take the broken parts of me back to the God who can heal them.

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