Monday, July 9, 2012

Respectable Sins

 
Words are funny aren’t they?  A word can change drastically over time.  Look at the word saint.  We never, ever call someone a saint these days. When I think of a saint I think of Mother Teresa.  A woman who gave up every comfort to serve the unlovely.  The Catholic church though is not ready to grant her the status of a saint.  So if Mother Teresa isn’t considered a saint what chance do you and I have?  You might be surprised!

Paul called the Christians at Corinth saints.  In the first book of Corinthians they were a train wreck.  You name the sin and they did it. I have to say I would not want to be a part of a congregation that flaunts their sins like the Corinths did.  Could it be that the word saints is something else? The actual word means “someone separated unto God.”   

What would saints be separated for?  Let’s look at Titus 2:14

 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people… 14  who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. He has made us saints for himself who happen to be zealous for good works.  Don’t miss it precious friend. He is the one of who makes us saints, not our works.

Sin is another word that has changed.  Can you remember a time where someone shared with you a “challenge?”  We don’t want to use the name sin unless of course that person is a pagan!  We don’t ever say someone is committing adultery anymore. We say they are having an affair.  Or what about the teenager that is singing on the praise team committing fornication. We say her and her husband are shacking up.  We simply  don’t use the words anymore. 

Sinners and saints. How do we act like the saints  that God has called us to?  In our small group on Sunday nights we are studying a book called Respectable Sins, Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jeff Bridges.  He uses an example that is  very near and dear to my heart.  Taking raw, 18 year old high school graduates and in 4 years time turn them into  Air Force officers. How does the staff at the Academy accomplish such a feat?

The Air Force Academy is in my hometown, Colorado Springs.  Each fall the town newspaper does a special section for the new recruits. They take some pictures of the newbies coming in.  A few of the incoming cadets are showcased in the paper.  Most of them come to the gates of the base and kiss mommy and daddy good-bye.  They walk in and their lives become transformed.  They give up their civilian clothes for the military’s. They get their heads shaved.  They eat, drink and sleep military style. All in hopes of turning these young cadets into young men and young women ready to lead the troops.  It takes the military 4 years to get them to the point where they can function as officers. 

Like the cadets God tries to transform our lives.  We take off the old clothes and put on the new by transforming our hearts and minds.  Like the Corinthians he teaches us to shed the sinful life and embrace the life available through Christ.  Now I don’t know about you but I look at sins in categories.    You know what I am talking about right?  Adultery, fornication, stealing and murdering are just plain wrong.  Satan never tempts me with these sins. Good thing since these sins are HUGE, right? You wouldn’t catch me doing such things!

Hmm, well according to the LORD there is plenty of sin in my life.  To Him there are no little sins and big sins.  Do you know what happens to an Air Force Officer who blows it and lands himself in a heap of trouble?  It is called “conduct unbecoming an officer.”  Well, I have “conduct unbecoming a Christian” and it isn’t very pretty.

We will be talking about the sins that we as a church consider “respectable.”  It won’t be very pretty but I think the journey will be worth it. 
Join me if you can.

In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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