In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Michelle from Finding Michelle

Today's Terrific Tuesday guest is Michelle who writes at Finding Michelle. Michelle is a wife, mother, and stay at home mom. I've often commented on how I appreciate that I meet people via the internet that I'd never have the opportunity to meet otherwise; Michelle is certainly one of those people. While I do not always find myself agreeing with everything she says, I do always find her posts stimulating my thoughts.

Here's what Michelle has to say today:

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful, who knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
Romans 1:28-32

It seems human depravity is not mentioned much in the sermons we hear today. It seems the messages are about hope and love. We’re taught we are to put our hope in Christ and God is love. But we’re not really taught why we need to put our hope in Christ or why God is love. We are taught about having our best lives now. The vision is taken off of Christ in eternity and placed on making it easier here tomorrow.

When you read the above passages do you see yourself? Can you find that others around you relate more to the passage than you do?

It was not until later in my walk with God that I began to see my own depravity. I began to see that even though I had faith, I was still a despicable person. I began to see the motives in my actions and the thoughts in my head. I realized that even our greatest deeds are sins if not done for the glory of God. I could feed the hungry, but if it was not done for Christ then it is sin. And then I began to look around me and began to speak with other Christians. I saw other Christians who did not seem to be fazed by the sin in their own lives. And then I realized we have become a culture desensitized to sin.

We have explained our fallen nature from birth as the “terrible twos” or the “trying threes.” We have neglected as a culture to see that a child lies, hits, and steals because it is his very nature to do such things. I think it is said best when it is said, “You are not a sinner because you sin, you sin because you are a sinner.”

We are sinners that deserve the wrath of God. You… reading this right now deserve hell. Your mother deserves hell, your child deserves hell, and I deserve hell. But by the grace of God, Christ took our place.

Something I meditated on not too long ago was exactly what happened when Christ was on that cross. What happened when Christ stated, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” I can’t say what happened at that moment or the moments before or after. But during this meditation, I came to believe that at that moment Christ received the wrath that I deserved. I am not speaking of the pain He endured on the cross although it was great; I am speaking of being separated from God to endure the wrath that we deserve. Christ faced the wrath of God in our place! We can never understand what that truly means because we can’t begin to wrap our minds around what the wrath of God really is.

But back to why we need this sacrifice. Do we recognize our sins? Jesus says in Luke 7:47, “Therefore, I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But whom little is forgiven, the same ones loves little.” Christ was not saying the woman had sinned more than the others. He was saying her recognition of her sin was reflected in her love for Him. She realized her need for Him. I believe this a good example of the Christian society. We rate our sins and see that we are better than the child abuser, the sexual predator, and the murderer. We become self-righteous when we don’t see that it is only the hand of God that keeps us from being the child abuser, the sexual predator, or the murderer. We become self-righteous when we forget or fail to recognize just how unrighteous we are. What would it be like if the person next to us could see our every thought? Wouldn’t we be ashamed? Would we be much different than the man who commits the most heinous crimes?

As Paul said in Romans, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God- through Jesus Christ our Lord!” We are delivered through Christ. But let us never neglect the war that wages between the flesh and the Spirit. Our belief will be made strong in remembrance of why we need Him.

9 comments:

Ely Biado said...

Regarding the verses cited at Romans 1:28-32

God gave them over to a debased mind because they have chosen to become evil.

1 Cor 6:9 Or don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals,

1 cor 6:10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 cor:6:11 Such were some of you, but you were washed. But you were sanctified. But you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God.

God loves those who love Him.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.

James 1:14-15 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

God never gives his Children anything bad.

Luke 11:11-13 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Ely Biado said...

1 cor:6:11 Such were some of you, but you were washed. But you were sanctified. But you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God.

For after you were washed, this you should not do - to fall away.

Hebrews 6:4 For concerning those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit,

Hebrews 6:5 and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come,

Hebrews 6:6 and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify the Son of God for themselves again, and put him to open shame.

GCT said...

"We are sinners that deserve the wrath of God. You… reading this right now deserve hell. Your mother deserves hell, your child deserves hell, and I deserve hell."

This passage right here sickens, saddens, and frightens me all at the same time. The level of hatred towards humanity that it present in the teachings of Xianity shine through and are perfectly summed up in these passages.

Should we be surprised when Xians defend the actions of genocide carried out by a god when those same Xians decide that we are all deserving of eternal torment and pain? Is it that much of a step to conclude that it's not so bad to own people? What about all other crimes? And, if this is the nature of humans, who created us to be that way?

No. No one is deserving of eternal torment and pain. No one deserves torture. Not even the most evil, heinous despot that ever lived should be subjected to eternal torment. That you think you are deserving of torment (for what, thinking impure thoughts? What is this, 1984?) speaks to me of child indoctrination, battered spouse syndrome, and other conditions. I'm very sorry that you've been indoctrinated into a death cult that hates humanity.

Michelle said...

Tracy, thanks again for having me as your guest blogger. Especially since my beliefs can be somewhat controversial!

Ely, I'm not sure if I understand you right? Are you stating that once we are enlightened we no longer sin? If that is your point, doesn't that mean it is our own actions that save us and not Christ's sacrifice? I'm not sure that is what you are saying but what I took from what you wrote.

Just a few points to make:

You said: "God loves those that love Him." But we love because He first loved us. 1 John 4: 10 In this love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins." and 19: We love Him because He first loved us.

You said God cannot be tempted: If Jesus is God, was He not tempted? Not to say that it was possible for Him to fall into sin, but He was tempted.

And although God does not tempt us, he allows us to be tempted. (Just like Job.) Nothing can be done that God does not allow...that would contradict sovereignty and His power.

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darknes; I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all things.

I've meditated over your scripture in Hebrews for several years. And if you are using it as I seem to have perceived, then we are all doomed. We all fall away. We all sin. Even Paul one of the greatest men in the Bible dealt with his sin and his battle with the flesh. The apostasy is something I have not yet grasped because it contradicts the entire work of Christ. If Christ completed the work and justified us, the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, yet we fall away...did God fail? Can God fail?
Sorry for the long reply... just not sure if I really got your message right.

Michelle said...

GCT.

I completely understand your points from a worldly view. I believe that faith is completely a gift from God that some have not received. I believe grace to be the unmerited favor of God. Those given true faith did nothing to deserve it.

I also understand the things of God are foolishness to man.

RCUBEs said...

How can we know the things of God if we haven't accepted His Spirit?

10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:
16"For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ. - 1 Corinthians 2:10-16.

We get so excited talking about God's love and grace sometimes that we forget to share His gift of salvation to those who still have not discovered it. Great post.

Thanks sister Tracy. Blessings.

GCT said...

Michelle,
I don't see anything in your response that would counter anything that I wrote. It is still a doctrine that is filled with hatred for humanity.

"Those given true faith did nothing to deserve it."

On top of that, you've now just added the idea that god simply picks and chooses which people get to go to heaven with no choice or input from humans. So, as humans, we are born deserving of hell and then go there for eternal torment unless god proactively decides to grant his grace upon us and bring us up to heaven. This is monstrous and grotesque. This is clearly stating that god creates humans with the express purpose of casting them into hell (else, why create humans that are deserving of hell in the first place and not save all of them?) and that somehow it is all our fault.

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Great thoughts. I think most of the difficulty we have with God is not acknowledging who we really are. When we are in a right frame of mind about the state of humanity, our relationship with God makes so much more sense.

Ma ~ said...

Great post, Michelle:)

The things of God are truly foolishness to the world.

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