I have never liked tests (and probably never will). The one and only reason why I don’t like tests is that they threaten my important prideful self. They threaten to expose me for who I really am – lazy, incompetent, poor, prideful, slow, fearful and the list goes on and on and on. I guess this is the reason why I dislike army documentaries and reality shows that showcase macho men strutting their stuff.
This is also probably the reason why I claim that the bible is a hard book to read. Why? The bible is too brutal on my sins. It exposes me for who I really am. I don’t measure up and no amount of positive thinking, positive confession or otherwise will make me better than I am.
In the words of Paul to the church in Rome, I’m DEFICIENT IN ALL THINGS GODLY. In other words, I did Acquire an Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
I did Acquire an Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned (Rom 5:12 NIV)
In the natural (just as we naturally are descendants of that one man Adam), we get AIDS which is transmitted through various means. What AIDS does is that it makes one susceptible to all manner of infections sickness and diseases. So also in terms of the law, we have acquired an immune deficiency towards all things godly. That is what sin really is all about. WE ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO ALL MANNER AND FORMS OF SIN.
So, unlike David in Psalm 26 who asked the Lord to test him, God has tested me based on the LAW and has found me WANTING! I got the virus man – I Acquired an Immune Deficiency Syndrome towards all things godly.
God has tested me based on the LAW and has found me WANTING! I got the virus man – I Acquired an Immune Deficiency Syndrome towards all things godly.
How my status plays itself out
I stare too long at things and people I shouldn’t. I think thoughts that I don’t want exposed in public. I promise things that fully well I can’t deliver. I say things that I don’t mean and mean things that I don’t say. I have probably killed more people in my heart and mind than I care to admit. I wish all my enemies were dead. And this love business is not as easy as they sing in the ballads – having had my share of crushing and burning.
I am loved
However, even in my AIDS status, I am loved! He cares for me! He still loves me! He loves me so much that He is the only one interested in loving me the way I am. Even I, don’t love myself that much. Finally, Paul’s exasperation with himself (and with me) is making sense:
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24-25)
But, Jesus…Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:6-11)
I have never looked at this verse very well until some time ago “…he made himself nothing…” In other words, I was nothing for Him to have taken my form. That’s why the writer of Hebrews picking up on Job’s and David’s thoughts marvels at God’s goodness shown to us in Jesus in the New Covenant.
What is mankind that you are mindful of them human beings that you care for them? (Ps. 8:4; Heb. 2:6)
What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention, that you examine them every morning and test them every moment? (Job 7:17-18)
Lord, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow. (Psalm 144:3-4)
I WILL’S OF GOD
Check out this amazing prophecy concerning the nation of Israel. At this point in their history they had been exiled to the nations because of their sins and especially the sin of idolatry. But look at grace. What is grace? The unmerited and undeserved favor of God towards sinners. Check out the I WILL’S OF GOD
… “For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign Lord (Ezekiel 36:24-32)
I guess am beginning to understand what GRACE looks like.
GRACE IS GOD DOING EVERYTHING IN SPITE OF MY SIN STATUS.
Grace and peace to you and to me too.