In the American church there is this sort of knee jerk reaction to dwindling numbers in membership. The church in America is moving dangerously close to what I would call functioning agnosticism. The church in attempting to become more “seeker friendly” has sadly and tragically diluted the Good News. There is no call to true repentance because people don’t like being told the way God ordered things to be. You see the problem goes back to original sin, which is a lust for God’s job to decide what is right and wrong. The results of this rebellion was exile from God’s presence.
The modern Church has become soft on sin and light on repentance. We have preachers that almost seem afraid to preach to whole scripture. I will tell you this you can be a false teacher by teaching a half-truth as much as teaching a flat out lie. In Frederick Buechner’s book Telling the Truth he envisions the Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale. These days people only want to hear the Gospel as Fairy Tale but without the Tragedy and Comedy the Fairy Tale’s true power and meaning is lost. It’s like I tell a friend of mine a little truth helps the heresy go down. What ever happened to 2 Timothy 3:16-17? It is all profitable for teaching. Unless saving souls isn’t their real business then it’s not profitable. If making money is more important than God’s work: all scripture isn’t profitable. You see when your worship is money you’ll do anything to get it which means half-truths to get the pews full with very little spiritual commitment. Christian book stores are full of these types of preachers and teachers, most of the time their books have themselves on the cover no matter the books content. If a preacher tells you God is like a teddy bear therapist you feel like you just put on nice warm sweater, it makes you comfortable, but we were never called to be comfortable.
They present a God who would never ask you to sell everything, stop sleeping around, or even ask you to change anything at all. But the God of the Bible does these things Luke 18:22, Hebrews 13:4, and Galatians 5:19-21 just to name a few. By no means is salvation a meritocracy as a professor once told me “it’s not about getting spiritual notches on the bed post of good works” –Chad T. Pierce. So what is it (Christianity) about? It is about a relationship with God and all relationships have rules and a relationship with God is no different. “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” 1 Thessalonians 4:7. We all know what this impurity is it is SIN.
So how do we get rid of sin in our lives? We have to put our sin to death. How do we put our sin to death; by our own efforts? No, when we try to kill sin by our own efforts we end up exhausted and in defeat. If we try to defeat sin by ourselves we end saying what Apostle Paul writes in Romans 7:18-24. You see when you fight sin with your own abilities it is like driving sin to the cemetery but not killing it and burying it six feet deep. When you do that; you start to say well maybe I will drive by the cemetery and you drive closer and closer before you know sin’s lure is too intense. Then you allow sin to get into your car and you drive it home for it to kill you. We are not called to treat our sin like that; rather we are called to by the Spirit to put to death our sin and we will live. Paul says this in Romans 8:13. You see right actions don’t lead to a changed heart. A changed heart leads to right actions. One of the trademarks of the Christian faith is not doing right things because we have to; it is rather doing right things because our heart has been changed by the Spirit and we want to do them.
We must by the Spirit put sin to death. The Spirit changes our heart which changes our actions. If the Spirit is in us we can say with Paul “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2. If we let the Spirit to aid us in our fight against sin we can gain victory. Fighting with the Spirit on your side is like driving sin to the cemetery. Then while you are walking sin into the cemetery the Holy Spirit bangs sin over the head killing sin then the Spirit proceeds to bury your sin. As you drive by the cemetery and walk through it you see sin for what it really is, death. You walk up to a grave and read The Headstone Marked Sin and smile because God has provided you victory over death.