Wednesday, 4 August 2010

There is Hope


A man jumps of an aero plane and as he was about to pull the string that activates his parachute, he realizes that he had forgotten it. He panics and eventually he accepts his fate. With no other parachuters in site, he closes his eyes waiting for the imminent fall of his flight; for he had already made peace with himself that there is no hope so fighting is futile.
There is a Christian version of this futility. The Christian has put his trust in Christ and the journey at the beginning was sweet. He has waged war against sin and had tasted that the Lord is good. His battle with sin now becomes a struggle and he has fallen so many times that despair creeps in and a sense of futility grips him. He still believes in God, trust the inerrancy of the scripture, and orthodox in doctrine but his failure with sin has paralysed him with a sense of hopelessness like the man who forgot his parachute.

The Christian feels that fighting his sin is pointless as he can never gain victory over it and though he knows that there is power in Christ to help him defeat it, he focuses on his past experiences and how he tried but failed. Even more he feels himself worthless to do anything worthy for Christ and his kingdom and even more he feels that Christ must be disappointed with him. So he resolves to apathy towards the things of God and believe that he cannot come close to God for he is to holy and he has failed to please God evidenced by his failure.

If you feel like this, there is hope. It is awesome to know that the biblical gospel of justification by faith alone answers your failures. Romans 4:5 says that “To the one who does not work but trusts in him who justifies the ungodly, is faith is counted as righteousness”. This great and awesome truth is meant to uphold and destroy hopelessness.

John piper writes the following on this issue. ‘The connection between the sinner and the Savior is trust, not improvement of behavior. That comes later. It's this order that gives hope. "For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law" (Romans 3:28). The basis of this wild and wonderful hope (the ungodly justified) is "Christ for righteousness to everyone who believes" (Romans 10:4, literal translation). Through faith alone God counts the ungodly as righteous because of Christ. "For our sake [God] made to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Let all who are paralyzed by the weight of sin and the powerlessness to change turn in here.

To the fallen saint, who knows the darkness is self-inflicted and feels the futility of looking for hope from a frowning Judge, the Bible gives a shocking example of gutsy guilt. It pictures God's failed prophet beneath a righteous frown, bearing his chastisement with broken-hearted boldness. "Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light" (Micah 7:8-9). This is courageous contrition. Gutsy guilt. The saint has fallen. The darkness of God's indignation is on him. He does not blow it off, but waits. And he throws in the face of his accuser the confidence that his indignant Judge will plead his cause and execute justice for (not against) him. This is the application of justification to the fallen saint. Broken-hearted, gutsy guilt’.

Let us always remember that there is hope, there is hope for the hopeless saint because your righteousness is in heaven and his righteousness makes you perfect. So when you do fall, look not unto your sin but confess them and He will always forgive you and his power will change you. So although the man with no parachute had no hope because his trust was in his parachute, there is hope for the Christian because with God all things are possible.

K.Oni

Picture by Charley Evans

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