Sin Boldly, But Believe in God More Boldly Still

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“If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides.”

Martin Luther, From the Melanchthon Letter no. 99, 1 August 1521

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Luther is essentially communicating the things that are real to us.  He takes it down to bare wood.  We are given an understanding of this World, an a sense of what we can expect from the hearts of all those who surround us.  Sin is the issue, and we need to accept that from our brothers and sisters.  We should not be surprised when someone we love intentionally blindsides us with their disobedience to God.

Dramatic words, ‘sin boldly’.  We instantly see this as a way to sin, without restraint.  And let’s face it, sinning is fun.  At times perhaps, even a whole lot more pleasure than walking out godliness.  Luther recognized the inevitably of sin.  As fallen people we should accept that fallenness.  We sin, it’s what we do, and we do that very well. And the Lord knows that.

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

1 John 1:8

Our ‘religious’ hearts often go into this ‘deception mode.’  We endeavor not give in to the viciousness of sin.  “We will overcome!” And yet we are so infected with sin, and rebellion that we try to minimize the problem.  If the truth be known, we are sick, infested and condemned.  There are no ‘quick fixes’ for us.  Evil runs rampant.  It is the ultimate epidemic.

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Looking at our salvation

“Let your trust in Christ be more boldly still.’  The Lord Jesus has decisively interrupted our lives.  He has wholesale entered into our darkness and sin.  In a way it’s like a ‘roadside’ bomb, and needs a direct intervention of a specialist to disarm it.  As people who are completely saturated with sin, we need a third party to step-in and to save us from all the embedded darkness.

Often there is a sense of boldness when we completely understand our depravity.  We ‘know’ our sin.  For the most part can grasp its deadliness, and its infectiousness.  The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to bring us to this transparent moment when we can see the darkness and harm we’ve caused.  The fact is, that we are to accept this, it’s all true.  We have been this evil and awful to those around us. Most believers would curiously admit that ‘they have sinned more as a believer’ than before they were first saved.

Luther declares a significant point when he tells us ‘to believe in Christ more boldly still’. Simply, our ‘sin’ awareness must never exceed our Christ awareness.  We must have a stronger sense of Jesus’ victory then our sinfulness.  Our confidence, which has taken a hit on our sinfulness, now shouts ‘hallelujah’ at His victory.

“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”

1 John 1:8-10, NLT

“You need not fear because sin still plagues you – instead rejoice that by God’s grace you are on a journey toward eternal life and sin will finally fade into the distant past.”

Luther

“May it be the real me, that seeks and finds the real You.”

aabryscript

Further info, and source:  http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/Luther-Sin-Boldly.html

http://www.lectionarysermons.com/june_30_02.htm

http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/a-luther-quote-to-wake-up-the-sleepers

As Risky as Cigarettes? A New Study on Sleeping Pills

“He gives to his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2

At http://www.Brokenbelievers.com, our focus is mostly on the spiritual realities of being disabled, and yet a believer in Jesus. We honestly need these things as a man needs air. They are  things that we look into, and are crucial to our spiritual survival. Yet sometimes we encounter something on the physical/medical side that is important enough to merit our attention.

The latest off the wire, is a recent study on prescription sleep aids. For many years, our doctors have strongly suggested that if needed, we take a sleeping pill to enable us to “rack out.” A lot of people use them. In 2010, between  6 and 10% of adult Americans used a sleeping aid. Recently, researchers took another look. The drugs tested were Ambien, Restoril, Lunesta and Sonata. These, and a few others were tested. If your really interested, you will find the report on WebMd.com.

What they found was that users of these drugs to promote sleep faced a 5.3-fold higher death risk. They also had a 35% higher risk of cancer, the study found.  That made me perk right up.

The study was conducted at California San Diego which commenced in the early seventies. I encourage you to dig this up, and especially if you are taking a sleeping aid prescribed by a doctor. It could help you to decide on taking these meds, or not.

Perhaps, the issues are not substantial or significant to you. I do confess that the results are provocative.  And yet they do guide us into a fuller understanding. I have taken “Lunesta” for almost 4 years, every night.  My psychiatrist has explained to me that in his mind Bipolar Disorder can pretty much be a sleep issue and we need to treat it as such. Hence the Lunesta. But my shrink is not alone on this.

I suppose that I must admit a fear of  not being able to sleep. Sleep has been quite honestly the state that has carried me through many of my issues. I guess when I do sleep, I retract many things, and my “decks” are cleared for new ones.  The fear of losing this ability to really sleep, keeps me from not taking seriously the Lunesta I take every night. Inside, I just can’t see giving it up, in spite of the statistics.

In many ways, I suppose that sleep has become my deliverer. And as a believer, this should scare me. Jesus, after all, has redeemed me. He has done the work, after all. And yet I look at sleep as a sort of deliverance from my difficult issues. I don’t know what you are getting, but right now I’m sleeping 10 or 11 hours a night. And somewhat rarely I’ll take a 1 or 2 hour nap in the late afternoon.

“At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.” Jer. 31:26

Something funny: I once saw this posted on a wall in a church nursery, and thought it was very humorous, “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” 1 Corinthians 15:51.

The study is reported yesterday on http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20120227/sleeping-pills-called-as-risky-as-cigarettes

Hear The Rod

Shepherd with his rod
Shepherd with his rod

“The LORD’s voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.”   Micah 6:9, KJV

“The voice of the Lord calls to the city, and the wise person honors him.  So pay attention to the rod of punishment; pay attention to the One who threatens to punish.”  Micah 6:9, NCV

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There is necessary train of thought we all must board.  It involves traveling to a destination that we deep-down, absolutely abhor.  It is that idea that we are open and vulnerable, especially to his analysis of us–that we are more open than we think to His eyes.

We’ve entered into a spiritual transaction that doesn’t mollify our personal desires.  We are confronted by such a personal evil that just seems to percolate out of our hearts.  There exists something akin to “Pharaseeism,” where we project righteousness when we are really graves or tombs of the dead.

Micah announces that we must “hear the rod.”  Pay attention, become aware, understand deeply– there is a rod (a whip) that pounds everyone who comes to him.  Granted, the only thing necessary is to be aware that this difficult process exist.  We step up, and enter the grinder, with great fear, not really convinced of its efficiency and its capability.

There is no question of his deep and profound love for us.  He is fanatically absorbed in you.  There is a hungry passion for your attention and focus.  You are behind his shield.  You’re treasured far, far beyond what you think.  He sacrificed His own Son, to save your soul.

“Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.”  1 Cor. 15:23, ESV.

There is a mandatory factor that informs us that we cannot continue moving through life intoxicated.  Smashed on the wine of pride, stupefied on the brandy of selfishness.  We are called to sober up, and start living a truly terrific Christian life.  In Micah’s words– to listen!  Perhaps that is our greatest weakness in the Church today.  We have become deaf to the voice of God.

I guess that means we must make some adjustments.  To take up our Phillips screwdriver, and start ‘tweaking.’  We need to start the solid work of “tuning in” and becoming aware.  There is a rod, and the Father will use it on those who he loves.  A few whops from that rod will usually bring us to an awareness.

 

aabryplain

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