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Grace and Sin

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The following blog is the newest installment in our Classics Serieswhere we revisit posts from days gone by. This blog was initially posted in July of 2015.

I never realized how amazing grace was until I saw how offensive sin was. Yet I still find myself giving in to my desires that are against God’s perfect nature. I tend to resort to my old ways and forget that God has saved me from my sin so I can live for Him. But how do I feel after I have messed up? Guilty? Ashamed? Do I feel like I am not good enough? These emotions tend to overwhelm my mind and cloud my perspective.

To clarify, it was because of our sins that Jesus died. There is a seriousness to our sin in that God hates and reviles it. As a just God, He punishes sin. We could have never met God’s standard of perfection. Yet God, in His love, has saved us through Christ. So those who have repented, acknowledged that they are sinners and can’t save themselves, and have trusted in Jesus are saved. 

We may find it difficult to believe that God has forgiven us when we sin. Sometimes I tend to wallow in my sin as a pig wallows in the mud. I feel ashamed and guilty, and unworthy. I feel like I need to clean myself up before approaching God. Do you feel that way? I think the problem is our understanding of grace.

Grace teaches us that God has saved us even though we don’t deserve anything. We can run to God when we sin because there is an ever-flowing well of mercy. God desires us to have broken and contrite hearts (Isa 66:2), hearts that understand that we have messed up and recognize our need for forgiveness. These hearts confess sin because they understand that sin affects our relationship with God. These hearts can approach the throne of grace and rest in the forgiveness that is in Christ. We must recognize that it is only by grace that we are saved, and it is only by grace that we have access to God.

So when you sin, may you run to the Father and His love, not because of your moral perfection, but because of Morality Himself.

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A Controversial Community

When I interned here, the church was very generous (and still is) as many people took me out for meals. I learned that not only is O’Hare a hub for airlines, but that Chicago is a hub for restaurants. Take a walk down to Roscoe and you can’t help but to smell a plethora of aromas. Just like food gives off various aromas, so does our community.

In 2 Corinthians 2:15 it says, “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” Is Paul saying that Christians smell? In some sense, yes! He explains in verse 16 saying that to one side we are the smell of death but to the other we are the fragrance of life, hence a controversial community.

As we think about establishing redemptive presence here in our neighborhood we will face some opposition. First, let’s remember that the gospel is already offensive. Why? The gospel says that without Jesus, you deserve hell because you have rebelled against a holy and just God.

Second, Jesus faced much opposition while He was on earth. When Jesus came back to his hometown and began teaching in the synagogue, the people “took offense at him” (Matt 13:57). If those in his own hometown took offense at him and his teachings, why would we expect anything less? Jesus says that the reason people will treat us this way is because they do not know the One who sent him (John 17:21).

As ambassadors of Christ, we are called to proclaim the truth of the gospel. There is a temptation to shy away from the truth so that people can like us and come to our church. But what good is it to have people like us and lose their soul? Pray that God would give you courage to share the good news with your neighbors. Or maybe the first step is to pray for courage to talk to them! Also let us pray that for one another and ask each other how we are making Jesus famous.

Let us stand on the Word of God and be both a compelling and controversial community!

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