Monday, December 27, 2004


Our Father in heaven, whom I know is all powerful and in control of this entire universe, what ails my uncertain heart?

God forbid that I doubt my tongue which confesses that Christ is the Lord. I do not doubt that Christ is the Lord indeed, for I thank God that He has called me and I cannot but follow His Will. No longer does a return to the darkness that I once engulfed myself in hold any temptation for me, although daily I feel such a great unnerving – I see the iniquities that I store up against myself, the desires and runaway thoughts that my fallen self wants to indulge in. It is not some form of Jekyll and Hyde split personality thing, for both Jekyll and Hyde are but conflicting personalities of the same human consciousness, both at the same time suppressing and yet indulging in their wanton passions and desires. In the end, they are still both about themselves.

Alas, I cannot do what I will, and do what I will not. Our wretched soul indeed, would pain and mourn for antiquity, for our sins separate us from our perfect and just Creator to whom we long to return, if not for the hope that is in Christ. That while we continue to wait upon our eventual return away from the domain of the fallen world we are taught to hold on to the promise that is Christ although time and again, we have proven ourselves unworthy. How beyond comprehension is His mercy!

We cannot but help ourselves when we transgress in this world, which is of flesh. I hesitate that my brothers might accuse me that “cannot but help” is an excuse to continue in sin, but as Paul exhorts us, we ought to cling onto the hope and be thankful for God’s grace, for truly, if we be thankful for God’s grace and realize how much we really are transgressing (not by cloaking up our behavior that we know to be transgresses in vain reasoning or denial – for indeed, the longer we continue in such a state of vain excuses, the deeper we return back to the seductive darkness of this world), we would not want to sin any more.

Be clear now that I use the word would not “want” to sin. I encourage all of us, to really look at our lives and confess in our conscience before God the multitudes of iniquity that we commit! We be shamed and rendered unworthy when we open up our eyes to the condition of the flesh that plagues our souls, if not for the unfathomable grace of God who yet in spite of our wickedness hath paid the price for us so that we may be justified before Him and be able to be reconciled with God. (Romans 6)

And only upon realization of what transgressions we still live in, will we handle this great gift of salvation that we do not deserve with fear and trembling. For, if anything, the primacy of Christ-likeness is acknowledgement of the perfection of God, in contrast to our fallen nature. But I need to pause here, because the imperfection of my language by which I express this understanding may seem to imply a cause-effect or sequential turn of events, as though it were a formula or steps to follow. If there were any steps to follow, it would be “seek first the kingdom of God”, and the 2 basic commandments – love God, similar to seeking it in this dark temporality that we dwell in, and love thy neighbor, something clearly from Christ Himself, and not bounded in time-spatial order. Interestingly, I have been reading a little bit of Augustine’s work regarding this. He basically writes in Christian Doctrine: The beginning of all exegesis is love of God and love of neighbor.

Judging others

To continue on from this, we are told not to judge others, I believe, which to judge others to see whether their action is led of God or themselves. For only God alone knows the hearts of men. For us, we only see the actions of people, and we can only guess or infer the intention behind them. But then, how is it that we shrink with repulse when seeing certain actions or approve with gladness others? Surely we are capable to some extent?

We as fallen beings are born into this world in a context and our judgment will always be imperfect due to factors such as culture, upbringing, education, current public opinion as well as the status quo. In fact, these factors cloud us always, even when we judge ourselves according to the whim of our flesh (the above factors), and in turn affects every judgment we could possibly make. Of that we are only totally helpless except when we truly seek God It is clear then that judgment is to be left to God, apart from but not just for the fact that we are unable to, but because God is our Sovereign and we are His creation.

Therefore be slow to wrath, and love God and love thy neighbor. Judge not and ye shall not be judged. I think the hardest of these transgressions to even realize, let alone repent, for some people including me, is the removal of traditional or cultural mindsets. We are told to be prepared for the ‘renewal of our mind’.

Christ’s teachings are clearly what we should strive to follow. What doctrine or instruction we are taught we must study it, search the scriptures and understand it in its fullness. With regards to whether every Christian is supposed to be doing this I can merely quote scripture – all are parts of the whole body of Christ, to which there are deacons, preachers, evangelists, teachers etc etc.

When some things that Christ teaches us conflicts with our culture/mindset/sinful desires/pride, we

Will ourselves to stop doing it with true obedience for the sake of Christ.
Will ourselves to stop doing it because it is a rule we have to follow grudgingly
Ignore it in the name of culture and will to continue.
Ignore it and continue without thinking about it. (denial)
Quote some scripture (out of context) to justify it.
And many other kinds of responses that do not fit into 1.

As you could guess only God knows which decision we made in our hearts.

Now things do not happen in an instant of course, but it should not be an excuse and we need to be mindful of ourselves in case we fall into number 4. True repentance is knowing that we have transgressed and wanting to overcome our sin, one by one, bit by bit.

By the above confession I point an accusing finger at myself once again. But short of being a self-punisher (who thinks he can absolve his sin by his own effort – what was the term? Fallengations?), instead take glory in Christ and labor to overcome sin by focusing our unrelenting gaze on Jesus, and ignore the accusations of Satan that tempt us to flee away from the salvation that is promised us though we be so undeserving. That’s why it is through God’s mercy that we become more Christ-like.

Repent, absolve for the sake of obedience to Christ, not to do it again. Sins done in the spur of the moment are not excusable, it only meant that it was your sinful nature (pride/lust etc and most importantly, pretending you do not sin[in some senses pride]) rather than Christ whom you were serving. Remember from Romans 6! And if you dare cheat yourself by saying that you are saved through the blood of Christ but do not repent then Christ does not live in you. Push away your pride and return to Him humbly! When the law written in your heart convicts you about something, you cannot plead ignorance.

Indeed, many of our faithful brethren of times past know that they, who confess in their hearts that Christ is Lord, despite all the sins and transgressions they committed and the imperfections of their weak flesh, still hold the promise that is in Christ of returning to God in everlasting life. How thankful and joyous His mercy is!

How hard I pray that we all, in our hearts, want to love God and keep his Word always while we wait for Christ’s second coming! Amen!

No comments: