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Thursday, June 28, 2012

God's Prescription for Healing Sin - Romans 8 Part II


by Dina Sleiman

3-4God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.
The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn't deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

Sin. Kind of an ugly word. A charged word to be sure. Maybe it’s been overused. Maybe we apply it to anything we don’t like. We certainly don’t want to apply it to ourselves, but truth be told, we probably do it in some way or another everyday. From my understanding, there are two Hebrew words for sin. One means evil. Hopefully not too many of us are guilty of that. But the other one--the simpler one was known as “het” or “chet” in Hebrew. It means missing the mark. Veering of the path. Missing God’s best plan for our lives.

Yep, I’d say most of us do that every day.

And no one understands that more than God himself. He made us after all. And He knows us intimately. Although I don’t think it would be fair to say He “planned” for us to sin, I imagine He “knew” it was going to happen. For the record, I don’t think God is the control freak most Christians seem to think He is. I happen to think He has given us a ton of choice and more responsibility for our own life than the whole “God is in control” mind set seems to acknowledge. Oh, and that there’s an enemy too, who seeks to destroy us, and as we saw in verses one and two, we’ve been given power over that enemy.

Anyway, back to verses three and four. So mankind fell into sin. And it created a degree of separation from God, but He wasn’t numb to our plight. He had a plan. And not a wimpy little plan. No, it says here He went for the jugular by sending His own son. A son who died for us on a cross to pay the price for our sin. Pretty amazing. God took a personal interest in our human condition. Why? Because He loved us. He wanted to fix this disordered mess once and for all.

Laws—rules, they could never fix the mess. They weren’t enough to earn us salvation. To restore our relationship with God. And guess what? They still aren’t. We don’t need the band-aid of the law anymore. What we need is the deep healing that Christ offered on the cross. We don't need to accept Christ's salvation once and then earn our own salvation everyday for the rest of our lives. We just accept Christ's salvation, and it's done.

So why do we spend sooooo much time trying to fix ourselves, control ourselves, be perfect, please people, live up to some impossible religious standards?

Now we get to my favorite part of these verses. We don’t have to try harder. We don’t have to redouble our efforts. We just relax and embrace what the Spirit is already doing in us. If we’ve accepted Christ and His forgiveness, it’s God’s job to fix us. Not our job. His!!!!

We just have to hold on for the ride.

Wow! How freeing is that? Take a minute to feel that freedom. Breathe it in. Shake off the heaviness of guilt and sin and live in the moment of liberty and forgiveness. Of spiritual health and well-being. No wonder that dark cloud from verses one and two has been blown away and now we can live under clear, bright skies. Sigh. Lovely.


Have you been redoubling your efforts lately? Have you been stressing over your sin? How could you simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in your life? What would that look like?

To Read Part I about Romans 8:1-2 click here. 
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Dina Sleiman writes lyrical stories that dance with light. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. She was the Overall Winner in the 2009 Touched by Love contest for unpublished authors. Her debut novel, Dance of the Dandelion with Whitefire Publishing, is now available at amazon and other online and ebook distributors. Her latest novel, Love in Three Quarter Time, will be the launch title for the new Zondervan First imprint. Dina is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. She has recently become an acquisitions editor for WhiteFire as well. Join her as she discovers the unforced rhythms of grace. For more info visit her at http://dinasleiman.com/


10 comments:

  1. Thanks Dina. Romans is quite a book. Thank God that Jesus fulfilled the law for us!

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  2. Thank you, Deb. This chapter has really touched my live, and I hope it will bless others as well.

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  3. Great post. I've been thinking about this topic recently as I've been kicking myself over past mistakes. Then feeling guilty that I'm not forgiving myself. It accomplishes nothing.

    And it's not necessary. I need to accept Jesus' work on the cross and allow Him to continue to work through me!

    Thanks for the encouragement today.

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  4. It's kind of funny, really. Feeling guilt over your guilt. That's one serious hard core guilt trip. Just the kind of thing Satan tries to use to trip us up.

    I vote just say no to guilt :)

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  5. Dina, you have a very effective way of dissecting the Gospel and then presenting it in a way that makes us want to embrace it, even for a topic like this where many people shy away from the ugliness of it.

    Thank you.

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  6. Well, I must say, I never thought of sin as having another meaning like missing the mark. It sure takes the ugliness out of the word and turns it around to being merely human. I like that because I think looking at sin as missing the mark might make it easier to forgive ourselves. Now of course I don't mean all sin could or should be looked at that way. If I do evil I need to know it's evil and not merely missing the mark. Also though, I always like to think of others as being mistaken and not "evil sinners". I know evil exists, and I'm not trying to minimize that by any means. It's just a breath of fresh air to me to think that the word itself (and thereby the way God looks at us) doesn't mean sin automatically equals evil. Thanks Dina!

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  7. Thanks, Anita. That really blesses me to hear you say that.

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  8. Suzie, that definition for sin is something I talk about in my nonfiction book. I guess I never realized I had never shared it here. I actually did that post pretty fast (the 28th snuck up on me, I was thinking I still had a week) so I just followed my heart in a stream of consciousness sort of way. I'm glad you found something new to bless you.

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  9. Excellent post, Dina! Sad/funny how we like to say we trust God to work in our lives, except when it comes to conquering sin in our lives... something we can't do on our own or we wouldn't need a Savior!

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