Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Truth #1

1 - The more you grow in the faith, the more you see sin in yourself.

One of the most profound statements about the life a Christian lives is where Paul calls himself the chief of sinners. Note, Paul doesn't say, "I used to be the chief of sinners back when I was killing Christians." Paul simply says that he is the chief sinner. He also talks about how he is at war with himself, how the wickedness he does not desire to do he does, and how he fails to do the good which he wishes to do.

The more you grow in faith, the more you see sin in yourself. Now, we might ask ourselves, was Paul sinning as gravely as an Apostle as he was when he was killing folks off? That's not the question we should be asking - sin isn't acceptible in any ammounts - so whether they are huge and evil or small and evil - still sin, still bad. How much - that's not really important. Thinking that way makes us self-righteous and proud.

Rather - behold Paul. As he grows in the faith, he sees his sin more clearly. When he was persecuting the Christians, he thought he was offering service to God. That is how wicked and perverse he was. But as he grows in the faith - he sees the sin that he commits more and more clearly. Sure, it may not stand out to the world like it used to - but Paul, knowing God's law and his own lack sees his sin.

Be wary when you don't see your own sin - for that is the a sign that your faith is dying - that you have begun to replace Christ Jesus your Savior with the most common of idols - "I'm not that bad" man. As we grow in the faith, we understand our own lack more and more.


Rev. Gregory W. Brown said...

Faith is a condition. It does not grow or wain. Either you have faith or you don't. Sin, too, is a condition in which we were born and never rid of in this life. Believing, that is, having faith in the merits of Christ, namely that he received God's wrath and punishment and we are declared forgiven, holy righteous does not depend on our sinful condition. We can have either faith or no faith and still be sinful, but that sin can never condemn us, only the lack of faith. Have faith saved, no faith condemned. Faith is not based on our subjective feelings.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

One can speak of growing in the faith. In fact, one of the great frustration of the Scripture writers is that people do not grow in the faith - look at the milk vs. solid food language used in 1 Corinthians 3:2 and Hebrews 5:12-14.

The key to this are the words "in the" - to grow *in the* faith. The amount to which we comprehend and understand, as thinking beings, the implications of our faith does indeed change - otherwise we would not be teaching bible studies in order to teach or train.

If you prefer, you could chose to say, "as one grows in the understanding of the faith" - but it's not a necessary addition.