Jim Wright is a church sower, public but unassuming, thinker, mentor, teacher, local church elder, motivated by redemption, foe of tyrants, friend of the dispossessed, retired international attorney, entrepreneur, former private pilot, and so-so bass fisherman.
Marianne is a retired public school teacher, private but strong, heart, skilled counselor, knows deep intimacy with God, a comfort to others in the Lord, wise, motivated by mercy but has strong resolve, gardener, and a bridge to healing for many.
Together, we have been part of a community of simple, participatory fellowships for many years in our own home county - some of which we helped start.
Our blogs and devotionals spring from firm roots in those local fellowships.
Unfortunately your perspective reflects the misunderstanding of the church for centuries. Grace got you in the door and then it became your responsibility to work like crazy to ‘stay saved.’ In response to Paul’s question in Galatians 3:3, the that Christian culture would respond with a resounding YES!
Galatians 3:2-3 (NET) “The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort?”
If by “rationalize” you mean “excuse” sin, then I can agree, but the solution is not to make a BIG DEAL of sin but rather to recognize that ALL my sins…past, present, and future…have all been already forgiven, and get on with walking in fellowship with my God.
I’m not even sure about repentance…especially ‘humble’ repentance…being a requisite for forgiveness…I expect there are some verses to revisit in that area, but it may depend on your understanding of the word ‘repent.’ In my background ‘repentance’ was an agonizing, emotional process…always at risk of being insincere…and had to be done publicly ‘at the altar.’ If instead you mean by repentance, quickly saying to God, “Oops! did it again! Thank-you Father that You have already forgiven me,” then I can agree. Otherwise you are faced with how humble is humble enough?
If, as I suspect, you are reacting to some far out group that actually condones sinful living, my only response would be to say, “I would rather have that and trust the Holy Spirit to convict, than I would to abandon the comfort and encouragement of ‘cheap’ (actually free) grace.”
Hmmm… why make it so complicated, with so many caveats and qualifications? Grace is God’s means. Repentance is our response. Obedience and good works are the fruit. It’s not a pick and choose situation.
Hey there Jim, i was just wondering if you could give a more succinct definition of what sin is…some churches say that wearing makeup or watching tv is a sin, while other churches say that would be legalism to follow such strict practices….do you approve of such things?
Sin, at its root, is rebellion against God.
If God personally told you not to wear makeup or watch TV, then it would be sin to do so.
However, I know of no place where God has universally imposed those limits on others … or stated that He couldn’t sometimes ask an individual to accept such limits.