Saturday, January 29, 2011

Can God Look On Sin?

Recently during my prayer and study time I discovered that a statement I have spoken many times was leading me to an incorrect understanding. So many times I have been told and repeated to others the statement "God cannot look on sin." What this statement portrays is that somehow God has a weakness. He is flawed. You see I would get this mental picture of sin being kinda like God's krytonite. Just like superman having one flaw, God's was sin.

Here is what that lead me to believe. I was still sinful by my nature so God still couldn't look at me. So Jesus by my salvation stood in front of me, sort of like a screen or a filter. That way God only saw Jesus not me.

It's a great analogy but it left me with no understanding of my current state before God. Because my thought pattern left me as nothing had really changed about me, I was still really unacceptable. Not unacceptable to God but unacceptable to man.

It left me with a warped perception of who I now was and what my worth to Him was. Furthermore, with my old self worth still intact, I was still not good enough. God might be able to accept me now because Jesus had stepped in front of me as a buffer but the true nature of my self worth hadn't changed. God just didn't see me the same as everyone else because He was looking at Jesus not me.

Here is the truth..... and it changed everything for me. God CAN look on sin. Satan goes before God and he is full of sin. (a subject for another day) Satan is a different being. He is Spirit not human. We are not told the penalty of death is for him, no, it's for humanity.

Here's the thing, it's not that God can't look on sin, it's that if man goes in the presence of God with sin on him he will die. God could show himself to us but the penalty for our sins would come into play and we would drop down dead. The penalty of sin is death. So the penalty for man going before God with sin on him is death. Hence the seperation from God. Since we now have a sin nature and cannot keep from sinning, we must be seperated from God.

With sin comes death. In order to cleanse our sin off of us the penalty must be paid, blood must be shed, death must come. In the old testament, the Hebrew people would make blood sacrifices to attone for their sin. Once a year the high priest would go into the holy of holys in the presence of God. Before he would do this, he would make sacrifices for the week prior. There would be extra sacrifices made to make sure all the sin was attoned for so he wouldn't die once he was in the presence of God.

When Jesus came and died as a sinless man, the ultimate price was paid. The final and lasting penalty was paid. At the cross he proclaimed "It is finished" and it was. The penalty was paid for all mankind forever. The penalty of death was removed. Yes, we are still left with a sinful nature that wants to sin. But with our acceptance of Jesus Christ, we are covered by His blood sacrifice, therefore, we are blameless before God.

With the acceptance of Jesus as my Savior and Lord comes a new life. I am "born again" "a new creation". The old nature no longer has to hold me and I am made righteous and good enough not just before God but before man. The old person is gone and the new is now living. I am not that old person with the same self worth. I am different, new, worth much.

What freedom this brought me. I hope if you are stuck in a wrong perception of who you are in Jesus Christ, this will help you to know you too are enough.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Veil Was Lifted

Have you ever felt distant? Like everyone was around you but they were still out of reach to you?

You can be in a room full of family or friends and feel like you are not really there. The room is full of activity and conversation but you are not engaged. Its like you are scrouge in the movie A Christmas Carol and one of the ghosts has deposited you in the middle of your life. You are in the room but no one really sees you.

That is the way I have felt my whole life. Like I have been in the room but no one really sees me. Maybe it is because I tried to hard to be what everyone else wanted me to be. Maybe I was too afraid to let anyone see who I was. What ever the reason, here I am, 40 something and just now trying to understand who the real me is. I am finally trying to be visable and seen for who I am.

What a journey it has been to take the mask off and quit trying to please others. It has taken a lot time to peel off the layers and find out why I wanted to be someone else. In the end it came down to not thinking I was enough on my own. If people saw me, the real me, they would reject me because that person wasn't worth much.

Learning that I was loved by God was the beginning for me. I learned that the one who created me loved me so much that He sent His only son to die for me. It rocked my world to know I was loved by the one who created everything. But it still wasn't enough to change my thinking. I still believed that somehow I was flawed from birth and not like everyone else. I wasn't worth as much as other people were. Yes, God loved me but He didn't see the real me. He saw me through the filter of Jesus so it wasn't really me that He saw, it was Christ.

Yes, I was clean and worthy IN HIS EYES because he was looking at me through different eyes than the rest of the world. I carried this belief without really knowing it and what it really meant was I believed God loved me because He saw me differently. He couldn't see my flaws and how unacceptable I really was anymore. But others could. Therefore, I was acceptable to God but not to others. The nature of how unworthy and unacceptable I was hadn't really changed, God just couldn't see it anymore.

Last week the light was turned on for me. Jesus died to make me acceptable. Upon belief in His death for my sins and accepting His salvation it didn't place a veil over God's eyes so he couldn't see my sin anymore. No, it took the veil off. In that moment, I was made worthy for Him to look at me. Eyes wide open, the Father looks on His child. It took the veil off because I was made acceptable. I was justified and made worthy. Because of Jesus I am enough. Enough to be me, whole, clean, acceptable and worth much.

He created the first man and called it very good. That's what He now calls me.