Last week at church I was talking with the Junior boys in our youth group about a way Christians tend to diminish the cross of Jesus Christ. We had just been taught on Colossians 1:14 which says, "In whom [referring to Christ] we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." The theme for the evening was redemption also known as being unshackled. Three questions were asked:
1. What were we unshackled from?
2. What were we unshackled by?
3. What were we unshackled for?
In small group we had a great discussion. They guys were talking about how sin is still active in their lives. They were discussing the struggle with the flesh that still exists in the life of the believer. As they were talking I noticed a trend that was a part of my life for so long. The focus on sin exceeded the focus of grace. I know I've talked about this before on the blog but I thought this would be a good reminder.
Many times we strictly want to focus on everything we see wrong with our lives. We should daily confess and repent of sin in our lives. We should be thankful for the Spirit's work in our lives who opens our eyes to see how terrible sin is. But the danger is only seeing sin. I believe this diminishes the cross. The cross does bring about forgiveness of sins but through our new life in Christ we are no longer slaves to sin but rather slaves to Christ. We are now new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) therefore we do not have to give in to the temptation of sin. I simply asked my guys to tell me some means of grace they had seen throughout the day. Then I asked, "Who here gave in to every temptation that came their way today?" No hands. No words. Silence. They got the point. It hit me as well. We have much to be thankful for.
Forgiveness of sin is a reason to rejoice and give thanks to our great Savior, Jesus Christ. But I think we tend to overlook many other graces throughout the day. The fact that we resist temptation and do battle against those urges from the flesh is a great reason to give thanks to the Spirit's working in our life. That is a reason to rejoice and give thanks to Jesus Christ who bought us with the price of his blood at Calvary. Praise God for his glorious grace.
Grace upon grace,