Thursday, February 14, 2013

Christian Fraudulence

“Liar!  Liar!  Pants on fire!”

This is in part, the message of Lent.

Yes, as a Christian I face this every day.  As I profess to believe in Jesus as my Savior, I continually am confronted with my own unbelief.  The greatest reminder of this is my internal war with those sins that seem to own me.

Which sins?

We each have our own lists.  What is more is that we have sins of which we don’t even realize.

Lent is a time to be reminded how total our corruption is.  Apart from the Gospel we are truly corrupt, that is, dead and rotting.

Throughout my life I have often encountered a dead animal that needed to be buried.  Even something as small as a dead squirrel run over on the road can be horrific enough to send my olfactory senses into a reaction that produces convulsions of my guts.  In such circumstances I have learned to dig the burial pit first so that I can scoop up the rotting corpse and hold my breath while carrying it to the hole.  Sometimes it is so bad that I then have to walk away from the hole to get a breath and return to cast dirt over the corpse.

Anyone who has dealt with this has no question as to the rottenness and corruption of death.  This is what sin makes of us all.

But we manage to keep our distance so that we can delude ourselves regarding our own corruption.  Thus we need to hear, “Liar!  Liar!  Pants on fire!”

Truly this is an apt description.  We go about our business, scurrying here and there, not realizing that our pants are on fire, telling ourselves that we are OK.

Lent is a season when we cry out to remind one another and ourselves that our pants are on fire and that repentance is not something needed by other people, but by ourselves.

But in order to repent, that is, in order to be turned again, we need to hear that we have someplace to turn.  This is the ultimate goal of Lent.  The Gospel is the ultimate message.  Repentance is worked in us when the Holy Spirit implants the Word in us so that we hear both our need for salvation as well as the good news that in Christ this salvation is come.

Thus in His Church Christ ordained His means of grace.  Through these we continually receive the administration of His forgiveness and renewal.  Through these we are brought into His kingdom and preserved in His kingdom.
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