Sunday, May 02, 2010

Honesty and Fathers Part 2

“Why can’t anyone just get over the fact that I’m not perfect?!”

Bingo! That’s the whole point, buddy! That’s where we can start to rejoice.

If even our repentance is that for which we must finally repent, then we must at last admit that we are, as Luther would say, beggars before God. Then, and only then do we have Christ as our Savior and God as our Father. For, it is through His Son that God becomes a Father to us.

Still, as Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans, we cannot rejoice in our sin as if to say, “I’m forgiven; I’ll be forgiven.” Christ’s forgiveness is the very essence of the Christian and his life. We aren’t forgiven so that we may go on sinning. Neither do we rejoice in Christ’s forgiveness so that we may sin with freedom. As Steven Hein would say, “Now that you are forgiven, what is it that you want to do?” That is, Christ paid for your sins with His flesh and blood as the price. What is it you want to do for your neighbor? Faith in Christ is enacted as love for neighbor.

Pr. 26:11 likens a fool returning to his folly as a dog to his vomit. The fool in this case is the one who refuses to heed, listen to, or live in God’s word. Dogs are not often used as examples of uprightness in the Scriptures. Consider Dt 23:18; 1Sm 17:43; 2Sm 16:9; Jb 18:11; Ps 22:20. So when the Canaanite woman responds to Jesus, “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table,”she is confessing both her utter unworthiness and her faith-wrought hunger for the food only Christ can give. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4). Her daughter could be healed no other way than through the restoration Jesus could provide. This satisfied her immediate need. However, Jesus is the Bread of Life come down from heaven (Jn 6:33). To eat that Bread is to live forever; to be healed forever; to live forever. “Remain in Me and I will remain in you” (Jn15:4).

And then fruit will be borne.

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