Thursday, August 7

Being saved from our sins

I've started reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I'm about 1/3 of the way through the book, and I really like it. I'll blog more completely about it once I'm done, but there was something I read just as my train was pulling into the station this morning that really struck me.

He said, "Lukewarm people don't really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin." (Chan, Francis. Crazy Love. (Colorado Springs, Colo.: David C. Cook), p. 68.)

This got me thinking about the difference between being saved from our sins and being saved from the penalty of our sins. The American Evangelical church often puts the emphasis on Jesus' work in taking on himself the penalty for the sins of everyone. It is clear from the Bible that Jesus did this, and that if we have faith in Jesus we no longer have to pay the penalty for our sins.

I think that the problem comes when we begin to think that the penalty is the only thing the Bible means when it says that Jesus will "save his people from their sins." There is so much more to it than that. Being saved from the penalty of sin is certainly a part, but only a part. It also implies that we will be saved from committing the sins in the first place. It means that we will be saved from the consequences in the next world, but it also means that we will be saved from the consequences of our sins in this world.

Too often, followers of Christ focus almost exclusively on getting to heaven and how wonderful it will be once we get there. When we do that, it becomes easy to forget that we should be having an impact on the world we are living in, here and now. If we are truly following Jesus, we should try to do everything we can to erase the affects of sin in the world we are currently living in, not just in the next one.

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