And if my thought dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
~ Bob Dylan
I would not want all my bad dreams and thoughts revealed to others, would you? We all have bad thoughts. We all make wrong choices. We all say and do stupid things. We are a flawed people. We are nowhere near perfect.
Not to say we do not try to do the right thing or try to control our thoughts, we do try but the truth is we still miss the mark of perfection. Even a young child will lie to parents. We do not have to be taught to lie or be selfish, it is the result of our flawed condition.
We were made in the image of God but our image has been broken by sin. Sin is missing the target of perfection.
Sin is a problem in our lives. It is also a problem for God. Why? Because God is perfect. God is holy.
Godís response to sin is not emotional, it is conditional. It is in his nature. Consider our response to fire. When our hand touches a hot iron, it is in our condition (our makeup) to instantly repeal from the heat.
This is why sin must be judged and removed from Godís presence for us to be reconciled to God.
We are indeed in a mess with ourselves and with God but there is good news.
This good news is the central message in the scriptures reveals to us the beautiful plan of God to forever fix this problem. Because Godís condition requires judgement a sacrifice had to be done. All through the scriptures God reveals that a sacrifice must be without flaws. It must be perfect. Since we are not perfect, God set his plan in motion.
The fix was God coming to earth as a human being. He lived a perfect life. He never sinned and because he was sinless he could take the judgement for us. He took our punishment. I donít think we can even imagine what he experience in those few hours on the cross. I read one person describe it as three hours of eternity. Godís laying down his life for his friends.
After his death on the cross, he came back alive for eternity. By being human he is forever linked to us. He knows who we are as humans.
If we accept this plan, we appear in Godís presence as perfect. We are made sinless in his eyes. This does not mean that we no longer sin. The scriptures say we are a fool if we claim to be without sin but we are to confess our sins (acknowledge them) and repent.
Donít get tripped up by the word repent. Repentance simply means to turn, it is the activity of reviewing one's actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs. It is an action of our hearts.
And then we move onward towards God. We will continue to make mistakes, to be imperfect, to miss the mark but we are no longer haunted by our imperfects, we know that God has and will take care of us and our future is settled. The Kingdom of God is a Party and we will be there. This is the good news.
We can be at peace because we know God has set things right. We are in a relationship not a religion or system that enslaves us.
ďAre you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and youíll recover your life. Iíll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with meówatch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I wonít lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and youíll learn to live freely and lightly.Ē
~ Matthew 11:30 (The Message )
Paul expresses this well in Romans 3.
Since weíve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess weíre in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:23-24 (The Message)