Pastor's Blog

Sin begins with the tiniest divergence from agreement with God.  It is something we do naturally.  We don’t even have to think about it.  To make matters worse, a good many times we aren’t even aware that our perspective or opinion is differing with God at all.  This is the Christian doctrine of the depravity of man.  We are born spiritually dead – not that we don’t have a spirit or a mind, not that we can’t think -- but that we are not innately connected to God.  We don’t know Him and we don’t understand Him, hence the image often used to depict our condition:  blindness.

When we say Jesus didn’t sin (or “had no sin”), we mean more than that He didn’t commit acts of sin.  We mean that in His experience of life Jesus didn’t experience that blindness, that disconnection from God.  When temptations were placed in front of Him, he saw how He could disagree with God and gratify Himself, and He saw the attractiveness of that option.  But He also saw the option of obedience to the Father and the attractiveness of that option.  And obedience to the Father was the option He always chose.  Some people think He did so because He couldn’t choose otherwise.  I’m more inclined to believe that He simply chose that way because He knew the Father and WANTED to obey.

Why was He like that?  I don't know.

I would like to suggest that Adam and Eve were in the same position as Jesus.  There was no sin in them – no sin nature, no innate disagreement with God, no bent away from God.  They were not ignorant of God or His ways.  There was complete freedom to choose.  And humanity used its freedom to choose against the Father.  Why?  I don’t know.  It’s a part of the mystery of sin.

Have you noticed that I say, “I don’t know”, and use the term “mystery” quite often? 
How could Jesus be fully God and fully man?  I don’t know.  It’s a mystery.
How could a man who is also God have any limitations and still be God?  I don’t know.  It’s a mystery.
How could He be fully man, born of a fallen woman, and not have a fallen nature, a bent toward disobedience?  I don’t know.  It’s a mystery. 
How could Adam and Eve, created perfectly good with no bent toward evil, decide to choose evil?  I don’t know.  It’s a mystery.

When I was considering abandoning the Christian faith and turning to atheism, mysteries bothered me.  Trying to build a system of thought on things I couldn’t explain, things I didn’t know, on questions rather than answers, seemed to me an odd way to approach life.

Until I found out that atheism had its share of mysteries and unanswered questions and riddles and anomalies as well.  It’s not that atheists weren’t intelligent.  They just didn’t have all the answers and they didn’t even have all the answers they thought they had.

No one does.

Mysteries are not a problem.  They are a part of the way the world is.

I don’t need to have the answers to all the mysteries of the world or of the Christian faith.  I became comfortable with not knowing, with being a limited finite being.  I need to accept and embrace mystery when it occurs – and give praise to a God who’s far bigger than I am.  That's a big part of what it means to "glorify God as God".

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