There are two theories about human nature. One is that man is essentially good and occasionally screws up. The other is that man is essentially depraved, born with a fatal error in his nature, and any good that he does is in spite of himself. The evidence seems to favor the later and best explains the pervading presence of evil, problems in the economy, politics, international tensions, relationships, and why things deteriorate. In fact a curse placed on the earth is the best explanation as to why there are problems.
Whatever our viewpoint is on errors, everybody makes them. And we all have guilt from violating moral law. Even if we have trusted Christ and are no longer enemies with God, our sin is not completely eliminated yet. We still struggle with a profane tongue, a dance with envy, inordinate lust, selfish ambition, or spiritual thickness. Whatever it is, we all carry guilt whether we sense it or not. Psychologists have noted that guilt is expressed in all kinds of neuroses such as depression, irritability, aggression, workaholism, extreme fitness, hyper-responsibility, and being accident prone. By now we’ve all accumulted enough guilt to rival that of Judas and many of us are one step from despair, depending on the tragedy, and we don’t even know it.
How do we deal with guilt? Self atone by going on a spree of good deeds? Exercise heavily to work the guilt out of the system? We may feel better for a time but the emptiness of guilt creeps back in. We need a dynamic that steps outside the whole paradigm of self effort: the death of Christ for our sin. Applying the momumental work of Christ’s death on the cross is like hitting the spiritual reset button. Reset buttons come on all kinds of electronic devices to fix deviations. On computers for example, there is a function to correct a virus by resetting to a time when there were no problems. Spiritually we can also hit the reset button, remove the spyware of sin that has accumulated on the hard drives of our souls, and recover our connection with God.
Hitting the spiritual reset button after sinning means appealing to verses like I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It means resisting the arrogance of unbelief by trusting Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Confession and repentance of sin is the shortest path to spiritual health known to mankind.
Nowhere is the idealogy of the second chance more seen than in God’s general paradigm for mankind. Organizations occasionally tap into it, spouses often give it, friends may grant it, but God’s grace rules the world. Nobody would be here without it. The fact we’re alive is the best evidence of God’s grace. And God created a function to remove the malware of sin on the human heart through the precious blood of Christ.
Physically, the world operates on the grace of God with the dawn of each new day- the sun comes up, the events of yesterday only memories. Why not mirror the sun coming up as often spiritually? One sign of growth in our lives is the ability to trust God’s word with fewer the lag times of doubt. Hitting the spiritual reset button of God’s grace is the only way to rest with a clear conscience. The soul becomes more in sync with the divine rythym, as each new dawn is a new chance to live for God with a clean slate, the joy of sunshine filling the heart after a dark night of the soul.
According to Proverbs 24:16 a rightoeusness man is not a perfect man or a man who never sins, but a man who is not controlled by discouragement. “For a righteousness man falls seven times but gets up again.” A man who believes what God has said about him and gets up again is a righteousness man. Food, clothing, warmth, friendships, water, and purpose are all needs. But our greatest need before the weight of guilt in a cursed world is to be declared righteous. And this the blood of Christ does on our behalf.
Copyright 2010 by Scott Chandler. All rights reserved.