Freedom From Conscience – Part 5

Continuing with the context:  Seeking to understand God’s loving chastisement of His children’s sins….in the last post we ended with — He chastises us for a purpose.  It is not only to bring righteousness into my life, but it is also that I might have that ‘peaceable fruit of righteousness’ (Hebrews 12:9-11)—that these things being dealt with, I may be at peace.  That is God’s loving care. 

But there is a condition to it.  Those who have this peaceable fruit of righteousness are those who are exercised by God’s chastening: in other words, learning what he is teaching them in the midst of it.  God the Father’s chastening is to cause us to acknowledge that a specific sin is sin; his hand can grow increasingly heavy until we come to acknowledge that it is sin and stop trying to get out from under it through fancy terms, blaming it on other people or excusing it in some way.  Do we want a restored relationship?  We may have it, as children of God.  We may have a restored relationship any moment, but we are not ready for it until we are willing to call specific sin sin.   

And the emphasis Is on specific sin.  It will not do just to say, ‘I sinned.’  There must be a willingness to call my specific sin sin.  I must take my place in the Garden of Gethsemane with Christ. There Christ is speaking as a true man, and he speaks the absolute reverse of Adam and Eve in the Garden of the Fall, when he says, ‘Not my will, but thine be done.’  I, too, must say with meaningfulness, ‘Not my will, but thine be done,’ at the point of that specific sin; not just a general statement, ‘I want your will,’ but ‘I want your will in reference to this thing that I acknowledge to be sin.’ 

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.     1 John 1:6 ESV 

There is no such thing as to continue deliberately to walk in darkness and to have an open fellowship with him who is only light and holiness.  This is simply not possible.   

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:16 ESV 

Here is something that is the antithesis not only to god’s external law, but of his character and what he is.  How can we say we have fellowship with him if we deliberately walk in that which is the antithesis of himself. 

So we must say, ‘Not my will, but thine be done.”  And as I say this in reference to this specific sin, I am once again the creature before God; I am in the place for which I was made.  As a child of the Fall, self is crucified again, for there can be no resurrection without the crucifixion.  We have seen that the order of the Christian life is plain:  there can be no restitution without repentance and confession directly to God.  In the unity of the teaching of Scripture, this is exactly what one would expect if one begins with the central biblical teaching that God really exists.  He is a personal-infinite God, and he has a character.  He is holy.  This is not some strange thing pulled in from a peripheral point; it stands at the very heart of the matter.  If this is what God is, the God who exists, and if I have become his child, should one not expect that when I have sinned, when I have done that which is the antithesis of his character, I must go back to him as a person and say I am sorry?  He is not just a doctrine, or an abstraction; he is a person who is there.  We must go honestly before God who knows our whole being, and we must say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned.’  There must be real sorrow for the sin that I know.  And this is how our loving Heavenly Father has designed for us to remain in fellowship with Him and to have peace.  We listen to his voice, wherein the Holy Spirit tugs on our heart and tells us where we are in sin and we respond by going to our Father and confessing what we are experiencing, the specifics of it, and we ask for not only his forgiveness, but for his intervention and supernatural help.  And because he truly is our Father and we truly are his children, he will forgive, and he will help.  Amazing love, Amazing Father.    

Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc

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