Teaching God To Forgive

Properly managed, sin is not all that bad. It is God’s hatred of it that we should fear because He hates it so much that He consigns sinners to eternal retributive punishment. At least, that is what we tell ourselves as we, hearts heavy with reluctance, tear ourselves away from sin’s delectable delights to embrace banal holy living. This banality is only punctuated by weekly bribes disguised as offerings and loud songs of praise meant to ignite euphoria and banish the drudgery of holy living.
Despite our efforts to balance our sin with holy living, our hearts skip with trepidation, troubled by the ever unshakable feeling that it is all inadequate – God’s rage is too great to placate, heaven is beyond reach. That is why dropping “the unpardonable sin into any Christian conversation strikes smiles of faces and banishes blessed assurance. This concept ruins our plans to climb into heaven. We took care of the Father’s rage by getting His Son to die in our place but how are we ever to swing around a grieving Spirit? Would somebody please teach Him to forgive?
There is no way around it, we must return to the fundamentals and fix the problem there!

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content.” Jesus replied, “Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, ʻShow us the Fatherʼ?

John 14:8,9 NET

There is no difference between Jesus’ attitude toward us and the Father’s. Christ’s mission on earth is not a lone effort. That we cannot see this is evidence that sin is not a problem of God’s perception of us but of our perception of Him. It is impossible for an organisation to bring about this vital change in perception – Enter the Holy Spirit!

I didn’t tell you this earlier because I was with you every day. But now I am on my way to the One who sent me. Not one of you has asked, ‘Where are you going?’ Instead, the longer I’ve talked, the sadder you’ve become. So let me say it again, this truth: It’s better for you that I leave. If I don’t leave, the Friend won’t come. But if I go, I’ll send him to you.
When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted.
I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’

John 16:4-15 The Message

God is not worthy of our quavering fear but sin is. We have been feasting on poison and enjoying the taste of death. With our diseased perception of God, we have become unable to correctly perceive and relate to each other and most tragically, we are delusional in our self perception. This is why selfish codependency is confused for love, fear is seen as respect and the divestiture of individuality is mistaken for holy submission. This is why each of us, with all the sanity of a cat trying to bark like a dog, declares ourselves in need of less grace than the next person. “God alone is perfect,” we say but silently add, “I come in a close second.”
It is this pride that has us sweating in vain to earn what we could receive with simple repentance. The essence of sin is the distrust of God as revealed in Christ. Righteousness is not our reward but a gift from God. Of course there is a lot of effort involved but this effort is not to deserve God but to stop spurning Him. The unpardonable sin is not the Holy Spirit spurning us but in us spurning Him. It is our choice, not His.

Destruction has overtaken my people because they have no knowledge; because you have given up knowledge, I will give you up, so that you will be no priest to me, because you have not kept in mind the law of your God, I will not keep your children in my memory.

Hosea 4:6 BBE

photo credit: Curtis Gregory Perry via photopin (license)

Advertisements