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Simply Church: Dad, Jesus, and Sin

Rather than continuing in sin, our church families and individuals within the family, should be moving out of sin. Our goal is to become like dad and to be a successful church we should be moving toward that goal. If our families are not, in large part, departing from sin, our families aren’t functioning the way that they should be. There’s so much to talk about here. I’m going to try to keep this series from getting too out of control so I’ll try to focus on some of the ways the family metaphor can shape our perspective on this.*

Our Father is Love. Our Father is defined by love. It takes great prayer and imagination to begin to grasp how high, wide, and deep the Father’s love for us is. Nothing can separate us from His love. Where everything else fails, love remains and conquers. Because of this great Love, because our dad is the Great Love, dealing with sin has to always begin with, be empowered by, and end with love.

God’s first response to our sin is conviction and guilt. God’s first response to our confession is a loving embrace. Like any good Father, our Dad doesn’t want us to live in shame and guilt because we’re imperfect. He wants us to know that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us less. After his embrace, our good Father may provide discipline, but this is not something to be avoid; rather, it should be embraced for it wonderful that Dad is working in our lives to teach us to be more strong, beautiful, delightful, joyful, and lifeful.

It’s near impossible to embrace the greatness of our Dad’s love for us while engaging in behaviors that break His heart. I believe that one of the most important elements in departing from sin is to bask in the unshakeable love God has for us. When we embrace this love, we love back. When we love, we want to please. We want to honor. We want to treat with dignity. We want to express that love through our words, actions, and life.

Our older brother has shown us how to live in the way of our Father. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what Dad would do if He were in our circumstances. He’s a lot older and although we know what he is like as a Dad, we don’t know what he’s like as a son or daughter. We have an older brother who is everything that our Dad is, but who is also everything that we are. Jesus provides a clear representation of what it looks like to be a child of YHWH in a way that brings glory to YHWH because it reflects YHWH.

Jesus, who is everything Dad is, lived a life much like us. He intimately understands the trials, difficulties, pains, wounds, temptations, confusion, and complexities of living as a son. Jesus took pity on us, who all at one time had cut ourselves off from the family because of our messed up hearts. Jesus saw what was wrong, went before his Dad on our behalf, and figured our how, at great cost to himself, we could become a part of the family again. We broke YHWH’s heart by rejecting His love, running from home, distorting His image in us, destroying His image in others, and joining a new family. Jesus told Dad, “It’s all on me,” and both of them went to great lengths so that our rebellion would not keep us from being adopted back into God’s family.

Now that our Father and Brother have dealt with our sin, we are adopted sons and daughters. This is not like a normal adoption where a person legally becomes the child of a new set of parents. Our belonging to our Father is certainly legal, but YHWH does more. He recreates us. Through His Son, He makes us a new creation. He renews His breath in us; His spirit in us. We are given a new spiritual genetic makeup that reflects the Father. We are given the Spirit of God in us, that we might live in that same breath, glorifying Dad by imitating Him. The exchange of our rebellious hearts for new hearts is what makes it possible for us to put Dad on display through us.

One of the most wonderful things about this recreation is there is no longer such thing as being stuck in sin. We may feel stuck in sin. We might feel like there is no way out and we just can’t change. The truth is we are already changed. We have been changed. We have been made new and have a renewing of the Holy Breath of God in us which empowers us to reflect Dad. We’re free. The sense of stuckness is merely paradigms of our past masquerading as present reality, but they only have the power we allow them to have. We are new. We are children of the living God in every way. Embrace love and live in it.

*The extensive talking about concepts in light of the family is fresh for me, so I’m going to stick with it, hoping it’s fresh for you as well. In the process, there will be a lot of pertinent Scriptures that I’m going to be leaving out throughout this series. Forgive me in advance.

  1. January 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Love the familial approach. Love the adoption picture of Daddy. Love brother Jesus saying, “It’s all on me.”

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