the rescuer

Posted: September 14th, 2009 | Filed under: God, life | Tags: , | 9 Comments »

The Master declares, “I’m A to Z. I’m The God Who Is, The God Who Was, and The God About to Arrive. I’m the Sovereign-Strong.” -Revelation 1:8

If God is sovereign, then there is no plan B. That would be antithetical. Sovereign is undisputed, therefore any rival to that authority or control is useless at best and blasphemy at worst. If you are able to make choices which alter His plan, then that makes you sovereign. That makes you an opponent of God.

There is a fundamental belief which is entirely other than the story told in scripture.

You know what you believe when you mess up. Your panic tells you that you believe you’ve just messed up God’s plan. His plan is eternal. His plan IS. You are and have always been His plan.

You know what you believe when someone sins against you. Your lack of forgiveness and when, in many cases, restoration show that the sin is sovereign, not God. Your fear of associating with or condoning the sin is evidence that the belief is that sin is sovereign.

If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sinbehind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land! -Romans 6:2-3

Association, by definition, is to allow oneself to be connected with or seen to be supportive of. When considering your plan of action regarding a fellow Christian who sins, you must remember that it is the sin of which you do not approve. The ‘sinner’ is an altogether different being. Jesus came to rescue him. When He ascended to Heaven, He commissioned us to lead them to (or back to) Him.

You must fight to disregard religious society to be seen with a known sinner. Your ammunition can be your faith that the sinner is still of value and still has access to the Cross. You would be associating with the story of redemption and lining yourself up with Christ as he calls the wounded to come rest at His feet. Non-believers who claim to be believers will chastise you and possibly disown you, too. You have to choose to stand up for the finished work of the cross or the polished veneer of man.

The definition of condone becomes a contradiction to your general meaning of the word when you compare it to it’s synonyms. Other words for condone are pardon, excuse, forgive and let go. When you say, ‘I cannot condone your sin.’ You are saying that you cannot forgive or let go. Is that what you’re saying? If the Gospel was a board game, you would be sent back to square one.

I think a lot of us need to be sent back to square one. However, a person doesn’t realize they have it all wrong until it no longer works for them. The regard or disregard for ‘right and wrong’ are not what make a person sin. Sin is far deeper than superficial reasoning. Sin has a root and that root is a deep love or need for something other than God. In biblical terms, the root of sin is idolatry and the idol is you.

Condone in the sense that, I believe, most mean when they use the phrase would be closer to another synonym: allow.  ‘I will not allow that.’ If you are dealing with a person who has made a lifestyle of sin, then that is an appropriate response. If you are dealing with a Christian who sinned, you are not dealing with a lifestyle, you are dealing with a mistake. If a child lit a match and set his house on fire, you can stand in the front yard and tell him that he is not allowed to play with matches and that you do not allow him to set fire to your home. However, the mistake has already been made and there is no going back. You can berate him and condemn him, but it will not undo his mistake and it will not provide his salvation.

‘I do not condone’ is a redundancy. It is an unneeded statement. The only response from you is an act of faith. Do you believe in the finished work of Jesus? Then provide that life saving information and give CPR to that friend who is being suffocated by the weight of his sin. It’s belief that saves us. You have to believe it for yourself or you can never make anyone else believe. If you could hear what is happening inside the mind of a Christian who got tangled in Hell’s trap, you would hear a tsunami of accusations and death sentences. A torrential storm is attacking the nervous system of his faith.

How many fallen Christians walk away from church altogether? Do you know any? It’s not because they didn’t love Jesus. It’s because, when they fell, they were lied to by Satan and you never provided the anecdote of Truth. Belief changes everything. You never injected the sick with the story of Jesus. Your fear got in the way.

What are you afraid of? When you figure it out, face it or be a slave to it. It’s exasperating to know that ignorance on the part of the self-righteous is what is making people walk away from the church. Ignorance can be exchanged for a more incisive word like ‘immaturity’. The immature are the loudest group. Look everywhere else in society for an illustration. They haven’t learned to hold their tongue long enough to develop the 1 Corinthians 13 type of love in their character. The immature are egocentric. An egocentric person views everything from their own perspective and, therefore, is the antithesis of what Jesus stood for. Again you are God’s opponent.

We’re supposed to be like Jesus. Jesus is a rescuer.


9 Comments on “the rescuer”

  1. 1 Kelly Langner Sauer said at 3:39 am on September 14th, 2009:

    I knew I liked your heart. That whole Plan B thing is a particular pet peeve of mine… Taking God by surprise… hee hee. That's just funny to consider. 😉

  2. 2 Sisterlisa said at 5:04 am on September 14th, 2009:

    That first paragraph really hit me Serena. Thank you for that explanation. I need my daughter to see that. The understanding of what sovereign really is, has been difficult for me to grasp. Thank you for opening the door for me to get a glimpse of it.

    At the end, be like Jesus, I learned recently to go further than that, die, so He can be Himself in me. That is better than me trying to be like Him. If we simply attempt to be 'like' him, we take on the nature of the original sin when Lucifer sought to be like him. I learned this in 'So Beautiful' by Leonard Sweet. I highly recommend his book and will be writing a review on it today.

  3. 3 Serena Woods said at 6:50 am on September 14th, 2009:

    Thanks, Ladies. Lisa, great point!

  4. 4 Andrew said at 7:42 am on September 14th, 2009:

    I've always understood "Sovereign" to be nearly synonymous with "autonomous," and that well may be clouding my understanding of your first few paragraphs. However, I have this nagging question: are you suggesting that God is the exclusive desicion-maker ?

    I am, of course, *able* to make choices which directly go against the will of God – I am autonomous; to suggest otherwise is to subscribe to the theory of predestination. At that point, you are suggesting that God is among other things directly responsible for evil, in which case He is not infinitely Good, Just, etc.

    Or is the point that one's unwillingness to submit to the will of God is to declare oneself the supreme 'being' over and above God? If that's the case, this my misunderstanding hangs on the use of the word "able."

    I'm feeling quite hypoglycemic at the moment, so pardon me if I'm missing something.

  5. 5 Serena Woods said at 8:34 am on September 14th, 2009:

    Yeah, sovereign is a synonym with 'autonomous'. That use is corresponding with a state of being. I use sovereign when describing God's control.

    (other synonyms: supreme, absolute, unlimited, unrestricted, boundless, ultimate, total, unconditional, full; principal, chief, dominant, predominant, ruling; royal, regal, monarchical, independent, self-governing, self-determining; nonaligned, free.)

    It's my own interpretation of what scripture is saying when it calls God sovereign. Scripture (NIV) calls God 'sovereign' 297 times.

    My suggestions are influenced by scriptures like these:

    What God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don't do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative. -Romans 9:11-12

    We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God's purpose prevails. -Proverbs 19:21

    Your free will is not affected by His sovereignty. I have an example:

    It's snack time for my daughter and I know what her options are. She can have carrot sticks or ice cream. I know she's going to pick the ice cream before she even know she has a choice or that it's snack time. Not only do I know she's going to pick it, but I have her bath run before she makes a mess with the ice cream and when I picked out her shirt that morning, I made sure to pick a dark color so her 'free will' choice didn't stain any of her clothes.

    She only knows what she sees, but I'm her mom and I know her better than she knows herself. Even so, it didn't effect her decision making process whatsoever. I didn't even have to be in the vicinity for her to make that choice.

    You have free will. You can choose whatever you want. Have you ever considered who is giving you the choices? And, are you certain that your creator has no idea what you're going to choose?

    Whatever was, is. Whatever will be, is. That's how it always is with God. -Ephesians 3:15

    God IS. He's beginning and end, He is sovereign, no matter how that feels to humans. He doesn't 'make' anyone do anything, He 'knows' and when evil takes place, He illuminates His sovereignty when He uses that very evil to work into his purpose. A person can have evil intentions, but can never win over the purpose of God.

    Don't you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people. -Genesis 50:20

    My interpretations can never take the place of a person's own journey and studies. It is my belief that we will never fully understand our relationship with God unless we look at all of the evidence, even when it makes us uncomfortable.

    I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. -Isaiah 45:7 (footnote from men smarter than me: Moral evil proceeds from the will of men, but physical evil proceeds from the will of God.)

    God doesn't even need us to what the heck is going on to carry out His plan. His plan IS.

    I hope I this makes sense. In the Grace Is For Sinners:Bible Study, we spend three of the six weeks covering this stuff.

  6. 6 Sisterlisa said at 3:54 pm on September 14th, 2009:

    We had this discussion at The Sarah Home today. About His sovereignty. As much as we attempt to understand this, He is so vast and multi-faceted that it's difficult sometimes to wrap our brain around Him. I like the explanation about your daughter's choice for ice cream.

    I think the denominations get people confused with their theology studies. I also believe we each have a journey with Christ and when He chooses for our eyes to be opened to something it will be well pleasing to Him. But we still have the freedom to choose nor not to choose Him. (But He already knows what we will decide.)

    I also think He presents His opportunities to everyone, even when he knows they'll reject Him. He still stretches out his hand.

  7. 7 Muthering Heights said at 9:05 pm on September 14th, 2009:

    Excellent reminder…

  8. 8 Sisterlisa said at 6:57 pm on September 15th, 2009:

    Serena, today I heard a preacher's wife say that we can actually miss God's plan for our lives, that His opportunities to serve Him can pass right by and we can miss it. I grieved for those sitting there listening. One lady was struck hard and said she feels like she had missed her chance and she was so sad. I didn't even get a chance to talk to her or get her info to chat later. This kind of teaching really needs to stop. It's crippling God's people. I am just so sad for her.

  9. 9 Serena Woods said at 7:27 pm on September 15th, 2009:

    Lisa, that is infuriating. When I think of how dominant that sort of teaching is, I feel like I'm standing in front of a mountain.

    If I were an enemy of God I would want His little protoges feeling the defeat of numerous missed oportunities. Little ants scrambling to not miss another. Defeat, desparation, and opportunistic parasites forcing their own will and masquarading as God's will.

    What a messed up psychological slash spiritual war. (yeah, I spelled out 'slash'. I get sassy when I get worked up.)

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