Monday, September 29, 2014
The devil's lies. . .
Before the sin, Satan assure us that it is of no consequence; after the sin, he persuades us that it is unforgivable.
The devil can only lie and God can only tell the truth. Even when the devil speaks the truth, he speaks the truth in such a way that it acts as a lie.
Such is the power of the devil to undo God's work in conscience before the sin and to magnify its guilt afterward so that we are left alone, helpless, and in despair. Yet this apparent lock that the devil has over us is undone by Christ. His is the truth to shatter all the devil's lies. He does not lie to us and tell us that the devil was correct -- the sin is no big deal. No, our Lord addresses the sin for what it is, in all its sordid ugliness and shame; He calls it out of us and calls us out for the sin. But He does do in order to address us with the power stronger than sin -- the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us from all sin.
The Church is not being cruel when it insists that sins count, that evil matters, and that our guiltiness is nothing to be trifled with. No, it is the truest form of love to admit what sin is and to hold us accountable for that sin. But the Lord does not leave us with despair nor does He gloat over our shame. He is wounded for us, bearing the weight of our sin upon His shoulders upon the cross. He addresses us with forgiveness and restores us fallen sinners by grace. Faith clings to the merciful hand of God who reaches down into our shame and rescues us from our lost condition. This is the greatest joy of all.