Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Devotion 6.28.17

I'm listening to a book that is remarkable in terms of its clarity of thought and presentation.  Unfortunately, it is earthy and street in language and in its title.  While I'm not ashamed to admit to reading it, I am aware that the use of the title and some of the language from the book is not worthy of a devotion which focuses our attention and our eyes on the cross of Christ.  Yet, conceptually, there are some ideas that are extremely interesting.

For example, the Chinese have a symbol which is called "yin-yang." You would recognize it if you saw it.  It's the black and white symbol that looks like two tadpoles swimming forming a perpetual circular motion.  It symbolizes life and that good and bad are in constant motion which creates energy which creates movement in life.  Do you know that there are entire professions that exist because of potentially bad things in life?  Police battle crime.  Firemen battle disastrous fires.  Therapists exist to help people work through problems.  There are hospitals, doctors, and all in the medical profession who exist to fight disease and death.  It's the paradox of life.  Evil exists and good exists to thwart evil, yet good will never rid life of evil.  There will be crime, disasters, death and disease.  So, the two exist together.  Unfortunately, Taoism leaves us right there.  Good and evil exist side by side. No solution. 

As I listened to the book, it struck me that this kind of thinking shouldn't be foreign to a Christian, and Martin Luther uses this in his summary of the 10 Commandments.  It's called "sin."  Sin entered God's creation via Satan through Adam and Eve's free will and perverted what God had created.  As Luther speaks of sin, he notes that sin entered the world by the fall of man (Genesis 3).  We are born into sin (original) and we commit sin (actual).  So, God eventually wrote the 10 Commandments to provide us a road map of how we are to behave as God's people, how we are to interact with one another, and for us as a measure of why we need to turn to God.  The 10 Commandments are a curb to serve as boundaries.  The commandments are a mirror to show us our sin.  The commandments are what a God-pleasing life looks like which directs us to Christ.  So, sin existed before the commandments and the commandments did not eliminate sin.  God and His creation exist with evil in His creation. 

Yet, God does provide a solution to sin, unlike the Chinese acknowledgement of good and evil.  John 3:16 says it simply, "For God so loved the world, that he sent his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."  As Christians, we know evil is in the world and dwells within us.  As Christians, we also have the reassurance of Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection which give us grace and mercy.  We praise God for forgiving us of our sin through His Son and we thank God for the gift of everlasting life through His Son. 

Hope Men's Ministry

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