I want to build off of a thought from yesterday (see yesterday's blog below). In talking about this call for purity that God has placed on our lives, I am increasingly concerned about the place that most "Christians" find themselves today.
We love the idea of grace. Who wouldn't? The idea of a perfect Savior coming to pay a price that we could have never paid for ourselves is astounding. So, we are very comfortable in applying God's grace to our present situation, whatever that may be. We cannot, however, forget that God still desires lives that are lived with a lean towards purity and holiness.
I'm concerned that, in an effort to have growing influence in our culture and strong relevance for our friends, we have backed away from the one word that must be a companion to God's grace--repentance. Repentance is that self-determination that our current condition is not good and we should do a "180" towards a better path--a path of holiness that God desires for each of us to live. The problem with our current understanding of grace is this: we believe it gives permission for continued sin. Grace is not ignoring our sin!! Grace is having the Cross applied to our sin so that we no longer stand in condemnation but in freedom. For those who have truly repented and received grace, we dare not return to the sin that God has called us from.
I see it all the time with people who blame their past for their condition and continue to live in that state. Others will acknowledge their sin but, six months later, continue to invite that behavior into their life. When will we learn to see our sin as God sees it--a direct blow against His holiness. We cannot sacrifice our identity as salt and light in the world. To do so would cease to be THE church.