The Christian life is one of balance. I don’t mean some mindless abstraction, but a mindful, conscious effort to implement various ideas and actions. This blog is about these ideas and actions.
Many who want to get off porn do so because they feel guilty or ashamed of there sexual desires. Others because they were caught by there spouses and have been forced or coerced into getting help. And the verdict is out; many within the Church self diagnose themselves a sex addict only to get into sex addiction based groups, ministries or rehabilitation centers. People are seeking answers. “Why do I do what I do?” Of course those that are wanting to reign in there lust should’t be the only Christian people asking that question. Do you ask yourself that question?
There are many answers to the, “why we sin.” We sin because we have a brain problem! No I am not referring to your brain on porn. Sure porn effects your brain as sex does and many, many other actions and ideas! But could we say our brains are simply jacked because of Sin?
I’m excited to see the new workbook written by Peter Martin on the topic of Sin. I know from talking to him that he included, in the workbook, a section where he discusses the ramification of calling lustful behaviors sex addiction instead of simply calling it sexual immorality or sin, iniquity or transgression. I look forward to his understanding into these things. It’s important because the way you identify yourself is important. It’s a popular idea in our culture isn’t it? One of identity! We have many passages in the Bible that speak of our identity! “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh in the flesh, I live by faith.” Christians should understand the importance of identity above any other philosophy, social culture or religion. For it is this identify that we constantly are renewing our mind in. And it is this identity shift which has happened to us by faith! You see, when I have faith in Jesus, what does that actually mean? What does that look like? What is the application of that? I can’t see faith can I? Thoughts & ideas I cannot see! But the answer to that overall question as to what faith looks like or what it means is found in Romans 6:1-11.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Can you see the identification in this section of the book of Romans? This is what your faith in Christ means. It is one of identity. So what happens when we sin or transgress? Simply put our identity is off. We are not, “considering ourselves dead to sin and alive to God, in Christ Jesus.” And that’s it! So hopefully now you have a better understanding of your identity. Where it has been good, and where it has left the building! Also what faith looks like! And it’s ramifications.
Jesus was full of grace and truth…what balance! Why is balance important in the Christian life?
It’s a good question. An important question! Let me give you a quick example of un-balance. You like to listen to worship music. It’s uplifting to you and set’s your mind in the proper spot; a God conscious spot. But what if that was all you did in your Christian discipline? What would that look like? Take the idea to the extreme. You would have someone who loves to hear songs about God, but that’s about all. It’s a good place to begin for sure, but for all of us in the Christian life, it shouldn’t be all you partake of as your spiritual nourishment. Just like an athlete, we need to be balanced in our training or else we will not have good function.
Here is a list that I come up with on ideas and actions that need my attention.
Daily motivation to glorify God
Setting my heart on the return of Christ
Set my identity in Christ
Be strong in Grace
Thinking of others
When looking over the ideas and actions listed are you able to see area’s where you are out of balance? Sure! Of course! Good! I’m glad you do! The Christian life is always working towards balance. We are always growing in all of these ideas and actions. It’s a life long work of sanctification. Just because we implement these in our lives does not necessarily mean that all will go well. Well, if we could do them perfectly then maybe it would. I say maybe, because there has been only one who has been able to do them to completeness, and he was born of the Holy Spirit and not from a man’s sperm! But if you or I have been constructed through the natural way, then we are bound to have deficiencies in what we seek to be like. In short; we will struggle. Many do not like that word; struggle. It is a weak word, one of losers. Unfortunately many in the Church are afraid of it as well. What leader do you want to follow who struggles? That truth in itself only confirms our depravity & impotence.
Though we know what we ought to do, there is a difficulty to perform such a task as to be like Jesus. I mean we are talking about God. So when a person declares from on high, “I am like Jesus!” They are saying they are like God. Wow! Maybe this is why Jesus himself never overtly declared such statements before his trial; shouting, “I am God, I am God, I am God!!! Because to do so would prove his own lack of divinity. When someone is boasting is such highfalutin ways we see it as distasteful and embarrassing, and a sign of self righteousness, knowing good and well there outer flaws. If anyone could do such boasting it could have been Jesus.
Any progress in the Christian life is a miracle!
In his, “Christian Life” Blaze Pascal put it somewhat this way.
There is great difficulty when entering the pious life. This difficulty does not come from the goodness of God that is coming into our life, but from the distortions that are still within…The worst thing that God could do for you is to not give you this conflict that He came to bring. “I have not come to bring peace on the earth, but a sword.”