Grace and Gratitude vs. Guilt
Today in my theology class we discussed the two videos found below.
What a difference!
In one video we are thankful that the Father loves us so much that all of the wrath He has for our sin was taken out on His perfect Son. Now we, who were once the enemies of God deserving His judgment are now His friends seated at His table. In light of that love we are urged to live for Christ, the one. Yet, in the second video we are reminded of the physical pain Jesus took upon Himself because of our sin. Yes, we are forgiven, but every time we sin we cause Jesus pain reminding Him of the physical and emotion pain He experienced on the cross. We are urged to change our lives and quit sinning because if we don’t we hurt Jesus.
One song causes me to focus on Christ and revel in His love. The other song causes me to focus on my own deeds in light of the pain Jesus feels every time I sin. Could there be a more sharp contrast? It is the difference between the gospel of Christ and a manipulative guilt trip.
All I could think after viewing these videos consecutively was what kind of life does this offer? The way of guilt leads us to a life of perpetual sorrow and disappointment. As a redeemed sinner on the slow path of sanctification I would realize that my sin is a continual presence in my life this side of heaven. In other words, my shortcomings and imperfections (no matter how they may be improving) causes Jesus pain. I continually cause Jesus pain thrusting Him back on the cross everyday. How an I supposed to live knowing the pain I am causing Jesus? I would feel defeated all the time!
Yet, the way of grace and gratitude is far different kind of life. I still have the problem of sin. However, I sin in light of God’s love. This is the God who loved me before He redeemed me. He saw nothing good in my in the first place and knew I would be good for nothing even in the future. But, He saved me anyway not because of who I am but because of who He is. He loves me. He paid the price for my sin. Jesus absorbed all the wrath of the Father for my sin, nailing to the cross all of the demands of the law that stood against me. This causes me to focus on Him and bask in His love and grace. So what happens when I sin? I hate it. I abhor it because it takes me away from my Jesus. Yet, because I know I have a Good who loves me, I know I can come to Him for forgiveness. I am reminded that the chains of sin no longer have any power over me. I stand victorious over the sin that knocks me down time and time again. I am pointed back in the right direction. I can live for Christ knowing that God’s mercy and power form my strength.
I don’t know about you, but I know which path I prefer…