Friday, January 06, 2006

Is everything black and white, or only gray?

There is light and darkness, righteousness and sin, good and evil, blessings and curses, Christ and antichrist, sheep and goats, heaven and hell- etc., all in Scripture. So certainly everything in life is "black and white", nothing is gray. Case closed.

In a true sense everything is black and white. Sin is sin. Righteousness is righteousness. We have to go to Scripture to determine what is what in all of that. And according to Scripture we are either walking in the light or walking in darkness; we are either on the narrow way to life or the broad way to destruction; we are either building our lives on the rock of Jesus and his kingdom or we're building them on the sand of this world. It is either one or the other. This is important and not to be set aside.

The only problem comes when you start reading the Bible from cover to cover, especially considering the stories of people (consider the stories of those in Hebrews 11). Then live life for awhile. Observe life. Over time I think you'll find that not everything is as cut and dried as you may have thought. Nor are saints without their flaws or sinners without their virtues.

Life for most of us consists of deep ongoing struggles, or intermittent defeats, or of struggling to overcome a sin, etc. Life here is messy. Even those who walk in the light, by so doing are said to receive ongoing needed purification of all sin through the blood (=death) of Jesus (1 John 1:7).

In culture one is faced with the image of God interwoven with sin. Often you can't unravel what is entwined here. A big part of this is to understand that what we're considering here is no less than God's good creation. We find that in the lives of those who don't acknowledge God. We find it everywhere on God's earth. One can sit through a movie that has a story not to be forgotten, that finds it true significance within the Story of God in Scripture. Yet that movie is often pummelled with the sins and quirks of the characters and their world. And in this we often can find God's grace at work. After all, that is where God's grace is at work.

It's more what we know than what we don't know that's our problem. Like Job we need to desire integrity in our lives through and through. Yet like Job, we may find ourselves (and to some extent we will) in depths that, without the Lord, we would be lost. We need the Spirit with Scripture to help us through. The more we go on in life, the more we realize that we're in over our heads. But Emmanuel (Jesus=God with us).

We need to trust the Lord to see us through what we cannot see ourselves. To us at times life may seem only gray. To God it is black and white. He'll see us through, even in our darkness into his wonderful light.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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