Friday, May 22, 2009

God's vindication

In this life we can experience vicious attacks from other people. It is hardest when they come from another who professes the name of Christ. We hear them speak untruths about ourselves, putting the worst possible construction on us, on our lives.

Of course if our sins are considered, none of us would stand justified or right before God. And like Miroslav Volf reminds us, there is no completely right party in any conflict. Even if the one drawn into the conflict was innocent at first. We are sinners and we do fail along the way.

It seems like a number of psalms are petitions for God's vindication of the psalmist. They are under attack from enemies, from God's enemies. And they seek protection and deliverance from God.

We can be a part of God's vindication in Christ. Jesus himself is completely vindicated by God, completely worthy of God's vindication. Does that mean we can do what is wrong, but still experience God's vindication because it is not vindication of us, but of Christ? No. Neither the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) or the New Testament will let us get away with that. Jesus didn't water down the requirements of the old covenant, but for those following him, we're to live them out, even though we will not do so perfectly. Yet we are to be living lives aimed at perfection, the perfection of our Father.

To be part of the vindication or victory of God involves being "in Christ." And being "in Christ" involves following Christ, not having a righteousness of our own. Living the "not I, but Christ" kind of life.

That is the way we will see God's vindication of us beginning in this life. Not something that makes us winners, and others losers, but better, living in Christ's victory here and now, to be completely experienced later. Which means embracing our cross and following him in this life, a resurrection life by the Spirit, meant to be lived out together, as God's people. And helping others through our lives in Christ, by grace to become a part of this victory.

What thoughts would you like to add to this?


nannykim said...

I think embacing the cross and embracing our cross says it all.

As Paul says in Philippians chapter 3 we are to "glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh"..."I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord"...."that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.."

The Father is drawing us into the story of His this happens we go through suffering. Life is about cross bearing, isn't it. But it is in this that we experience some of our greatest joys.

Lanny said...

You bring up two weighty subjects my friend. One, I learned deeply a while back that when I say Jesus is m justifier, that means when an acusation, true or false, is leveled against me I cannot defend myself, Christ can and does. It eliminates a lot of scrambling for excuses and reasons to justify my actions, good or bad.

The other, living under the Law. I am free from the Law, Christ has set me free, I am free to live in Him only He makes that possible. The Law? Now Christ has brought in the Sermon on the Mount and I not only cannot murder my neighbor but I am free to not call him a jerk. I am free to take the commandments to a greater level, one where I live in the spirit of the Law not the letter.

This word of yours is good for this morning and now I will read the rest that I have missed.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nannykim, I like the way you put it, and it sounds to me like you're further along in that life, than I.


Ted M. Gossard said...

Lanny, I like your words as well. So very helpful and so very true. Hope we keep remembering such and really grow in our application of the truth in Jesus.