October 10, 2015
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
The Sixth Day Exercise
NOTE TO EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: We had a glitch in our system this morning which resulted in your being sent an incomplete entry in place of today’s sixth day exercise. Sorry for the additional email it required in sending this one. jdw S
Sin is real. Sin is powerful. Sin is, in fact, deadly. Evangelical Christianity takes sin seriously, but I am coming to believe many well intentioned Christians give sin way too much power. Yes, the human race, to a person, has been hopelessly corrupted by the power of sin. There is, however, a far greater power than sin afoot in the world. It is the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Despite this, most of us have been discipled in a way of understanding ourselves that keeps us caught in the gravitational pull of sin. The orbit looks something like this: sin–confess–repent–repeat. And we put bumper stickers on our vehicles that say stuff like, “I’m not perfect, just forgiven.” “We’re just sinners,” we tell ourselves, “saved, but destined to sin.” This leads not only to a low view of ourselves but also an anemic perspective on the power of God. While there is truth in this way of thinking, it is not the ultimate truth.
So what is ultimately true? Thanks for asking. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to kill and steal and destroy, but I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10. Paul put it this way, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation. The old has passed away and the new has come.” 1 Corinthians 5:17.
We must remember that sin did not get the first word and it will not get the last. Hear the Psalmist again from today’s text:
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
The power of the Gospel is greater than the power of sin. We must come to understand the new reality. We are set free from the gravitational pull of sin and caught up in the gravity of the Gospel of Jesus, which is the holy love of God unleashed in the world. We have a new identity: beloved sons and daughters. That’s how God saw us before we were born, when he formed us in the “secret place.” Sure, you and me have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are hopelessly lost in sin until we are found by the grace of God. But once that happens, it’s a new day, a new creation, a new life.
Salvation cannot be reduced to a transactional change in the accounts in God’s ledger. Salvation is the progressive realization and manifestation of the Life God always intended for us. Baptism signifies the washing away of that old self and the putting on of the new Life in the ever flowing power of the Holy Spirit. In Baptism we are given a new name: Christian. The only reality that sin is given in our new identity is that of history.
It’s time we lived into our second birthright. I will forever remember a story told to me by my dear friend, Jerry Dunnam. She told me of a monk who had given her spiritual direction over a period of several years. On one occasion he taught her to pray this prayer: “Lord, help me to believe the truth about myself, no matter how beautiful it may be.” Try that one on for size. And remember, all of this is the context for the sixth day exercise. It’s not about self deprecation for our failures and shortcomings. It’s all about pressing on for more of God, going on to more salvation, joyfully embracing the whole Gospel.
In case you are new to the Sixth Day Exercise.
In case you are just joining us, each week we share in an exercise called “The Sixth Day Exercise.”
As Genesis 1 has it, God created human beings in his own image on the sixth day. Genesis 3 shows us the desecration of the image of God in our race which has only compounded itself across the centuries. It’s why the Image Bearer himself, Jesus Christ, came. His life, death, resurrection and ascension reversed the curse of sin and death and created a pathway whereby our broken race could be made gloriously whole again; restored to the Creator’s intent. Paul put it this way: For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22.
Given we were made on the Sixth Day, it makes sense that we might stop and assess how it’s going on the long journey of being “remade” on each successive sixth day.
P.S. Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge. It’s 40 days, one day per week at a time, over the next 52 weeks. It’s a food only fast. Begins after supper on one day and ends at 4pm the next- 2 meals. Liquids fine. Fasting goes better together. I’ll send you a short weekly encouragement email if you register.– sign up here.
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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.