Wolność chrześcijańska odc. 4: Grzech / Christian Freedom Ep. 4: Sin

Christian Freedom Episode 4: Sin Thy will be done, Almighty our Father, our faith thou support, thou shalt give us ransom. Thou adopted us for thy children, through Christ’s death blood, so let our grateful singing fly in the sky before thy throne. Some people put sin too high… Does this mean that they set the barrier of justice too high? Let me provide an example: an alcoholic recovers from addiction – abstinence is necessary for this – but he thinks that abstinence itself will solve all problems. He counts each and every day of abstinence – it is important in the beginning – but he focuses only on not drinking. His life used to revolve around the bottle, around drinking… Now it is still revolving around the bottle; but around not drinking from it. Yes. Someone focuses only on abstinence, this is his main goal, and he thinks that it is healing. He won’t get far with this attitude. Yes, he will not withstand, sooner or later he will collapse. And with sin it looks the same. Some people recover from different things and they focus only on not sinning. You know, for example, there is a beautiful garden, there are flowers, but someone focuses only on weeds, they don’t allow a single tuft to grow; so there are tools, lots of sheds, etc. When you recover from addiction, abstinence is necessary; it’s one of the tools but it’s not the goal itself. Cutting it off is not an end in itself, because it is important. In order to start working on this, you need to stop doing these toxic things. Here I mean this central part, your mind, the thing we should work on. And here we have a variety of things: alcohol, sex, shopping, etc. Here the thing is that you do have it; what you need is to run away, something is happening to you; these things give you a sense of security. When you don’t have them, you fell naked; you can’t cope with your own feelings. You run out to these things. This is enslavement. When you dope religion, then, you know… There are people who are recovering from doping religion. It sounds ugly, but it’s true; indeed there are religious obsessions, Jerusalem syndrome… You know, e.g. when someone gets too deep into those religious rituals, they get the same results as some other people going for shopping, to casinos, to whorehouses… To discos; the music is loud there… And what is interesting here is the fact that it is seemingly good for them. If we focus only on not sinning, we won’t get far. The only thing we do is being tense, not sinning. We are talking about discipleship as a disciple of Jesus. When we do not sin, we do not do any favor to anyone – this is simply our duty. It is still far from… Of course – what you said – abstinence is necessary in recovering from alcoholism. If we want to be a disciple of Jesus, to enter into this great project of God, the main thing is that we can’t sin – I’m not saying the we can’t have sins at all, we just don’t want to sin. If we shift the center of gravity from “I will not sin,” onto Christ, to this positive side, then even if we bite the dust, we will rise up… You’ll rise up, Jesus will help you. Because we’re not focused on “we don’t want”, but on “we want” – on the light. And then it works; and Christ helps us. There is this excerpt from Romans chapter 6. It says that “our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin”. When you’re focused only on not sinning… you are a slave to sin. Yes, well, then your life still revolves around the bottle with the only difference that now you focus on not drinking from it. When we focus our lives on discipleship – on Christ – He takes that burden off our back, and
sin no longer reigns over us. Even if we sin sometimes, we always rise up. On the other hand, when someone focuses too much on sin, and when they sin then their whole world collapses, they think that they’re nothing and they keep getting deeper and deeper into this sin. They loathe themselves because when they’re focused on their sins and those sins happen again, they are depressed… Christ took upon Himself our sins; but it is not so that we can continue to sin now. He wants to free us completely… He arranged it in this way that we don’t need to make sacrifices anymore when we sin and apologize. Then we rely on His sacrifice, come to the Father with repentance and receive forgiveness. Look, I’m here, watching over you all the time, I know what you can endure, I know when to help, I will not let you down, I will not leave you, you can fall back on me when you want, I love you, you are a child of mine. You know, it doesn’t have to be like this; some people are resistant to going and asking God for forgiveness, lay prostrate; no, they’re proud… But there must be truth in it. “God, you know, it didn’t work out”. It’s enough. Here it is necessary to get away from the Jewish definition of “sin” – from the word “hata”, which in its own means “to miss one’s aim” For example, you are an archer and you have a target, you want to shoot in the bullseye or at least in any place on the target, but you miss. This missing may have various causes; first, lack of skills – you just can’t shoot a bow and arrow. So you have to try several times, you have to take the wind into account; there are many things to be taken into consideration. And after a number of attempts your successes stop to be accidental. So it is in life: you have a goal determined, you want to follow the teachings of Jesus in order to be His disciple – the word “discipleship” is the key here. We’re trying to do it in aspects; what to avoid and what to strive for. It is not that simple at first, but as we practice it, we achieve better results. But each failure, each missing the target is actually a sin… However, you feel that in this sense it is a softer definition of sin. Because there is this striving in our life. So in that sense it does not enslave us. I know that here I have a goal that I want to achieve; I’m not there yet but I’m 30% closer to it. Next time it will be better, I have my discipline and I repeat the same steps… I am free. Here we the Trainer; Jesus takes care of us, says “ok, practice it more, be careful how you position your arms… We’re achieving better and better results”. Here, there is no enslavement. Where does the problem start? First of all, when someone moves our goal. It seems to us that we get the target, but we have some optical illusion. The target has been moved. It happened either because of our own actions, or maybe someone else set a wrong target for us. Ourselves, by mistake… It’s still ok, we pray to God… But different denominations, credos, ethical rules set the targets in which the gravity centers are moved and suddenly you aim at something different. But the objective God’s target is somewhere else. You intentionally shoot at something and God says “but you’re not shooting at my target”. And that is a problem because you’re doing something wrong over and over again and you’re convinced that what you’re doing is good. Someone else sets your rules in a place different to God’s and your intuition’s place. Why? Because it makes you different than something else. They place your target in a different place and you’re dead sure that you’re hitting home, you follow the religious rules perfectly. And then Jesus comes and says “you’re totally off the course, you aren’t aiming at the target, you’re shooting at something different”. When the religious community imposes on us goals that are off God’s course, well, we are already enslaved, we no longer see the truth. This truth of God, the Bible, vanished from or sight. It is slavery; either slavery of our own mind, which dictated this particular solution, or slavery of some kind of a group, church, a hierarchy which gave me the wrong targets. The second important level: if we start doing wrong, then instead of saying in front of God, “I did wrong, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have lied – I lied, I’ll try not to lie anymore, I’ll tell the truth to the person I lied to, I’ll fix it”… No problem, you just train, you practice, next time it will get better. But as you begin to make your own theories, for example, you say to yourself: “no, it was only a white lie”. And then, when there is a situation in which you can lose on telling the truth or gain by lying, then you’ll start thinking, your mind will tell you that everything is ok… So you’re not a free man, you’re not following the principles which God gave you and you accepted. He described a well-defined purpose to your freedom. And you don’t follow it; it means you become a slave of lies, a slave of sin. “Don’t depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me. For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” ( Acts 1:4-5 ) For if you live after the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God. For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. ( Romans 8:13-16 ) Here’s an example of abolition: God tells us, “you have two weeks of total abolition, you can do anything you want, you can sin… and I won’t punish you for it.” What would you do? Assuming that there’s no punishment, no consequences – would you sin? Or will you say, “I will not sin”? If you did as in the first case it means you keep God’s commandments just because you’re afraid. And if you did as in the second one, meaning you wouldn’t sin, this means that you have some principles or values which you follow. They are within you and they are the same as those of God’s. I think this is the difference between principles and commandments, i.e. the laws God gave us. As I begin to rationalize, to explain my sin, to get used to it, to say that others do the same – then this sin begins to dominate me. I allow my sin to do it and, with time, it’ll gradually expand. Salomon wrote that there’s no satiation for desires. If you do not have self-restraint, temperance, you can’t say “enough”, it is impossible for you to eat your fill. You’ll gorge yourself and you’ll feel sick the next day; but you’ll eat more anyway because of your lust… And you want to eat again tomorrow. And this sin, this lack of self-restraint will go further and further – your stomach will get bigger, you’ll be able to eat more and more… When it comes to gorging – we can gorge ourselves with different things, e.g. shopping, sex… Alcohol, computer games… You compensate for your emotional shortcomings with different things. It’s slavery, you can’t control it. You go to a disco to get carried along with the crowd and the music because you want to drown out your sense of lack. You’re missing a good relationship on a human level, you’re missing it physically. But there’s also another very important relationship, and maybe that’s where we need to start: a relationship with God. Because of sin, our relationship with God is destroyed. And restoring it is a conscious work. Usually, when you fight with God, you have your pain, your frustration, you’re disappointed, angry… Of course, you try to drag Him into it, blame Him, say He’s a part of your misery, because you live of an unknown reason… Why did He make you this way, why you live here…? It’s actually the pain that’s inside you. If that’s true, He understands it: you’re angry because you can’t help yourself. So I think there is nothing offensive towards God – because mocking and insulting God is another thing. But if you have a relationship with God, if He is important to you, then usually fighting Him itself is you pain. ( Numbers 11:11-17 ) You carry something in your heart, you can’t cope with it, and you look for the culprit; there’s either another person to blame, or God; well, not you of course, because you are suffering. Someone always has to be guilty, and blaming God works well because He can be blamed for everything. I think He understands your pain and He’s not offended. When we reconnect with God, we get tools that allow us to fix our relationships with other people. For example, you’re mad at your dad for beating you up… But you say dad’s cool… he meant well, I was the bad kid… This way you’ll never forgive him. I was a rascal, my father had a hard job, he had problems in his life… . Until you say: “no, it was wrong, he shouldn’t have hit me, but I forgive him”. You have to say “I forgive him” in front of yourself and in front of God. I understand the circumstances, but it was wrong, it hurt me, it changed me. There must be truth, he has to see it. You know, everyone around says your dad is cool; then you do it as well in order not to ruin this image. But as you admit that there was pathology in the house, as you face it – it is best to tell him about it in person, but if it is impossible it’s always good to tell it to yourself… Sometimes parents are dead already and you live with the trauma they left you with; and you can’t talk to the person that hurt you. You have to forgive them inside you, understand it, say to yourself: it was something that hurt me, it changed me, my emotions are crippled… The mechanism is: I didn’t want to be like my father but I turned out to be exactly like him afterwards… I beat up my children – he says. Where does it come from? I hated these things, I always said I wouldn’t be like him and now I do the same things… Because these are the mechanisms. And if you forgive, then this act of forgiveness will handle it. First, when you see it. Yes, when you see it, name it and forgive it. It is liberating. Because when you don’t forgive, you live this hatred. You’re in it all the time, and it affects your behavior. You can’t cope with that and you get into various bad things. You’re enslaved by the same sin, or you look for substitutes of relief. You misbehave and your relationships suffer: the ones with your children, your wife, people at work. Are you looking for substitutes; there is alcohol, shopping, sex and so on. Because you can’t cope with that feeling. Your broken relationship, injuries and trauma are the main cause of this situation. And you want to compensate for the things you lack, you make up for them. But there’s no other way but to dig deep, to descent and enter the deepest chambers of yourself. Truth and self-abatement. From this position – from above – I will not see… We can see the truth only when we are below… God created us this way. Maybe there is something to it? For sure. Mercy cannot be earned; however, we can reach towards it. It’s the art of taking. We have problems with giving, sometimes we can’t share what we have. But taking is also an art. God has some certain things at His disposal; but in order to take them, we need to go down, to abate ourselves, to say: “I am a sinner and I have problems with this and that”. If you name this sin and say: I have a problem… Yes, it opens. You’ll benefit from His mercy. verses: World English Bible music took part translation: Aleksandra Marcol

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