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Innocence and Character

God does not make us holy in the sense of character; He makes us holy in the sense of innocence, and we have to turn that innocence into holy character through a series of moral choices.  -Oswald Chambers 9/8/11

I am approaching 63 years of age and I am continually amazed at the things which I have either read over, missed in life or have never had explained in-depth during my 40 years of adult participation in ministry.

Moral choices that fall short of the glory of God (easily done by the way), might be one way of defining sin.  We all fall short of the glory of God (get a grip).  Guilt seems the tool, which our conscience often applies to shames us when we “sin.”  Of course, the more adept we become at sinning, the less guilt we are conscious of.

Yet, guilt is never the goal of God.  His goal is that we be transformed into the image of His Son and has in fact made that possible by declaring us innocent.  In fact, His Word declares, “There is therefore now (since Calvary), no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Rm. 8:1.

Just as Jesus (unlike the religious, who were ready to stone the woman caught in the act of adultery), simply invited her to go and sin no more, so is the case with us.  In fact, new every morning, innocence is declared over us as the Son rises in our hearts.

Jesus, that day on the shores, as he scribbled with a stick His infamous message in the sand, declared her innocent, and simply invited her to make better moral choices in the days to come.  By doing so, He knew her character would soon change; for no one enjoys the loss of life that moral error surely brings to the mind and heart, when we are alone, undistracted or “amused.”

David agonized over his own adultery in the Psalms: “I am weary with my groanings; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.” Ps. 6:6  That’s some serious guilt and agony.

Jesus, in the garden and then later on the tree, agonized enough for our sins and then nailed them to a tree; forever declaring our innocence   Guilt only drives one further from the reality of the price paid for our innocence.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever”…that means anyone… “should not perish but have everlasting life.”  Everlasting begins now and never ends.

We are innocent, He was our scapegoat.  Anchor your heart in that and then make better decisions today than you did yesterday; and regardless of age or depth of depravity, your life will change.

Salvation is short and sweet!

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