To Live Is To Sin
Originally scheduled for May 6
Have you ever noticed how prevalent sin is in
your life? It seems that no matter how much you try – at least in
your own strength — sin persists. That's the common experience of
mankind. We find that the individual, unaided, is unable to perfect
himself to the point of being sinless.
Things get better when you get help. Most
Christians have been taught that their first resource should be
prayer, calling upon the aid of Christ himself. This is certainly a
good thing. But it is not the only thing to do; the church exists.
One of the reasons for its existence is so that we may obtain help
from our fellow sinners — also known as the "body of Christ." But
even with his help we cannot attain perfection.
Worse, we find that even with this help we
sometimes repeat the cycle of sin. It can be very depressing to know
that you've taken two steps backward instead of two steps forward.
But this is the common experience of mankind: sin keeps coming back.
We might examine this in a medical light. Put
medically, there is no "cure" for sin. There is no procedure which
will rid you of it. There is no pill which functions like an
antibiotic for sin, nor is there a pill which functions like a
vaccine for sin. Sin can neither be cured nor totally prevented.
But it is possible to "treat" sin. Some of you
listening to this meditation know what it is like to live with the
condition that cannot be cured. It may be fatal; it may be simply
something you must put up with for the rest of your life. A common
example, medically, might be arthritis. There are treatments for
this disease, but as of this writing there is no cure. Sin is much
the same. We treat it with repentance, confession, forgiveness and
acceptance; we treat, but we do not cure.
Will there ever be the cure for sin, totally
and finally? Yes indeed — when our Lord returns. The ultimate price
of sin is death, and death is defeated at the return of our risen
Lord. This victory will be powered by his grace. That grace was
enacted into human life at the cross. Communion serves to remind us
that the triumph of sin is temporary. Death and sin will be swept
away at our Lord's return. This is guaranteed to us at the cross;
only our Lord has defeated death.
Therefore, let us take this communion in a
worthy manner. Examine yourselves, and if you find something there
which needs to be changed – repent. Admit your sins to your Lord; as
soon as you can seek forgiveness from those you've offended. Then
accept Christ's forgiveness, and know that you are still in the
community of believers, his body, the church.