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Communion Meditations (2012)

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.

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