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When faith doesn’t “fix” you


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17

If you saw me Monday, you might have wondered: 
     “She’s been a Christian for how long? 38 years? No way!”


Ever have those moments? Those mornings? Those days?

When things aren’t going right.
And you’re dreading what’s next.
And self-pity walks in to finish you off.

All for no good reason.

So when I read Chapters 7 and 8 of A Place for Weakness, I wanted to cry more. But this time due to grace.

Author Michael Horton reminds us that our faith is not a “fix.”

If we’re expecting it to prevent all conflicts with our spouse and eliminate communication problems with our kids and make our selfish temptations disappear, think again.

Those who expected to be free of all their sinful habits, temptations, and desires after a conversion in which sudden victory was promised may find themselves disillusioned with God altogether, when they realize they are still sinners saved by grace.

But that doesn’t mean Christianity doesn’t work.

We just need to understand the problem it clearly solves first.

The Big One.

The one that doesn’t just make us uncomfortable,
but the one that will kill us: our sin/death problem.

So when we ask, “If Christianity is supposed to transform me, why am I still a grouch today?” we need to remind ourselves that we ARE a new creation, whether we feel look like one or not.

Of immeasurable comfort in such circumstances is the certain knowledge that God has reconciled us to himself, regardless of what our daily spiritual temperature might be.

The truth we find in scripture is what we are to believe, not what our experience screams at us. There is no “Good Christian Lisa” versus “Failing Christian Lisa” depending on my experience of the day.

I am just as saved when I feel like a jerk (although not as God-honoring!) as when I’m feeling spiritually enlightened.

Because I have received…

a real change in status before God, a change in status from standing guilty before God to standing righteous before him.

This status is the objective possession of even the weakest believer.

All Christians are victorious Christians.
Whether we feel like it or not.
Whether we look like it or not.
And, gulp, whether we act like it or not.

Because our biggest problem has been fixed.
Jesus saves.


But we have this treasure in jars of clay,
to show that the surpassing power belongs to God
and not to us.

2 Corinthians 4:7

* * *

Will you thank Jesus for receiving HIS righteousness instead of expecting it from us?

And thank him for continuing to transform us day by day, even when we don’t see it?

We’re talking more today about A Place for Weakness at Elizabeth’s.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,

I love how you captured the essence of Chapter 8 with the realities of daily living! Everyone following needs to read this post!

You did well to hit on some of Horton's finer and more crucial points: Christianity is not "a fix," and that "God has reconciled us to himself, regardless of what our daily spiritual temperature might be." Amen and amen.

Thanks for sticking it out and keeping up with the reading. Horton's stuff is not for the faint of heart!

Only one more week left. Not sure if I'll know what to do with myself:)


Barbara H. said...

"Of immeasurable comfort in such circumstances is the certain knowledge that God has reconciled us to himself, regardless of what our daily spiritual temperature might be." Amen.

Diana Lovegrove said...

Hi Lisa,
This was the passage in Chapter 7 that hit me the hardest too...thanks for sharing this.

Barbara Thayer said...

Yes...loved the perspective you shared on these chapters and especially the idea that Christianity isn't a fix for all that happens in life. Eventually it will be when the Lord returns. However, without Christ, we cannot move forward. We cannot breathe. We cannot function! I have met so many people who become disillusioned with Christianity and God because He didn't make things turn out the way they expected. However, they were never taught the foundations of the faith. He isn't the BIG FIXER in the sky. He is the Lord over all things. Our job is to trust and lean on Him when we do not understand what is happening in life. I loved the chapters we studied. Love Dr. Horton. Thank you for your excellent insight.


Nancy said...

I took aerobics for many years from a very devote believer who always wore t-shirts with Bible verses and Christian slogans printed on them. After several years of taking his class (yeah, it was a guy--a perky aerobics instructor who was a guy!) I told him that I was a believer as well. He couldn't believe it. I'm really grumpy about exercising. Especially when the instructors are really, really perky. Good post.

Brandee Shafer said...

mmm hmm. If we were perfect, we wouldn't need Him. I'd so much rather be imperfect and need Him! Thanks for this.

alittlebitograce said...

Ducklings! Oh so cute!

I'm memorizing Colossians and I'm so encouraged by the verses that speak about our transformation and redemption, not by our works but by Christ.

Mommy Emily said...

wow. you spoke right into my life tonight, lisa. i had a fight with my hubby... we never fight. and i wondered, where has the grace gone? thank you, for hearing my heart's cry. for responding.

Kati patrianoceu said...

You know, sometimes I think that the more mature my faith is, the more difficult it is to live a life of grace. My theory is that God keeps upping the challenges, emotional and practical, so the bar for grace is set higher and higher. But sometimes I beg him for a break, for the opportunity to enjoy a period of time in which it's easy to trust him with my life again.

Lisa notes... said...

I know the feeling, Kati. I’ve had to remind myself over and over this week as things seem to pile up and I feel less and less up for the challenge that:

His grace is sufficient;
I am saved apart from works;
He loves me as I am;
He will empower me to do what HE wants me to do.


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