FREEDOM TO FAIL
When we think of the stereotypical “Christian” they never swear, cheat, lie, steal, have imperfect or impure thoughts and keep the right kind of company. This would preclude breaking any of the ten commandments and leave only room for the Gifts of the Spirit. The problem with our hypothetical person, is that he or she with never be more than hypothetical until we get to Heaven. Paul summed it up this way: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. But if I am doing very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present I me, the one who wishes to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law I the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, my flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:18-25)
If Paul had given up on his own strength, I think we would be wise to do the same. He realized he was fighting something more than himself. Even though he agreed completely with the law of God, the power of sin that dwelt in his mortal body fought and demanded its own way. He mourns, “Wretched man that I am!. He knew that in his own power, he couldn’t win the war. But that he had been set free by his own personal death, burial and resurrection in Jesus Christ.
Yes, Paul was still very much alive, he had never been crucified. But, when he met Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, and was saved by faith in Jesus Christ, he was ‘sealed unto the day of redemption’. (Ephesians 4:30)
When we accept Jesus as our Saviour, He places His seal of ownership on us. In that act, we changed camps from the enemy to the Lord’s camp. In a moment, our old nature is crucified. (Romans 6:1-7)
This is not a license to do whatever we please, but positionally, Jesus sees us as crucified with Him. We will struggle with the old self until we go from this life into the waiting arms of Jesus Christ. But the struggle will end and He gives us victory. Nothing we have done ourselves, but victorious by His great grace and mercy.
So, what’s all this got to do with failing? Most of us have heard the phrase, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” The concept has a deep root of truth, even into the Christian life. “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it: who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matthew 13:23)
The difference in the harvest if dependent on how much seed the sower scattered
If he sowed sparingly, the harvest is sparse. If he sowed liberally, throwing seeds in abundance, the harvest would be great. It’s a measure of trust in the promise of God. Trust is something that is developed between people, between the Christian and the Lord. As we are willing to reach out a little more, wade out a little bit deeper in Him, God faithfully blesses us in His will. Bit by bit, we learn that He is ever faithful.