Missing the Mark is Missing the Mark
A week or so ago, I was at a Bible study with some brothers and sisters in the Lord. To make a long story short, a brief sidebar debate arose when a brother commented that by forgetting to do something that he had told someone else that he would do for them that he had lied; sinned. A sister disagreed and asserted that such thinking was legalistic. This sidebar debate didn’t last long and we got back to the main topic of the study. Nonetheless, I thought about this a few days later, and I concluded that I agree with the brother.
In no way do I consider myself a legalist when it comes to theology and its application to everyday life; I believe that those who know me would agree. I consider legalism to be the [extremely counterproductive] addition to one’s life of the proverbial list “do’s and don’ts, that are for all intents and purposes extra-biblical, and therefore serve as nothing more than as a means of enslavement. However I am a believer of the Gospel; the Bible, and I do believe what it says about sin [and of course about everything else]. The definition of the Greek word translated as sin in the New Testament: hamartano, essentially means to “miss the mark.” God’s standard [mark] is perfection. If I tell you that am going to do something for you and simply forget to do it, then I have acted imperfectly and have fallen short; I have missed the [God’s] mark; I have failed to act as Christ would; I failed to do what I needed to do to make sure that I did everything in my power to keep my promise to you; I have told you something that was not true; I have therefore lied. Jesus speaks about the fate of ALL liars in Revelation 21:8; let’s say that “it ain’t pretty.” In our flesh, we all qualify for this fate (in many other ways as well, of course). Scripture also reminds us that if we have broken one of God’s laws, we are guilty of them all (James 2:10).
Jesus wants us to be like Him. Jesus [God] never fails us; He never breaks a promise (1 Corinthians 1:9, Hebrews 13:5, and many others). If Jesus were to ever fail us, then He wouldn’t be the God that He tells that He is, and He would be deceiving us; lying to us; falling short; missing the [His own] mark; sinning; being in the same boat as we are with no power to save us, as He Himself would then need a Savior. Again, we read in James 2:10 that if we have broken one law, we are guilty of all of them. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ; our Lord.
Our flesh is absolutely riddled with sin; it is embedded into and woven into the very fabric of it; we are born into it; it comes naturally to us; it is our very nature. The new birth that Jesus tells us about in the 3d chapter of the Gospel of John, which we receive when we put our trust in Christ; when we believe the Gospel (Eph. 1:13, 1 Cor. 15:1-4), is indeed sinless (1 John 3:9). As I have pointed out many other times on this site, we are of course admonished to walk in the Spirit as to not fulfill the [sinful] lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). We need not try to deceive ourselves and water down what sin truly is in our minds, in order to try to rationalize it and avoid confronting it for what it is, as to try to avoid being guilty of it. When we put our trust in Christ and believe the Gospel, we receive the gift of eternal life; the FULL payment for ALL of our sins [“big” and “little”] was provided by the finished work of Christ on the Cross. Through faith in Christ (a faith completely DEVOID OF WORKS in every sense of the word), ALL of our sins; past present and future have been forgiven and washed away by His blood. By consistent prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17), studying the Word and putting it into practice (2 Timothy 2:15), we find ourselves walking in the Spirit; the sinless new birth, more and more often, and in the flesh less and less often. The new birth being sinless, whose nature becomes more prevalent as we grow in the Lord, fully reflects the very nature of Jesus, thus being fully trustworthy.
Let us rejoice in the fact that we as believers are forgiven of ALL of our sins, past, present, and future. Let us rejoice in the fact that we as believers have the new sinless second birth of the Spirit, in Christ, which is incapable of sinning, and thus lives up to God’s standard by default. Let us rejoice in the fact that we as believers need not try to wrongfully attempt to water down sin into something that is supposedly [miserably] manageable and achievable in the flesh, in order to somehow achieve some sort of unfulfilling and false self-satisfaction that we know in our hearts is NOT going to please God, and simply leave us emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. Let us rejoice in the fact that we as believers have the irrevocable gift of eternal life (Romans 11:29) and in the power of the Spirit in our new birth, now have the power to truly face sin as it truly is and have real victory over it.
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