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THE QUIET CORNER
with Common Sense 4 Uncommon People
 

Blessings Corrupted ~ John C Calkins

Posted: December 17th, 2016   Category: belief, Christ Follower, Common Sense

blessings-corrupted

Most of us have learned or at least heard that the wages of sin are death …. Romans 6:23, but what about the here and now, is this sin sprinkled life a free ride until death? If that’s really the case and we still suspect that what lies beyond death is just an uncertainty at best, then what’s the risk? For the answer to that question we’ll have to dig a bit deeper into the Biblical Word of God’s instructions.

GOD said, “The Man has become like one of us, capable of knowing everything, ranging from good to evil. What if he now should reach out and take fruit from the Tree-of-Life and eat, and live forever? Never—this cannot happen!” So GOD expelled them from the Garden of Eden and sent them to work the ground, the same dirt out of which they’d been made. He threw them out of the garden and stationed angel-cherubim and a revolving sword of fire east of it, guarding the path to the Tree-of-Life.” Genesis 3:22-24 MSG. This was the first recorded human punishment by God, in this life, for sin. Yes, our sin has consequences in the here and now. Why, because God said so and it makes perfect sense! Punishment is not just somewhere beyond the secular mystery of when death ensues, but potentially anywhere, at any time. That’s because we need incentives and disincentives to make good decisions. The expulsion in Genesis 3:24 is hardly an example of corporeal punishment but in this example it’s definitely punitive. What happened later on to everyone except Noah and his family (Genesis 6) is however both corporeal and punitive. These are of course Old Testament examples of punishment for sinful actions or depravity. Just to be clear here, defying God’s directives or commands is the very definition of sin. For the first 5,000 years of human history as recorded in the Bible, we proved this consequential condition of free will, over and over again. But then comes Jesus.

Jesus didn’t alter God’s Word, He explained, accepted and as painfully as possible exchanged His sinless life for our lives of sin from a totally new alter. The wages of sin are still death (separation from God), but Jesus changed the condition of death for those who believe (100%) in Him. He also shrouded the world with blessings from His blood. Here’s the catch, not everyone believes Jesus and not too many of those who do believe in Him do so completely and 100% of the time. There are a lots of dangerous rips and tears in that blanket of blessings which God has draped over the lives and nations who recognize Him. Lots of sin centered holes for the enemy to drift through in the darkness of our apathy, doubts and unbelief. The holes and tears seem to appear where any evidence of unbelief makes an appearance. Here’s an example of that in Jesus’ own life. It can be found in the gospel of both Mark 6:5 and Matthew 13:58. “But Jesus said, “A prophet is taken for granted in his hometown and his family.” He didn’t do many miracles there because of their hostile indifference.” Matthew 13:58 MSG. The blanket of God’s blessings can be lifted or thrown aside but the blood of the cross can not be. The blood of the cross exposed for the first time the previously locked door between spiritual life embodiment and the embodiment of life by the Spirit. Essentially between the realms of earth and heaven. Believing 100% and behaving 100% sinlessly are rare indeed, but they are the ultimate objective. Jesus alone accomplished that objective and then swapped His perfection for the imperfect lives of those who have come to know Him well enough to have no doubts. It seems like a bad deal for Him and good for us, but that’s only because we can’t fathom the depth of His love for humanity. Since there was only one perfect person, the old question of “why do bad things happen to good people” is a nearly moot point. Good to God as used here is not as much a matter of our behavior as it is a condition of our hearts. Jesus proved who He was when He walked among us, beyond every shadow of doubt. Yet doubts persist. It’s not folklore, it’s fact. None of the rest of us are good all of the time and that separates the seams in God’s protective blanket of blessings as much now as it did in Jesus’ time. We doubt, ignore, reject and conveniently overlook (defy) God’s instructions regularly. That is the basis of the penetration of evil into our otherwise blessed world. Our sinful, selfish nature is what has always been the key to our undoing. Being good most of time, isn’t all of the time. Jesus will stitch up the holes of our defiance for those whom He knows, but the rest are on their own under the Old Testament rules. Not just later after the sun sets on this life, but now too. The embodiment of life by the Spirit of God is what we need in order to know doubtlessly. Selfishness, the basis of nearly every sin makes more appearances in a second than selflessness does in a day in our world. That’s a lot of holes. Bad things happen when the blanket is corrupted. Our man made holes are hellish, while the tightly woven, seamless shroud of Jesus is as protective as it gets.

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