Thursday, October 4, 2018

Problem solved

I don't know about you, but my hardest subject in school was math. I did well, but I had to work very, very hard at learning math. It just didn't come easy to me. Natural sciences, reading, writing,  language work, and all the rest just seemed to come easier. Math took effort and lots of study. It is the one class I actually didn't look forward to - all the others were a delight. When I finally 'got' the method of solving the problem, whether it was a formula I needed to follow, or some principle I needed to consistently apply, it made sense and I held onto that method. Put in another variable and that same method didn't always work! Sometimes you had to adjust the method to get to solution. I am so glad God gives us a little help in the 'problem-solving' department when it comes to sin (another subject I mastered well without much trying!). There is no 'method', nor any particular 'series of steps' we need to take, just trust him to be the solution!

I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin. But if anyone does sin, we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s. (1 John 2:1 MSG)

Sin isn't a 'field of study' most of us need to spend a great deal of time 'mastering', is it? We seem to just gravitate to it and get pretty doggone 'good at it' without much effort! On the other hand, getting free from the hold sin has in our lives is way harder than it appears. Those math problems in algebra and calculus didn't look all that 'confounding', but the truth of the matter was that they were beyond my grasp without the intervention of one who already knew how to solve the problems! Sin is exactly like that - beyond our grasp to solve without the intervention of the one who already knows there is only one solution!

The sin-problem is solved for good, but we have to apply the solution. Just as with those math problems, it we don't use what has been provided to reach the end result, we might just find we have been spinning our wheels. We invested a whole lot of effort without reaching the result we really needed to reach! I had pages of 'work' to show I had solved the problem, but oftentimes the 'work' was just that - work. It didn't solve the problem and wouldn't work the next time I tried it! When it comes to my personal character, marred as it is by wrong choices and selfish desires, I am powerless to find the right solution to the problem. What leads me down the path to sin one time is not always going to be what leads me down it a second time. 

The solution to sin's problem in my life, and yours, needs to be consistent because the variables with sin keep changing. There are a whole lot of variables, but thank goodness, there is only ONE solution! The solution is Christ - our advocate - our sacrifice - our problem-solver. The moment we realize there are no amount of 'right steps' we can take to solve sin's problem on our own, the solution becomes quite clear - we need someone to solve the problem for us! There is no admittance of weakness here - just the revelation that sin doesn't just solve itself! If we are to be free of its grasp, we need someone who understands its root. Just sayin!