Knowing God without knowing out own wretchedness makes for pride.

Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair.

Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because he shows us both God and our own wretchedness.

-Blaise Pascal

I have come to find two very important facts. Neither of which should ever be diminish in the eyes of a Christian. In fact, sanctification will produce a greater and greater knowledge of both of these as one grows in holiness. And without either one of them, sanctification will be stunted.

The first is this: That my sins are absolutely horrible! They are an offense to my Father, a destroyer of true pleasure, a defiler that poisons everything that it touches.

But second is this: That no darkness of sin can overcome the light of Jesus Christ. His love knows no bounds and His grace can purge and cleanse the most disgusting of persons. And His righteousness is given on the basis of faith in His work on the cross so that the most stumbling of his children can look upon themselves as saints! (1 Cor 1:2)

Both of these truths must always be held in the believers sight. If a believer starts losing sight of one of them troubles ensues.

For when I forget about the justifying power of God’s grace I do not see my sins as wicked as they are! I can’t! let me explain. When I find myself forgetting the justification that I have received from Christ because I am staring at my sins I fall  into despair! I have two choices at this point. I could (1) tell myself that the sins which I see are not really that bad. Yes, I sin and fail but “hey, at least I am not as bad as that guy!” I mean he only comes to church once a month and watches the trashest of movies. And the sins which I see in myself are only little ones, everybody else does them as well. And on the positive side, I do all that my culture specifics for being a good person: I buy and eat only naturally grown produce and always vote according to family values. I am not that bad am I? Or I can (2) get religious and perform all the rules and commands that are presented to me. I can work hard, go to church every time the doors open, get fired up when the pastor talks about evangelism, getting one’s life better, using my finances better, what have you! This is a legalistic mentality that says that the good we do will out-weight the bad that we do.

See what happens when the forgiveness and love of Christ is taken out? My view of sin has to lessen to so that I can bare the awful load of it.

Now, What happens when we focus on the love and acceptance of God without acknowledging the wickedness which we are saved from? I believe that our view of God’s love diminishes with our low view of sin.

That can be a curious statement to us. How can just focusing on the love and acceptance that God gives us, while down-playing the sin we were saved from reduce our knowledge and joy in such love? Easy, which is a greater love: someone who forgives a man a debt of $10 or a man who forgives a debt of $1,000,000? you can see the connection. If we are not honest about the evil of the sin which we commit the grace of God becomes the experience of a waiter hearing from those he was serving, “keep the change.” that is what the grace of God becomes, spare change we receive!

This is the problem of removing the wretchedness of sin and the judgement it will bring. Grace becomes less and less of an amazing thing. Jesus becomes one who sets us free from our problems and pains and not one who saved us from the wrath to come.  the glory of the savior is dependent on what he saved us from. If it was from the eternal justice of God, then His praise  and the glory of the salvific event should be  for eternity. If it was for temporal problems that annoy me here and there, then his praise should only be temporal. Thus if I do not see the wretchedness which Christ saved me from, I will be less amazed at his actions. His love will be smaller in my eyes. God’s love is not that great.

No, our sin is wretched, horrible, defiled!

And our Savior willing, lovingly, graciously paid it all in full!

Lets keep both truths in mind and glorify our Savior!