Suzanne Nicholson is spot on:
Having experienced the new birth, a follower of Christ is now empowered to live a life of holiness in service to God and neighbor. But temptations to under-rotate or over-rotate the deft maneuvers of the Christian walk abound. "Under-rotation" occurs when believers think it is impossible to overcome sin in this life. This is a pervasive belief today, and is based in the common experience of committing sin even after coming to know Christ. This pessimism is underscored by certain interpretations of Romans 7 ("I can will what is right, but I cannot do it…") which suggest that the believer will continually struggle-- unsuccessfully-- to overcome the power of sin. The believer then becomes resigned to the reality of sin and expects no escape from its power. And how can anyone hope to defeat sin in this life if they believe the battle is already lost?
For those who embrace Wesley's optimism that the power of the Spirit can indeed entirely transform us in this life, the danger of "over-rotation" lurks. For the spiritually zealous who rightly rejoice in God's work in their lives, Wesley warned not to succumb to spiritual pride. This kind of pride occurs when we credit any achievements to our own doing rather than to the power of God, or when we think we have more knowledge than we do, or when we believe we are so spiritually mature that we cannot learn from others. Too much confidence in oneself leads to a hard fall just as surely as a lack of confidence in the power of God.
The entire post is worth a read here.
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Temptation, Sin, Forgiveness, and Holiness
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