I have been labeled, at best a troublemaker, at worst a heretic . . . again. But, to know me is to love me. I am a 45 year old undergrad at Leavell College on the Campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, a lover of grace, and one who has great disdain for the law. I want so much for all Jesus went through to mean something to the people around me. After all, if the law had been effective in perfecting the sinner, I am quite sure a loving God would not have asked such a thing of His one and only Son. Focus on the scourging and the crucifixion if you must, but I think the thing worth sweating great drops of blood over was the act of a sinless man bearing the weight of the world’s sin upon himself. The least I can do is accept this great thing, done for me when I didn’t deserve it. Man, my sins hadn’t even been carried out yet. The “paid in full” voucher had been sitting there waiting for me to pick it up. I didn’t get some kind of starter kit, I’m 100% forgiven! I’m a new creation!
That said, I was so bold as to suggest, in a doctrinal theology course, that after someone is saved it is possible to finish out your Christian walk without sinning. Wow! You would have thought I was suggesting a dance contest with Jello shots. Now, before you draw your label gun, consider this, in order to disagree you must believe two things; 1) that you are a NOT a new creation, and 2) that God’s not big enough to pull it off.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Titus 2:11-14)
Now in my personal experience it is improbable, even inconceivable, but I believe the Holy Spirit that dwells in me can do it. That is what gives me abundant life. I can’t image what it is to live life anticipating your next transgression, so focused on inevitable failure that you miss the great adventure the Almighty Creator has planned just for you. Have I missed Christ’s message altogether? Have I become a heretic? . . . Or the renegade I long to be.