Skip to main content

Permission to fail

I'm looking forward to having Josh Harris' - Sex is not the problem (lust is) on my bookstall this term:
"...lust's power will decrease as we relentlessly pursue holiness. Unlike so many books that share a shelf with this one at the local Christian bookstore, Harris holds out lust as a problem, but provides the gospel as a solution. And that isn't even a fair fight..."
--Tim Challies
The only way to fight sin is with the gospel. The gospel doesn't let us deny our sin. And it gives us permission to fail. There is always enough grace to cover our sins, and the Holy Spirit's power to change our desires - so we settle for more of God rather than less with sin. The gospel is not just the answer to sexual sin - it is the way to fight against any sin. And its definitely not a fair fight. God wins! God is God. The gospel is still true!

Talking about my sin, a wise friend said this to me today:
"...if we don't have permission to fail then we might as well quit our jobs cos the reality is that we are helpless sinners who desperately need Jesus to work in us and through us and the more we realise that, however painful that is the better... as soon as the students realise that we are weak and fragile the sooner we can get them dependant on Jesus and not us...
And therefore, as one of my favourite writers notes I can indeed say that I am doing better than I deserve. I deserve to drink the cup of God's wrath. But Jesus drank that for me. Instead I can drink the cup of life, the cup of Jesus' blood for my sins (see Mark 14 if that makes no sense).



tags: | | | |

Comments

  1. Woop woo!
    I like being called wise!! Hehe. Keep believeing it.. It's the best news ever... (the gospel that is, not me being wise..ahem)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know it's a common phrase we use "permission to fail", but is it right? I understand what you mean, but does the Gospel ever give permission to fail? Is it more correct to say that the Gospel allows provision for failure, rather than permission to fail - we are commanded to "be holy" after all. The expectancy is that we are to be holy, but there is provision for when we get it wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  3. granted, anonymous - however, i think this phrasing is a helpful reassurance of grace when one has sinned and i'm using it retrospectively in this context... certainly not an encouragement to pursue failure or deliberately seek to fail.... the gospel drives us firmly away from sin!

    ...you may well have a point.. one to to think on...

    do you have a name?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use (http://planningcenteronline.com/) tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue



2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin



3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong



4. Cornerstone - Hillsong


Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…