The Secretive Sin

Recently, I’ve been enamored with the book “Brothers Karamazov”. One of the chapters I want to share is the one in which Ivan Karamazov, one of main characters who is a staunch rationalist and atheist, is having a nightmare – with the devil.

I am not gonna talk a lot about the chapter, but I want to share a notion I got inspired from that particular chapter, particularly on a strong relationship between sin and secret.

Everybody commit sins. Rape, Theft, Voyeurism, Duplicity, Swindling, etc. Everybody commit certain trespass either to God, Others, or even Self. In response to this, some people confess or share the burden to somebody else to help them cope with it. It can be shared to God or Others. However, there are also some people who chose to keep it to themselves as a secret, only known to the person. This kind of people is the subject of this post.

When somebody keeps a secret to his / herself, it is certain that the person is not the only person keeping it. There are two entities who also keep it; both are omniscient in varying degrees. Those two are supernatural being; God and devil. Contrasting entity with also contrasting response against that secretive sin.

Assume that the God we know here is benevolent in all aspects, that He operates in level of wisdom unreachable to us. Assume also that the devil we are talking here is deeply devious and deceptive, capable of turning things inside out to his favor.

Let’t start with devil. Knowing your secret, what he will do is that he will use that secret as a leverage to keep you further down in that abyss of guilt. He will give you that pseudo-comfort that doing sin is fun but afterwards will be an advocate against you. Sly and duplicitous. He wants you to be a chronic sinner until your death.

God, on the other hand does hates sin so much that He ought to punish you in hell right away. However, He also loves sinner so much, and truly understand the sinful nature of man. When we confess our sin to God, He will not use the sin against us like the devil, though He actually is the one most rightful to do so. He will grant us grace which none of us deserve, the redeeming grace of His Son Jesus.

Like the parable of Prodigal Son, He will welcome us with open embrace, saying that our sins are already cleansed and that He already redeemed us, so a new life is there. You will still commit sin of course, but in each of those sins he will chastise every trespass we commit patiently, teaching us to live stronger in faith instead of flesh. In His time, with baby steps we will be uplifted with His grace from glory to glory. Our serenity is His aim, serenity in His fold. He wants us to be free worshipers of His glory.

How powerful God’s blood is, which redeems the sinner, granting a new life unimaginable. It is the power which turns a criminal into a crowned champion, which brings life to death, and is the only ever-hope in this sinful world!

Amazing grace – how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!!!

 

 

Trinity: Unity and Diversity

Continuing from my previous explanation on Trinity here (I recommend you to read it first), let me continue more on it.

One of the contending extremes we have in the world is the question of Unity vs. Diversity. University is one of the best example: Students are trying to find the Unity in Diversity and vice-versa. In real-world case though, these list might show in different disciplines the manifest contention between those two extremes:

  • Monarchy vs. Republic
  • Dictatorship vs. Democracy
  • Closed-Source vs. Open-Source
  • Monotheism vs. Polytheism
  • Centralized Market vs. Distributed Market
  • Mass Manufacturing vs. Handcraft Manufacturing
  • Cloud-Computing vs. Distributed-Computing
  • Instructivism vs. Constructivism
  • etc.

Those are just few examples. Surely you can add more to it. In essence, though, surely you can see the underlying extremes within. People are trying to find which is best for them: Unity or Diversity? I conclude that both are true at the same time and we need both.

Trinity, in all its intricate mysteries is both Unity in Diversity. It is United in its Godhead (one God) and it is Diverse in its Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Diverse in their roles: God the Father ordained, God the Son reedems, and God the Holy Spirit sanctify. Each role contributes one another into a united goal. I found that its transcendent simplicity reveals sure manifestations of immanent complexities we see in the world.

As Christian, I say that only by Trinity one can find both Unity and Diversity and  also by it, one will be able to live life positive holistically in this world where Chaos sometimes masquerade as Order or Vice-Versa.

Sapere Aude!!!

Trinity & Faith

One of the Epigma (Epic Enigma) that I’ve learned in my life as a Christian is the doctrine of Trinity. It seems to surpass common conceptions of God such as Monotheism and Polytheism. It is a bit like Monotheism but also has some Polytheistic nuances.

Simply put, Trinity says that God is both three and one at the same time. God IS The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. However, each Godhead IS NOT the Other. Hard to picture them? This diagram called Scutum Fidei might makes it easier for you to understand:

Still feeling that it is mind-bending or non-sensical? I tell you that it’s one of the hardest doctrines in Christianity. So don’t put too much pressure in understanding this if this is your first encounter. Even for us Christians nobody can fully comprehend or explain about this.

We know by logic that A cannot be A and Non-A at the same time. So how does this doctrine stands against simple logic test? I will simply answer since God creates logic, surely God operates on an infinitely higher logic than ours. I will even argue further that no human can ever comprehend or even master logic in a 100% way. So, how can we humans, limited and fallible, use a tool we don’t truly comprehend for an object infinitely greater than that tool?

Theologically, how can we Christians believe in this? As a Christian I say that it’s by faith; in the same way that by faith, Buddhist believe in Reincarnation, Hindus believe in their myriad gods, and Atheists “believe” in science. It does take A GREAT DEAL of faith for one to cross such metaphysical borders.

Thus my short explanation on Trinity. I will explain more on the beauty of it in the future so please stay tuned!!

Sin, Instrument of Grace

Sin is a part of life one can’t get away with. It bring us down. Pride, Lust, Greed, Glutton, Envy, Wrath and Sloth. Those are just few from untold sins we experience in our daily life.

So how does God, being good, allow sin to “prosper” with our nature? Why does He let sin deflower our conscience? There is this famous saying that God hates sin but loves sinner. So how does sin play into part of our life? Even St. Paul struggle so hard to put away the “Thorn in Flesh” in his body.

Sin is actually instrument of Grace. We can’t really explain it using our mortal logic. But remember how sin brings us down to the ground and reminding us of our unworthiness, putting us into modes of repentance by which God’s grace shines forth unto us.

Just as the Bible told us: where sin abounds, Grace abounds more. We can never put our sinful nature away, but the more we are reminded of our sin, the more we realize of our unworthiness and our total ineptitude in achieving salvation. This state further tenders the soil by which God’s gospel can grow. God hates the proud but give grace to the humble. A broken spirit and contrite spirit; those are our aromatic sacrifices which is pleasing unto God. He must increase, while I must decrease.

Bear in mind as well, that we are to work our salvation with fear and trembling, and that we also ought to do our best to put down our sinful nature, just as Jesus said to the prostitute “Sin no more”. God does forbid us to revel any longer in sin.

In saying that famous words to the prostitute, Jesus was also  aware that we can never be able to put down our sinful nature in complete while living in this world, and that we will always struggle with it until the day we’re done. That struggle however, is the proof of Holy Spirit’s work in sanctifying our body. What we bear everyday is no longer our meritous works, but God’s saving Grace.

He outpours grace upon grace to us, from His mercy seat. His love never ends. His love bear all things, hope all things, endure all things. Since God is Love and that He creates the world, His love is eternal and unchanging, as much as His word.

It is simply the depth and the riches of God’s ways, that He’s using sin as one of his instruments of Grace. In the end He will be glorified beyond measure. He is a consuming fire which in the end will cleanse and redeem all defects – that we, mere mortals who deserve Hell without parole will be holy and blameless before His smiling countenance in Heaven.

So brothers and sisters, strive on, run the race, seize the prize!!

The New Soul

Therefore if anyone in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

– St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 5:17, LEB

I have to confess to you through this post that I had troubled past in my teenage years. I do not need to tell you the details, but the point is that I do not have privileges & facilities most teen have at that time which boost their development as a budding human being secure. For me, it’s like a stunted growth period.

I have to be honest to you also that Up until now, in my 20-something age I still am striving to catch up with my troubled Past – filling up Past gaps in the midst 0f ever-decreasing time slot as a working man. It all seems redemptive.

Not so. The fact is that out of the blue, my Past pattern of life still exist and ever become a thorn in my soul. It just can’t be wiped no matter how much I pray and struggle to extinguish it!

They say that it is wise to be able to receive all things and also to let go of all things when the time come. I say it is so hard for me to let go of all things.

Why? It is because I Live in My Past. I do live in Present but all I think is just to re-live Past in Present. It is vain; it is like dragging your Past all along, making the Present not fulfilled. I’m Missing the Present while putting time for my Past. I doesn’t enjoy things which I should really enjoy in Present but rather living a nostalgically vain life in my Past, in its illusory irrelevance.

I met Christ  5 years ago. It is a life-transforming encounter. But one pivotal thing I just realize now is that not only He redeemed my sins, He has also Redeemed My Troubled Past! All this time I keep doing things I believe only I can do (Redeeming my Past) but forget that the Savior have done the job the moment I receive Him in my heart. He enlightens me:

Come to me, all of you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.

– St.Matthew, Matthew 11:28, LEB

Now I am a New Soul; a New Creation! No longer do I live in the Past, thinking that it will give me peace; it will only give me insecurities. What I have right now is Present. I have to seize it before it flees. Carpe Diem.

Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow, because tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

– St.Matthew, Matthew 6:34, LEB

This Present must be viewed and seized not in the picture of my Past, but in the picture of Him within Me doing The Work. Even my Future is already on His grasp.

In Christ, I have a Redeemed Past and a Certain Future in His Kingdom.

I pray you will find similar joy and liberation in Him. God Bless.