Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

An Ambulance, First

For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son…Romans 8:29 (MV)

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in it lust…Romans 8:12 (NKJV)

But now that you have been set free from sin, and become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life…Romans 6:22 (NIV)

These texts tell us that we should be like Jesus Christ. He did not save us so that we could sin; rather He saved us so that we would not sin. One of the biggest problems a Christian has is what to do with sins in his life. How do you handle sin? It just seems to be endemic that Christians sin and they sin far more then the Bible allows for them to sin.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin…1 John 2:1 (NIV)

The Bible does not command sin. It commands the opposite. What I am talking about in this article is not the major solution to sin in the Christian’s life, but part of God’s solution. It is more like rust remover than it is like paint. It is no preventative; it’s curative.

An old illustration is found in a poem I found in a book I read as a small boy, long before I was a Christian. It was called: A Fence or an Ambulance. I cannot recite the poem anymore, but I used to like it. It was a story of a certain cliff that dukes and peasants were falling over regularly. Everybody was falling off this cliff. The people in the shire had to come up with a solution of what to do about this problem.

They had a meeting, and one of the councilman said, “What we need is an ambulance. We’ll keep an ambulance parked in the valley. Whenever anyone falls off the cliff, the ambulance is right there. Everybody was voting for the ambulance when someone objected and said, “No, put a fence at the top of the cliff.”

Then they shouted him down, “What do you mean a fence at the top of the Cliff? We’ve interviewed every single person who has fallen off that cliff and nobody has asked for a fence. They are always asking for an ambulance. We’ve got you out-voted. Obviously, the ambulance is what is needed.”

God happens to have a fence, and God happens to have an ambulance. This article is about the ambulance. You ask, “Why are you talking about the ambulance first?” Well, when people are already smashed at the bottom, they are more interested in the ambulance. We will talk about the ambulance first—how to get people fixed up so they are interested in a fence.

(An excerpt from How to Maintain Joy in your Life, p.1&2)

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