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An unexpected outcome
August 29, 2011
by Rev. Lyndon Korhonen, Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, Cokato

Since the weather had suddenly turned to summer, I thought it was time to give my trailer a coat of paint. I bought it in November. It was quite used, but very solid. The fenders were in good shape, although the paint was very dull and much was missing.

So I got out my angle grinder with the wire brush attachment and started making the dust fly. I was using a gloss black Rust-Oleum spray paint, and it went on nice and smooth.

However, after I finished the fenders, I started to notice all sorts of imperfections such as dents and scratches that I didn’t notice on the fenders before. Here, what I thought would protect the steel and make the trailer look much nicer, did indeed accomplish that, but also brought out all the imperfections that were not apparent before.

Sound familiar in your spiritual life? Have you ever been troubled by the thought: “If I am indeed a child of God by living in repentance and faith, why does it seem like I sin more?”

Well, I find it helpful to note that the Apostle Paul had the same situation. Romans 7:9-13: “Once I was alive apart from Law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.”

Yes, there was a time when Paul thought his life looked okay, like my fenders, but as the shiny paint exposed all the imperfections, God’s law that describes righteousness and perfection exposed the selfishness and sin in Paul’s life.

No matter how long you are a Christian, God’s law will always expose your sin. It has that effect on sinful human beings like us. But that is what drives us to the righteousness of Christ. He is our perfection; He is our righteousness.

So let the law of God expose your sin like the shiny new paint exposed the dents and scratches on my trailer, but fix your gaze upon the righteousness of Jesus. That is where you will be encouraged. There are no imperfections with Christ.