Thursday, January 03, 2013

"Giving an account"

OK, maybe it’s just me, but years ago I recall someone teaching on Romans 14:12 and getting seriously scared about God. No, I’m not talking about the fear of the Lord that’s the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 15:33). I’m talking about getting so scared of what He will do when we first meet “eye to eye” in Heaven that I obsess about every little thing here on Earth.

In case you haven’t already looked at the verse using the little popups, it reads in the ESV:
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Add to that Matthew 12:36, which reads:
I tell you, on that day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.
Mix well with tons of legalism, and you get one paranoid Christian!

Once again, though, chopping up the Bible into little bits and trying to piece them back together into what I call “Scripture Slaw” produces an inaccurate representation of God’s truth. Take a look at all of Romans 14 to get the context, as well as more of Matthew 12.

Consider †his: giving an account of what we did doesn’t remove God’s view of our lives as though we lived Jesus’ life.

We have no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1). Even though we still sin, God’s grace reigns. (That’s not a license to sin, though, as Paul addresses elsewhere in Romans, 1 Corinthians, and other letters.) The judgement those in Christ go through won’t include a stern-face God shaking His finger at us like naughty children, demanding we squirm as we try to given an excuse for the inexcusable, as we are shown our failures when our best wasn’t “good enough.”

This particular fear was something I have had for decades, I just recently realized. I don’t recall what false teaching I heard early in my days in Christ that supported this thought, but it has partially paralyzed me spiritually until recently.

Normally a “good blogger” would ask a question to engage comments from the readers at this point. All I’m going to do this time, though, is ask you simply to consider what I’ve said, and ask that you pass it on to those who might be stuck in the same trap as I’ve been. Also pray for them, and for me, for continued freedom from this paralysis of fear. Thank you.
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