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Stained by sin, purified in Christ

 

Back in second grade, I did a rotten thing. I had a friend who was a little different and didn’t fit in with the “cool kids.” After a while, the “cool kids” started teasing me for associating with this person. So, in an effort to win their favor, I told my friend to go away and leave me alone.

There are a lot of excuses I could use to dismiss or minimize what I did. I could say I was only eight years old. I could write this off as a learning experience. I could say that the other person has forgotten about this and that, even today, we are still friends. I could point out that this was nearly half a century ago. But none of these excuses erase what I did.

We live in a world stained by sin. From birth, we start to collect the dents and dings, scratches and scars that make us less than the person God created us to be. Regardless of how long ago it was, my callousness is still an embarrassment and, whenever I recall the event, there is a twinge of shame and guilt.

The relationship may be fixed but the incident can never be undone -- at least, not by us. But, for God, all things are possible. Christ came that we may have complete forgiveness. The salvation offered at the cross re-creates us into new creations, made perfectly in the image of God as we were originally made. It is not “as if” the sin never happened, but salvation recasts us so that we are once again pure enough to come into the holy presence of God.

God’s grace, God’s unmerited love for us, offers us this opportunity to be reborn. How this happens is a mystery to us. We are only required to have faith that God can and will grant us that rebirth through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 
 
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