Diehl Martin

On the Christian Life

I am not good enough to be a Christian, you aren't either, and no one who claims to be is. Deal with it. My past (and recent present) present insurmountable difficulties, in that if it were strictly legal matter, there is just no way to be acceptable. I can assure you that my sin is ugly too. I have found that most moralists who point fingers at others are deluded into thinking that they are somehow immune to this, but if you look closely, even if they look pretty good from the outside, they are usually hiding things, cannot see their own faults, and have a bad case of pride to boot. So what is there to do, then? Well, the gospel is pretty clear that the purpose of the law is to drive us to our Savior, and to trust Him for what we lack. Since we cannot live up to the law, our only recourse is to trust Him for forgiveness, which is exactly what He is offering.

If you read the Bible carefully, you will find that the only sin which is currently unforgivable is that of refusing the offer of forgiveness. If you won't take what is offered, then you are on your own, and on your own you won't make it. If you trust Him for everything, He will take care of the matter, now and forever. Now this is perhaps too simple for many people to deal with, because they somehow believe that they must do something in order to be acceptable, as if they had something to offer to the Lord of everything, What hubris! All we have to offer is – well, nothing of value, really – and as such we come to Him entirely reliant upon His mercy. Very happily for us, He has offered us everything we need, and all we need to do is accept the offer.

I can hear the objection coming, then, “Does this mean that there is no expectation of us?” Well of course, there is, but it is not a precondition to His grace. There is nothing we can do to add to that salvation, as He paid the full price at Calvary. He did it all, once, for everyone. Nothing we do can add to that in the slightest. When He said, “It is finished.” the battle was over. He won the battle then and there, and we need not fight that battle again.

So, then, is there some expectation that my life will change afterward? Well, of course there is, but in ways different from that some will tell you. There is a crowd which proudly (notice that pride matter again) proclaim that we now need to keep a set of rules and regulations in order to continue in His grace. They miss the point, however, in that anything we do right we do strictly by the power of the One who saved us. He does not expect from us that which He does not supply. In my life, I have had a lot of correction over the years, and the sooner I learned my lessons the better things have gone. I have not by any means reached some sort of perfection here on earth, and I see no way to do so. I must continue to trust in His grace for forgiveness for my many failings, and at the same time keep moving forward as He provides the opportunity and strength to do so. I am now 56 years old, and by now I know that I have severe weaknesses which seem to hobble my progress. Nevertheless, I have come to love my Lord more now then ever, and know that He is behind the scenes arranging things, and that He will not let me fall from His grace, not now nor ever.

Is there such a thing as being too bad to be His? Well, let me remind you of the well-known Apostle Paul, who if you read the Book of Acts, you will find was a multiple murderer. He did it for the “best” of religious reasons (and out of pride) but the facts remain. And yet, the Lord chose Paul as probably His most visible spokesman. The Lord transformed Paul totally, and used Him for His purposes. Reading the text of Romans 8 says it best, “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

So we go on through life knowing that we will fail and fail again, but that He is urging us on, helping on the way, carrying us when necessary, and pushing us to change. He wants us to be like Him, and I find that an amazing thing. Yes, He has changed me and bent me over the years, but the biggest change is in simply trusting Him more. By now I know that I cannot live this Christian life in my own strength, but I must depend totally and utterly upon Him to do all of the heavy lifting. By now I am simply an old man who fails and fails again, but who trusts my Lord Jesus for every last bit of everything. It simplifies life considerably, since I know where all of the strength and success come from, and can lean on His arms.

So I no longer worry about tomorrow. I trust in my Lord and Savior, and go about the business of life waiting for each new day. If I wake up and see the new sunrise, then I have another day to be with Jesus. If I wake up in Heaven, then I am all the happier, having made the next stage in my journey. In any case, I have the splendid opportunity to be with Jesus, who has proven Himself to be wonderful by every possible measure. I am His, and I love it.

Diehl Martin
Guntersville, Alabama
August 14, 2007

My pancreatic cancer blog may be found here: http://diehlmartin.com/cancer.html

Diehl Martin passed away in October 2007. If you need to contact someone, please contact Monica Martin.

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