The believer’s suffering.

December 5, 2010

For the believer, adversity and sin aren’t two equal balances on the same scale.  The believer’s level of suffering does not necessarily equal the believer’s level of sinfulness.

We can’t so easily make assumptions like, “I am suffering this much, because I have this much sin in my heart,” or “He suffers to that degree because he has sinned to that degree.”  To believe so is legalism.  To believe so is to disbelieve the gospel.

Is there a correlation between adversity and sin?  Yes.  But there is a vast world of difference between the loving discipline of a Father, One who doesn’t necessarily shield His child from the effects of sin, and the penal sentence of a Judge.  And for the believer, only the former exists (read: penal substitutionary atonement).  The latter is as extinct as … dinosaurs (hehe, I just asked my roomie Cindy to name me an extinct species).

We must be careful not to allow the tentacles of legalism to find their way into our theology of suffering, whether we are interpreting the suffering in our lives or others’ lives.  After all, the crux of the gospel … is a perfect Man’s cross.


2 Responses to “The believer’s suffering.”

  1. bom amigo Says:

    Jesus in Luke 13:2-5:

    “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?
    No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

    Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?
    No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

  2. tia Says:

    b.a., those verses shed light on other facets of this topic. thought provoking … and humbling.


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