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Do your failures in life make you feel less of a Christian?
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister at Covenant Community Church on Jun 5, 2001, 20:54

No, not really. When one has as few failures as I do, one is quite secure in one's salvation...NOT! ( I am the new chief among sinners, just ask anyone who knows me)

I get a queasy feeling when someone ask me a "feeling" question. Not because it is not a good question, it is a great question, and everyone who is reading it can relate to it. But remember (and I will attempt to answer this question, I'm just stalling). . feelings are not a good indicator of things in spiritual circles. (I suppose that I should answer or explain that, perhaps I will, but not today)

Now the answer, or an attempt at an answer. . .

Theologically, someone cannot be "less" or "more" of a Christian.(No matter what some of the strange theologians out there might tell you) One is either a Christian or one isn't. Being a Christian is a decree of God (the requirements listed in his word) whereby I am declared justified. Nothing I do or don't do in terms of failure is even relevant to whether or not I'm a Christian.

Yes, sometimes I feel less of a Christian because of my failure and sins but my feelings on the matter are irrelevant. Only the facts (i.e. the truth of what God has told me in His Word) have anything to do with reality.

Of course, Satan will, as the "accuser," often create havoc in the Christian's life with those feelings. He will whisper, "Hey, if you were really saved, if you loved Christ and if you really belonged to Him, you would not have messed it up that bad." (Sometimes people hear those kinds of statements from their brothers and sisters in Christ as well) On those occasions, it is important for Christians to lean hard on Christ and on His promise that if we came to Him, He would never cast us matter what (John 6:37). That is a fact and anybody who says differently is either a liar or mistaken.

One other thing: The truth is (and I almost hesitate to say it), my failures are often the very thing which cause me to feelthat I'm a Christian. The Bible teaches that only the unqualified receive God's unqualified love...and I am certainly unqualified.

As Newton said, "I am a great sinner and He is a great Redeemer." Because that is true, my failure and sin drive me to the cross of Christ. It is there where I find three important realities: First, I find His forgiveness and love when I expected and fully deserved His wrath and judgment.

Second, I am filled with joy and praise for Him and for His grace and mercy.

Third, I find a new motivation to cling to the Father, to follow Him and to be obedient to Him because I am accepted and obligated by His love.

And so, there are times when I thank God for my failures. It is only through them that I discover His love. If I never failed or sinned, I wouldn't go to Him and, worse, I would think that any good thing which happened to me, happened by way of a reward for my perfection.

David said, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart--These, O God, You will not despise" (Psalm 51:17). The truth is that my spirit is rarely broken and my heart rarely contrite when I have been successful. Unfortunately, brokenness and contriteness happen when I have failed and, in that sense, it is my failure which, if I allow it, causes me to "feel" that I belong to Him.

I'm sure there is much more to say on the subject, but there is an answer and a few things to think about.

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