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Friday, July 2, 2010

Why Christians keep on sinning

Writing in a simple manner, the author of Notes on Genesis 1 wants Christians to know that unless they let God take full control, they will not find true peace, Dennis D. Muhumuza writes 

For genuine Christians, the journey of spirituality can be daunting. Sin envelops the atmosphere and indwells our hearts so much that we seek to be good by paying tithe, attending church, being generous and doing all those things the world calls ‘noble,’ cannot exonerate man from inherent wickedness.
The issue of that innate evilness in us and the inability of man to attain a level of holiness or goodness on his own that pleases God is what Pastor Ock Soo Park practically examines in his 2008 book, Notes on Genesis 1. 

The author traces our inequity to Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God by partaking of the fruit of good and evil: “From then on, Satan placed various dark and wicked thoughts inside of man. This is why dark thoughts and wickedness continually spring up in man.”

In such a state, he argues, it’s impossible “to do good and live according to God’s Word.” It should shock most of us who think we are holy by being generous, attending church, praying daily and avoiding cussing. Our intentions could be genuine, but Pastor Park says this in itself cannot guarantee us heaven.

“The moon can never radiate light on its own regardless of how badly it wants to, but it automatically emits lights if it is facing the sun,” he writes. Similarly, however much we want to be good and strive to attain righteousness, we remain “dirty and dark.”

The author says hope is in recognising and accepting our helplessness and passionately turning to Jesus Christ –the only light and righteousness of the world.

“We become the light as well without even knowing it when we look to the Lord,” he stresses. “Do not try to do good and be righteous yourselves, but look to the fact that Jesus has given you righteousness and holiness.”

A senior pastor of Good News Gangnam Church in Seoul, Korea, and founder of the Good News Mission, which has affiliates in 80 countries worldwide, Pastor Park who got saved at the age of 18 writes with such simplicity and intersperses his 301-page book with personal stories and testimonies that are as moving as they are spiritually elevating.

He relates a story of a pastor whose son was dying of cancer of the brain.The doctors wanted the guardian to allow them do surgery on the boy even though they knew it would be useless. Realising how powerless he was to help his son at his most hour of need, the pastor fell on his knees and cried out, “God, my son is dying and there’s nothing I can do…God, you be my son’s guardian.” He then abandoned the hospital and went to preach the gospel. To the amazement of all, the boy suddenly improved and got completely healed a few days later.

Park writes: “The moment Pastor Kim’s heart connected with God’s and he thought, ‘I’ve absolutely no power to protect my son; I should not hold on to this, but should leave this to God, God began to work.”

The author also remembers his own spiritual struggles; the more he tried to keep the law and not sin the more he failed: “When I came to distrust myself and step down from the throne in the kingdom of my heart, I was able to receive the Word of God into my heart…Jesus began to work inside of me…it was so amazing to see the light enter my heart and destroy the darkness, to see love enter and destroy hatred, to see hope enter and destroy despair, and to see joy enter and destroy sadness.”

The essence of Notes on Genesis 1 is the reassurance the reader gets from knowing that when we give up on ourselves, realising that we are incapable of doing good, keeping the law, praying and all that, God begins to live and work inside our hearts. It gives us the courage to heed the author’s trumpet call:

“Everyone, make everything that you have done into nothing and believe in Jesus…what we have done is evil” --we are only holy by the grace of the Lord because the Lord has already received double the punishment for the sins we have committed. “So ,all the sinners, but those cleansed by Jesus are righteous.”

Pastor Park is also the author of The Secret of Forgiveness of Sin and Being Born Again which has sold over a million copies and has been translated into 12 languages.

--Sunday Monitor, June 20, 2010