November 17, 2012

Sin's Boundary

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: "...Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed'?"  (Job 38:1,8-11, ESV all)
Bound - C. Hoblit
This is one of God's declarations of his authority. It is easy for us to understand the power of the sea. Just recently, hurricane Sandy  poured out her force against the Northeast, and we have all seen the evidence of her destruction. Yet, God shows us that he draws the line in sand, and says to the ocean, "don't cross this line." And the ocean listens to him.

Jesus told his disciples, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Mat 28:18). The Father has given him the power to draw the line in the sand. Let's see how important this is.

A passage from Romans:
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Rom 5:20-21)

Romans 5 is a chapter of contrast, and I believe Paul is pointing out an important contrast in these verses. Sin is bound, but grace is not. We know that death is final, and this verse shows us that sin is bound by death just as we are. To draw from Job, we can say that death is the beach by which the mighty ocean of sin is defined. Christ has drawn the line and said, "Come no further" and we rejoice in death. It is the boundary of sin, not just experientially but absolutely. Death is sin's final reach, a portal through which it cannot follow us. It is the base in a grown-up game of freeze-tag, from which we taunt "O death, where is your sting?" (I Cor 15:155). Death is final, absolute, and guaranteed. Hallelujah.

"Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." -John Donne

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