God Swears to God [Part 2]
By Alan Wright — December 06, 2018
Are you ready for some good news?
You don’t overcome your sin by greater commitments; you overcome your sin by greater revelation of God’s commitment to you in Christ.
Today’s Text: “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.”” (Hebrews 6:13–14, ESV)
Well meaning Christians often try to conquer sin by making greater commitments. Consider someone I’ll call Sam Sinner who thinks: If I’m going to get victory over my struggle with lust, I’ll need a serious Christian like Joe to be my accountability partner.
Joe: I’ll meet you every week at 6 am on Friday morning to see how you’re doing.
Sam Sinner: Okay, sounds great. Thanks so much, Joe.
Joe (at 6 am Friday morning): Sam Sinner, how are you?
Sam Sinner: I’m good.
Joe: Be honest with me. Did you lust this week?
Sam Sinner: I can’t lie. I did lust but not until Tuesday.
Joe: I’m going to have to meet with you earlier next Friday so we have more time. Let’s make it 5 am for good measure. Can you get up and be here at 5 am? Do you promise not to lust this week?
Sam Sinner: I promise. I’ll meet you next Friday at 5 am. It’ll be a lust-free week, I promise.
Joe (at 5 am the following Friday): Look me in the eye – you did it, didn’t you? You lusted again this week, didn’t you?
Sam Sinner: Yes, but I made it to Wednesday!
Joe: I guess I’m going to have to start meeting with you two days a week.
I’m not making light of an accountability partner. Brothers and sisters who speak truth to us are important. But what is the truth we most need to hear?
Being reminded that we are sinners and that we need to try harder just doesn’t help (at least, not for long). We need to be reminded of who we are in Christ.
World-class golfer Rory McIlroy once started the British Open by bogeying 5 of the first 6 holes. Having missed the cut in in his last two tournaments, the former world #1 golfer hung his head and thought, “Here we go again.” But McIlroy’s caddie came to him on the sixth hole and said: “You’re Rory McIlroy. What the #$##$# are you doing?” McIlroy later said simply, “He reminded me who I was.” McIlroy turned the rest of the eighteen around, shot a two under par the next day, and ended the tournament tied for fourth. An accountability partner reminds you of your best self – not your worst!
God swore by Himself to bless Abraham but asked no such swearing from the patriarch. God just wanted Abraham to believe he was blessed. You can live by the power of God’s commitment to you rather than your commitment to God. And that’s the Gospel!