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SunburntI was out sailing Friday and yes I knew it was very sunny day.  UV index shoo-vee index – I put some sunscreen on (I thought) and away we went.  Favourable winds had me in Port Dalhousie in an hour and a half so I stopped and was catching some rays, had a quick swim and started heading back. 

Well, the wind died on me and I wasn’t feeling so good now (sunstroke?) so I motored back, got inside and that’s when I knew I was fried.  Not out on the boat, while it was happening; but a couple of hours later.  Why does sunburn work like that?  You don’t know while you’re out there what you have done; not until later do you find out the cost.

So what’s the moral of the story? 

  • Don’t try to get rid of your farmer tan all at once?
  • Sunblock needs to be reapplied after swimming?
  • I can’t reach parts of my own back….. Perhaps,

It has been said that righteous living is paying now for enjoyment later and sin is enjoying now and paying later but somehow that seems too simplistic.   Is sunburn like the wages of sin?  You don’t know at the time how burnt you are but you sure find out later?  I don’t think so.  Your life is not a payment plan to get into heaven where you make investments with your good deeds and hope that they will pay off later.

Paul writes in Romans, “For the wages of sin is death,  

but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

Romans 6: 23

The first part of that verse can be quoted by many, but how many can remember the rest?  It comes as a surprise doesn’t it?  

The wages of sin is death …and the wages of good deeds is eternal life right? 

Notice the absence of balance here.  Wages on one side … and a gift on the other.   Martin Luther called it, “The great exchange: my sin for His righteousness

 

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Cor. 5: 21

Another great surpise verse (one that suddenly bucks you right off your high horse and lands you flat on your back) is 2 Tim. 2: 11 – 13.

11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
     If we died with him,
      we will also live with him;
 12 if we endure,
      we will also reign with him.
     If we disown him,
      he will also disown us;
 13 if we are faithless,
      he will remain faithful,
      for he cannot disown himself.

He cannot disown Himself!  The exchange is made.  Our sins are His.  We wear his righteousness like royal robes.  Even in our faithlessness He is faithful!

My sunburn of sin he takes on His back.  There is no day of reckoning for my sin now that I am in Christ! (No condemnation Rom. 8: 1) My feeble good deeds will not buy me a reprieve but instead are the beginnings of His work in me.  I am free in Christ and I will now start to look like Him, and act like Him, through is grace.

Though my sunburn is not like sin, I will not sleep like a man forgiven.  Those with sunburn sleep standing up … or maybe with ice packs under our backs; yea let’s try that. 

 

 

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