“The church must constantly be aware that its faith is weak, its knowledge dim, its profession of faith halting, that there is not a single sin or failing which it has not in one way or another been guilty of. But if it is constantly aware of its guilt and sin, it can live in joyous awareness of forgiveness.” – Hans Kung
It is incredibly hard for us, both personally and as a church, to admit how sinful we are. We might have moments when we can honestly confront our sin, but often we simply don’t think about it. It is so much easier to live our lives, go to work, do our chores, enjoy our hobbies, and never think about our sin. Yet, if we work to become aware of our sinful nature and maintain that awareness we will be driven to joy.
You might be asking, “How can we be joyful when we think about our sin?” The answer can be found in Romans 5:20, “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” When we become more aware of our sin, the Spirit leads us to remember what Christ did on the cross for us so that we might be made righteous. The knowledge of our sinfulness will remind us all the more what a gift of grace we have been given. If we truly understand the Gospel story we will be driven to joy. A joy that comes from understanding how much our Father in Heaven loves us. A Joy that comes from knowing that we are cherished even in our failures. A joy that comes from the knowledge that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38).
I encourage all of us to become more aware of our personal brokenness and the brokenness of the church so that we might become more aware of the grace of God and find joy in the gift of salvation through Christ. That joy will become contagious and people both within and without the church will want a to be a part of the family of God.