Ouch. Seems a little controversial, doesn’t it. I mean, we all know cheating is wrong. We are told not to cheat as kids and warned of the consequences of plagiarism as young adults. But Christianity is cheating. And I’m going to explain why.
I am a student at Michigan State University, in case you don’t know me. On campus I’m a part of a Christian group called “Spartan Christian Fellowship” run by a local church, University Reformed Church. It’s fantastic. But I’ve been lax. This past semester I haven’t gone to SCF’s meetings or Bible studies, because I had an evening class and other previous engagements, but deep down I knew that I could’ve pushed and made it on time, if I had the conviction. Somehow I found reasons not to go. I had lab reports to write. I had things to work out as an executive board member of another club. I was just busy. But I went tonight, and it was amazing and reminded me of why I joined in the first place.
I was reminded tonight and recently in a personal way of the trials I have with sin. I am a horrible, wretched sinner. Trust me; none of you have any idea what a terrible, hopeless sinner I am. I can’t even begin to explain myself. There is hope, however. Somehow, someway in His infinite (and infinity is the only way it could be possible to save someone like me) wisdom, grace and love, the Triune God decided to save me. The Father forgives me by the blood of the Son and sends the Holy Spirit to change my heart to feel the pain I feel at my sin. Amazing grace…
So why is Christianity cheating? Most definitions you will find will say something about fraud, and the definition of fraud usually has something to do with either lying about negative qualities or lying about a positive quality that does not truly apply to someone in order to profit them in some way. Obviously, this is a very bad thing! It’s a criminal offense in the big leagues! That’s Christianity for you. We hide our negative qualities under the blood of Christ and claim for ourselves His perfection by His work of mediation on the cross. Every sin, every shortcoming, every individual sinful thought that crosses my mind for even a fraction of a moment nailed His body to the cross, and I claim to have righteousness imputed to me. Every single day, every moment of every day I trip and fall face-first into my own spiritual feces. The sad part is, so often I get up, look in the mirror and think that I’m fine. Fine enough even to quick mumble a prayer before I fall asleep or quick read a passage that I’d forget in a matter of minutes and call it good, call it devotion to my Savior. I cheat every single day because Christ strengthens what I weaken, He does what I cannot, He fulfils what I can only destroy. I’m a cheater; a beautiful, blessed, thankful cheater.
I can’t stop there. That is my main point, but I have to take one more step further. When someone cheats in a class or commits fraud in their business, they slide by, they don’t try. The opposite is true of the cheating we do as Christians. When I cheat, I only try harder. When Christ strengthens my weakness, I only gain strength. When Christ does what I cannot, I use His strength to do so as well. When Christ fulfils what I only destroy, I only cling to that truth harder.
Jesus! What a strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried and sometimes failing,
He, my strength, my victory wins!
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Hallelujah, what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end!”