Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Solution or Misused grace

The problem of the AIDS virus has been a profuse problem in many nations for years now. One of the worst areas is Uganda, Africa. 80% of this nation claims to be Christian. Many people who are HIV positive or have the AIDS virus might have received it through birth, from their parents. And their parents, quite possibly would claim that they were "uneducated" as to how exactly the disease was spread. Some felt they had no choice of any alternative lifestyle. Incest and polygamy are perfectly acceptable in their culture and practiced regularly.

So, a few years ago President Bush put into effect a relief effort. The United States provides pills that allow someone with AIDS to keep on living. They are called "the miracle pill" for obvious reasoning. These pills, anti-retrovirals, are expensive and no one over there would be able to afford them. So, the relief effort is doing just what it is intended to do...keeping people alive. People with the disease can live life just like you and I, completely worry free, as long as they continue to take the drug.

However, since this plan was put into place, the number of people who are HIV positive has gone back up. Why? you wonder...well, it's no longer a death sentence. AIDS was at one time a penalty for wrong actions, tolling on generation after generation, now the consequences don't seem so severe. Sin leads to death, but there is a cure. Jesus blood shed on the cross covers a multitude of sins, does that mean we keep on sinning? NO!

Paul, in Romans speaks of the law. The law comes and therefore may increase the amount of wrong doings. (The law was added so that the trespass might increase. Romans 5:20) However, in the next part of that verse, he speaks of Grace. Grace is undeserved favor in the eyes of God. He gives us a promise that "as sin increased, grace increased all the more." the reason for the increase in grace is to show God's power...verse 21 says "just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

The point that comes about in the next chapter of Romans is about grace being misused. Paul asks the question: "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?" (Rom. 6:1) He answers that question, with all certainty and we would think it to be an obvious solution, but with any sin, it is rooted in our sinful nature and unless God changes our hearts (happening at salvation and through sanctification(being made Holy through Christ's work)) , we keep on sinning, relying on grace that is not merited. His answer: "By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?" (Rom 6:2-3)
*verse three is another discussion altogether...another time...but stick with me.

"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. " Hebrews 10:26-27

You can see how, while watching 60 minutes, learning of the AIDS outreach, I was, to say the least, confused. I fully condone aide to underprivileged. However, I can not completely respect the process if the "answer" is turning into an even larger problem. We spend trillions of dollars to help these people...and I believe they are much more educated now as to the cause of this disease among their people, that help has arrived and proven effective, the evil continues...and even increases. We are saving millions of lives, but how much more can we afford? The program will continue to provide the pills to those already enlisted, but can not take on anymore....

What are we to say then?