‘Trespassing’ is Crossing a Line in the Wrong Direction: AWAY From God

line in sand

Our pastor is preaching through the book of Ephesians right now.  A couple of weeks ago, he talked about the difference between trespasses and sins.  Trespassing is crossing a line…in the case of humanity, we’ve crossed a line that God drew, and it has separated us from Him.

I formed this picture in my mind, of God (as the hen gathering her chicks) with all of us huddled around Him, facing a line (some action or actions which would drive a wedge between us and make it impossible for us to go back).  “Stay here,” He says.  But our first ancestors, blinded by the lie–”You won’t really die…” (Genesis 3:4)–take the first fatal step in the wrong direction.  And looking back they see a flaming sword barring their way.

grand canyon viewNow, because we are all born on the wrong side of the tracks, as it were–we sin.  “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)  Pastor says that sin is our attempts to get back to God in our own strength, through our own merits.  And as such, every attempt is doomed to fail.  We take a running jump, try to hurl ourselves across that line, over that chasm…and we fall short.  Nothing we can do will breach the gap between us and a holy God.

That’s why Christ formed the bridge.  (Do you remember that great Point of Grace song:  “There’s a Cross to bridge the great divide…”?)  Now we, through His sacrifice, can get back to where we belong, close to God, under His protection.

no_trespassingAll this was quite clear to me from the explanation.  And then I prayed the Lord’s Prayer one morning and thought about forgiving “those who trespass against us.”  Odd, isn’t it?  Our trespasses have separated us from God by drawing us away from Him through our actions.  But when others trespass against us it’s usually by getting inappropriately close, invading our space, and thus harming (or destroying) relationship:  when we steal, murder, covet, commit adultery, we’ve crossed a line with one another, trespassed on each other’s private land.  Loving my neighbor as I love myself means respecting his boundaries, not moving fence lines or marker stones.

It seems to me that the only way we can be both 1) close to other people and 2) in right relationship without trespass, is if we’re all on the same side of the boundary line…with God. This makes the first great commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”  the logical prerequisite for “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”(Matthew 22:37-40)

Because until we’re in God’s territory, we can’t help but trespass on someone’s else’s land. But once we’re back where we belong, we’re all standing on holy ground.  And it is possible to live in peace with one another.

What does this suggest to you about:

  • Christian responses to the actions of unbelievers?
  • world ‘peace’?
  • the importance of evangelism?
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10 responses to “‘Trespassing’ is Crossing a Line in the Wrong Direction: AWAY From God

  1. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. The beauty to me is in the “choice”. And it’s a choice we will ALL make, one way or the other. I heard something the other day that really spoke to me: Faith is about conduct focused on the promise of TOMORROW and not on the gratification of the present moment.

    • godsbooklover

      Interesting. That to me is more the definition of trust…our FAITH is founded on what we know to be true already (God’s past conduct, if you will). HOPE is what we looking forward to, and TRUST is our conduct now, based on FAITH + HOPE. (Trust is, by nature, forward-looking…if there’s no future, there’s no meaning to the word.) But the three words are certainly tightly interwoven…and all three will become obsolete in Heaven!

      • livinrightinpgh

        Tightly interwoven….indeed!

      • I was thinking about this, and so I went back through some old study notes. Trespassing (your topic) is a choice that we make based on free moral agency. It’s probably more of a semantics “thing”, but would like to offer the following thoughts for our discussion…

        First, 2 Timothy 3:14 – 17 basically tells us that we don’t work FOR our salvation, but we do work OUT our salvation, being equipped through the scriptures for every good work. Still, even though we are redeemed through the blood, we do have free will and volition for our conduct.

        Hebrews 11:23 – 28 (NIV) tells us:
        By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

        In each instance, free moral agency gave the power of choice to the individual, but it was “by faith” that they made their choices. Faith (or “trust” as you see it) guides our decisions focused NOT on the present, but rather the future. Moses could have chosen to indulge in the moment, and reaped all of the benefits of being Pharoah’s daughter, but by faith, he refused.

        We choose by faith
        We choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19 – 20)
        We choose for ourselves (Joshua 24:14 – 16)
        We choose wisely (I Kings 18:21)
        We choose the Good (Isaiah 7:14 – 16)
        We choose God above earthly treasures (Matthew 6:24, I Timothy 6:6 – 12)
        We choose the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:29 – 33)

        Thanks, GBL, for your thought provoking and discussion inspiring posts. I greatly enjoy our dialogue….

  2. Friend ~Ie really enjoyed your posts and, wonder if you’d enjoy joining your testimony with mine and a few others by sharing your faith, and witness at the blog The Christian Gazette ? Blessings ~Debbie

    • godsbooklover

      Greetings, friend! I see that you and Loopyloo are friends. I visited Christian Gazette briefly, and thank you for the invitation. I truly have all I can do to produce one or two posts a week here (to oblige my dear brother). I have another blog of my own, Winnowing, which is languishing, and a private blog for my granddaughter which also does not get updated enough. Add to that I’m trying to add more content to our theater company blog…well, you get the idea. I don’t dare even consider contributing to another blog at this time. You are welcome to reblog anything of mine from this site or from Winnowing, however! Thank you for visiting and commenting. I hope to read some of your posts soon. Yours in Christ, GBL

  3. Pingback: Crime is Crime | Two Heads are Better Than One

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