(SONNY'S NOTE: Yes. This is an entry scribbled while I was still on sinus medication. It seemed at the time to be like a great, deep thought was developing within this - and I think it still has some merit - but (a) looking back I'm not so sure now, and (b) I’m not really sure if I should ever write again while antihistamines are coursing through me. Regardless, here it is in all of its Kleenex-accompanied goodness.)
Oh, conjunction junction, what’s your function...as it relates to how we, as believers, are to live out as well as act out our faith? These three little letters which form a very important bond between ideas, joining them together in a covenant, at first seem so innocent, but then...then...then the work that the little ampersand produces starts to show up, proving that God does indeed not waste anything - not even ideas:
Romans 10:9 states, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Luke 9:23 says, “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
I John 1:9 reminds us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Now, English-major-type-folks, think about what it would be like if we replaced the “and” with another conjunction:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves or take up their cross daily and follow me.”
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ or believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins or to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The shift begins to go from “what God can do” to “what I can do,” doesn’t it? I mean, how much EASIER would things be if only I could choose between declaring and believing? Or to deny myself or take up a cross? Hey - one seemingly has MUCH less work involved, so I’ll go with the easier choice, thank you.
And what if we had to choose between being forgiven or being cleansed? Of walking with forgiveness in our minds without feeling it in our hearts? Can one truly exist without the other?
Inclusivity. The Father, the Son AND the Holy Ghost.
Faithful and just.
We don’t have to choose. We don't have to work at deciding between the two. We don't have to, because we have been chosen already.
AND...we are included.