Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dr.Fever, Condemnation, Fear, and Righteousness

Take a Chill Pill, Man!
In one episode of "WKRP in Cincinnati", the disk jockey Johnny 'Dr. Fever' Caravella told one of his listeners that he does not freeze up in front of the microphone, because he just does not think about it.

Then in one of his casual remarks while flipping the records for the next line of songs, he comments on the city garbage strike, which has forced residents all over to endure five weeks of uncollected garbage. Dr. Fever tells people to start dumping their garbage on city hall as a sign of frustration that nothing has been done to take away the stench.

He incited one hundred, then two hundred more to dump all their trash on the city hall front stairway.

When he realized that his little joke went a little to far, he froze the next time that he tried to speak into the microphone.

What was going on here? Why did "Dr. Fever" get feverish with fear in front of the mike?

He was afraid, definitely. He was afraid of inciting people to do something wrong or bad, possibly. He greatest fear, no doubt, was that he would do something that would get him into trouble.

This predicament seems to keep many believers in bondage. We are so afraid of doing something wrong.

Why are we afraid, really? We are afraid of the shame, the condemnation, the loss of acceptance and the dogged failure that may follow us. Most of all, many of us are afraid that we may anger God the Father, that He will turn us away, or that He will put us in a spiritual "time out".

What does the Bible teach? Even the Old Testament reveals God as one who wishes to establish peace, not enmity:

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," (Romans 8: 1, NIV)

No condemnation-- none, not one bit, as the Greek communicates a double, unshakable negative, because Christ has died for all our sins:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

and also:

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;" (Colossians 2: 13)

and also:

"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" (Hebrews 1: 3)

How about this one:

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2: 2)

Jesus Christ is now, presently, and forevermore the Mercy Seat for our sins, for ourselves, and thus His Holy Spirit now lives in us to give us His guidance (Hebrews 8: 10), His righteousess (John 16: 10), Himself, of course (Colossians 1: 27)

We can never come into judgement, and our sin can never break out us out of fellowship with God the Father, for He know lives in us through His Son by the Holy Spirit. If we sin, His grace superabounds in place:

"But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." (Romans 5: 15)

and then

"Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (Romans 5: 20)

The wrongdoing of others will also work to our greater good:

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10)

So, in Christ we receive the gifts of no condemnation ever and the unending cascade of grace and favor, which will bless us wherever we go and whatever we do, because Christ has blessed us with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1: 3).

In Christ, Rest in His Righteousness
At the end of the episode of WKRP, the same lady whom she counseled share the same wisdom in turn to Dr. Fever, telling him just to talk to one person. He focused no longer on himself, or his fears, he did not worry about getting shamed or blamed for anything. Right away, he was talking again, no fear, no freezing.

When we are not afraid of punishment, when we can rest at ease in the righteousness of God in Christ. We do not even have to stress if we fail, because He makes all things work together for our good and His glory (Romans 8: 28).

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