One of the things that irks me about the modern necropolis (e.g. churchianity) is the reference to innocence and flawlessness — I’m looking at you MercyMe, although they are not the only Christian band to do this — in regard to being believers and children of God.
No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless
The grace — unmerited favor — given to us is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. Accepted grace given to us results in mercy — the just judgment of God against our sins does not count against us.
In other words, you’re guilty of sins. You deserve punishment for them. The verdict of a Just and Righteous God against our sins is a guilty verdict. The wages of sin is death. However, by accepting the grace given to us by God, the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, we obtain mercy where our sins are not eternally held against us.
This doesn’t make us innocent or flawless! We still sinned and by extension are guilty, and we still need to ask for forgiveness of our sin. What this means is that we are not condemned in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life [a]in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, [b]weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of [c]sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is [d]alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies [e]through His Spirit who dwells in you.
The problem with doctrine and songs such as these is that they give us a false perception of grace and mercy.
If, by grace, we are innocent and flawless then there is no need to repent of our sins when we do them. There is no need for mercy because we are not guilty. However, we know that we are sinful and still make mistakes. We always need to be ready to apologize and repent of the sins that we commit, even though we are in Christ and desire to walk in obedience to His commands.
This is the true thrust of the Christian walk.
- We still make mistakes, and we still need forgiveness. We need to be able to acknowledge when we sin and repent. Even though we are guilty and deserve punishment, we are not condemned to the punishment (e.g. wages of sin is death). And that is a reason for peace and joy in Christ.
- We strive to set our minds on Christ so that we walk into completeness and perfection like God. We aim to continue to mature spiritually, so that we take off the old which is being corrupted by deceitful desires and put on the new in true righteousness and holiness. As we become more like Christ, we learn to more consistently Love one another like Jesus has loved us and resist/flee from temptation.
As you can see, it’s very easy for us to fall prey to ‘fast and loose’ theology, especially in modern Christian songs. By all accounts, MercyMe is one of the better bands out there in regard to adhering to sound doctrine, but even they make mistakes which can throw people off.