Are you certain?  Yes I am. 


Certainty is a wonderful word.

I am certain, you are certain, we are certain. That is certainly, this is certainly, those are certainly. Can I do that – certainly I can. Will I do this – most certainly I will not.  Can we do that – we most certainly cannot.

Are you certain?  Yes I am.  That’s okay then.

We like certainty.  I have never been more certain about anything in my entire life.

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I can draw stuff (you can be certain of that!).   My drawing is more “modern art” than “landscape” or “portrait”.  More surreal than real.  Less realistic and more …  I can’t draw. I am certain of that.  Never have and never will.

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Apparently it’s all about “heads”.  I never knew that!

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And knowing where the heads fit.  I never knew that.

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And lines and maths.  And I can do lines AND maths.

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And more lines and stick figures.  And I am great at stick figures AND lines!

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I don’t like stuff that undermines being certain.  I don’t like all this noise of maybe and could be and what about and have you considered and did you know and what if …

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So I compromise.  It takes away the fear.  Allows me to belong.  And all I have to do is to fit in.  Not rock the boat.  Be seen as a “good (fill in the blank)”.  Have a place in the team.  Be recognised.  Have value.  Add value.  Be someone.

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But then I feel obligated.  Find it all a burden.  This talk of sacrifice.  Of service.  Of “dying to self”.  Of “obedience” …

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To what exactly, and how exactly, and when exactly?  How will I be certain I am being obedient enough, serving enough, sacrificing enough, having a big enough burden … ?

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And now I am certain I cannot.  I am not enough.  I never will be.

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But Paul – you are but a sinner saved by grace freely given.  You have no more debt.  You have no more earning your way to heaven.  You have avoided the bad consequences of hell.  Of that we are certain!

Look to the cross, Paul!  Look to the cross!  He did it for you.  He did it for all of us.  God couldn’t, God wouldn’t – but Jesus did!.  And guess what … the best bit is: 

Jesus is actually God!   So God did it all along!  But God needed Jesus to show us how. 

And even though you are saved now, you will always be a sinner – so don’t sweat the small stuff (so long as you are discreet and keep it low profile) – because here is the very best:

He forgives you before you sin!

Which means you can still legitimately sin (so long as you say sorry each time) because he expects that  – AND you are still always (AND forever) saved – you can be certain of that!

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And that certainty makes it all okay again.

Not too much burden, can still sin, not too much sacrifice, just say sorry each week, not too much serving, and more sinning (keep it discreet ), not too much obedience, and more saying sorry …

Just don’t rock the boat with this arrangement! 

We can’t have that kind of uncertainty and guilt in our church.

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Certainty is a wonderful word.

I am certain, you are certain, we are certain. That is certainly, this is certainly, those are certainly.  Can I do that – certainly I can.  Will I do this – most certainly I will not.  Can we do that – we most certainly cannot.

Are you certain?

Yes I am.

That’s okay then.

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