My Felix Culpa

So little have I stepped back to realize the sweetness of my redemption. I take it for granted, and sometimes push it out of my thoughts all together. It becomes something of a bore to me and no longer brings me the excitement that it once did. This savior, perfect and spotless, came down to redeem a sinner so vile simply because He loved me and wanted to bring me back to Himself. This should blow my mind and leave me in awe daily, yet I forget about it. There are times I sit in despair and sorrow simply because I lose sight of what the cross means.

I lose the wonder of grace and redemption.

There is an old theological term that was coined by Saint Augustine in his writings. He says in one of his writings about original sin that “for God judged it better to bring good out of evil than not to permit any evil to exist.” This idea is summarized in the term “Felix Culpa.” It roughly translates from Latin to “happy fault,” or “fortunate fall,” which I believe brings a heavier weight to it. It allows the fall to be seen from a perspective rather than just hurt and shame. We can see the greatness of what has been done for us.

The sin of Adam was fortunate because it brought the sweetness of the redemption.

Hebrews 12:2 says “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Christ saw the joy that was set before Him at the cross. He knew that it wasn’t just a duty He had to fulfill, but rather joy awaited. This what the cross means. Joy. Through our sin, through our shame, and through our guilt we can see the greatest joy that waits. The greatest of the cross and the amazing truth of God’s love for us.

Our fall was fortunate because we saw just how great the grace and love of the Father was.

This has been true in relation to my own life. I have seen my own Felix Culpa in times recently. God has brought me to my knees many times before, but never have I seen the bottom pits of my soul. God has pulled up all of the filth like my greed, lust, selfishness, pride, and sin to the surface of my life. But within all of this brokenness, God showed me my own Felix Culpa. He showed me what it looks like to see my sin and brokenness, but yet…

He showed me the sweetness of my redemption.

I recently got the opportunity to help lead worship for a Phoenix Rescue Mission graduation ceremony. I was able to see guys who had hit the bottom. They had been addicted to drugs, homeless, and had their children taken away from them. But yet, despite all of this, they saw the joy that the Lord had redeemed them for. I have never seen and heard people worship so intensely, passionately, and genuinely. These guys knew what it meant to fall. Something that one of the guys said stuck with me. He said “I’m glad that the Lord allowed me to live through what I did because I never would have chosen Him. I never would have loved Him. I wouldn’t see the joy of me being saved.” What an incredible testimony that is!

Felix Culpa is something to be rejoiced in.

Now, I am a not drug addict, homeless, nor have I had my children taken away from me. I am very blessed in my life and glad for what God has done for me and where I am in life. But, I am still a broken and sinful human. I need redemption. I need a Savior to show me and bring me to my lowest point so I can see sweetness and glory that is my salvation. So often to I find myself forgetting the simple joy that is my redemption. I have been saved from my sin and death and brought into the presence of the most high. I shouldn’t even be able to step near His throne, and yet He invites me to bow down in front of Him and worship.

How much sweeter is this when I have seen my fall?

I can rejoice further in the fact that I have been brought out of something I deserved to be in. My fall was fortunate because it allowed me to see more of the love of my God. My joy can be full because I see how depraved I am, yet God still chose to love me and redeem me. Oh, how incredible the simple joy of the cross is! Sometimes I get so caught up in complex theology that I forget the incredible power of Jesus’ work. When I sit still and bask in this, my entire focus shifts. I rejoice within my sin. I leap with joy through my shame. I worship through my brokenness.

My fall was fortunate because it allowed me to see the greatness of my Savior and His redeeming work for me.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”

Ephesians 1: 3-10


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