Archive for October, 2009

Came across this quote as I was reading some of the archives on the First Importance blog.

“There is no victory over the indwelling power of sin, and there is no pardon for the guilt of sin, but as the soul deals with the blood of Christ. All true sanctification comes through the cross.

Seek it there. Go to the cross—oh, go to the cross of Jesus. In simplicity of faith, go. With the strong corruption, go. With the burden of guilt, go, go to the cross.

You will find nothing but love there—nothing but welcome there—nothing but purity there. The precious blood of Jesus ‘cleanses us from all sin.’ And while you are kept low beneath the cross, your enemy dares not approach you, sin shall not have dominion over you, nor shall Satan, your accuser, condemn you.”

—Octavius Winslow, Morning Thoughts

(HT: First Importance)

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Having an Accurate View of Yourself

Posted: October 22, 2009 in Sin

You have an inflated view of yourself; I have an inflated view of myself. We are blinded and duped by our sin to think we are better than we are. We compare ourselves with others to commend our own performance, we see more sin in others than we do ourselves, and we make excuses and blame shift instead of taking ownership for personal sin.

The Church of Laodicea had an inaccurate view of themselves and Jesus’ words to them are startling: Revelation 3:17 “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”

They didn’t realize their condition, they think they are rich and in need of nothing. They are actually wretched, poor, and blind. Their error was that they were ignorant of their true condition.  In short, Christ calls the church to repent and to let Christ in their lives to provide food, salve (for sight), gold, and clothes because they are needy.

We as Christians should not fear our sin being exposed, because we have Christ who made satisfaction for ALL our sins. No where in scripture does God turn away a sinner who is acknowledging sin and falling on Christ work. Where sin is truly acknowledged and confess, grace and the Spirit are present.

Accurately viewing yourself is not self-hatred, rather it is always orienting yourself to the gospel because you rightly see the incredible depths of your sin and also the unfathomable acceptance and love you have from God in Christ. This is cause for celebration!

Whenever a sinner accurately assesses his sin, the angels in heaven rejoice, and so should we.”

-Paul David Tripp, Whiter Than Snow

Rearranging the Flesh

Posted: October 20, 2009 in Sin

One of the pitfalls that can happen as a Christian fights sin is rearranging the flesh. It simply means that you exchange one sin for another and declare your previous sin conquered. Even though it may look like you’ve made growth or progress, you really haven’t mortified (put to death) any sin because it just manifests itself differently.  You haven’t begun the process of putting to death the deeds of the flesh because only the behavior has been addressed and not the heart issue. John Owen describes this well in his book, Of The Mortification of Sin in Believers:

A sin is not mortified when it is only diverted… A man may be sensible of a lust, set himself against the eruptions of it, take care that it shall not break forth as it has done, but in the meantime suffer the same corrupted habit to vent itself some other way… Men in [old] age do not usually persist in the pursuit of youthful lusts, although they have never mortified any one of them. And the same is the case of bartering of lusts, and leaving to serve one that a man may serve another. He that changes pride for worldliness, sensuality for Pharisaism, vanity in himself to the contempt of others, let him not think that he has mortified the sin that he seems to have left. He has changed his master, but is a servant still.”

True growth over the power of sin comes progressively by gospel mortification, and this can only happen by the Spirit.

Mark Driscoll on ABC’s Nightline

Posted: October 16, 2009 in Culture

If you didn’t catch Mark Driscoll on ABC’s Nightline show over a week ago talking about idolatry, check out the video below. Terry Morgan and ABC interviewed Mark Driscoll about the 2nd commandment after he made a twitter post about Michael Jackson and idolatry. Before you watch the video, here is a excerpt of Mark Driscoll describing the interview.

“I sat down for about 30 minutes with Terry, and we talked about how idolatry underlies all sin, how it is rooted on a false promise of happiness, how it ultimately destroys, how it is often the result of turning a good thing into an ultimate thing, and how it shows itself in our culture in how we idolize celebrities, athletes, food, family, sex, money, relationships, and achievement—or rather, what we call American culture.

…Most importantly the Nightline team gave me the chance to explain how Jesus is the only answer to all of our idolatry:

  • Idols take. Jesus gives.
  • Idols destroy life. Jesus gives new life.
  • Idols break apart people and relationships. Jesus redeems and heals.

…Please join me in praying that God would work through this to overcome our rebellion and turn all of us—believers and non-believers alike—from our worthless idols to the only true King, Jesus.”

-Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Blog

The Soul Satisfied in Christ

Posted: October 13, 2009 in Quotes

I came across this short poem by Charles Spurgeon and thought it was good. I think it will compliment my previous post well.

spurgeon11

He who delights in the possession of the Lord Jesus has all that heart can wish. As for ‘created things’, they are like shallow and deceitful brooks– they fail to supply our needs, much less our wishes. “The bed of earthly enjoyment is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it, and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.”

But in Jesus there is room for imagination’s utmost stretch and widest range. When Jesus is enjoyed, He puts a fullness into all other mercies.

The creature without Christ is an empty thing, a lamp without oil, a bone without marrow. But when Christ is present our cup runs over, and we eat bread to the full.

A dinner of herbs, when we have communion with Him, is as rich a feast as a stalled ox; and our narrow cot is as noble a mansion as the great house of the wealthy.

Go not abroad, you hungry wishes of my soul– stay at home, and feast on Jesus; for abroad you must starve, since all other beloveds are empty and undesirable. Stay with Christ, and eat that which is good, and delight yourself in fatness.”

-Charles Spurgeon, The Soul Satisfied In Christ

Never Enough

Posted: October 12, 2009 in Sin

Humans are silly creatures… What they possess is never enough. They are always craving and striving for something more and for something better. They want more possessions, better relationships, a little more money, higher status and popularity, and the list is endless. The human soul is fickle and chases after these things over and over again, consciously or subconsciously. They just want to be happy, so they say, “if only…” If only I could get this job, if only I married this person, if only I was a little better looking, if only I had this leadership role, if only I had a better family background, etc. This is futile thinking and will send the soul into a tizzy.

Why do we have such a hard time being content? We have a small view of Christ. We aren’t satisfied and content in who He is. We don’t see the grace we are given through Christ in his sacrifice for us. If we want to be content and not crave everything that crosses our eyes, we must saturate ourselves in the Glory of Christ and joyfully say, “He is more than enough for my soul!”

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Philippians 4:11

Christ-satisfied hearts live joyfully inside of God’s will, while dissatisfied hearts fall prey to all kinds of temptations.”

Paul David Tripp, Whiter Than Snow

Confessing Your Righteousness

Posted: October 8, 2009 in Quotes

“Here’s the point. Before you can ever make a clean and unamended confession of your sin, you have to first begin by confessing your righteousness. It’s not just your sin that separates you from God; your righteousness does as well. Because, when you are convinced you are righteous, you don’t seek the forgiving, rescuing, and restoring mercy that can be found only in Jesus Christ.”

-Paul David Tripp, Whiter Than Snow.