Hello everyone! Wanted to forward a post from Tim Challies on some reflections he had about when he and his family visited churches before they settled at their current church. You can read the post here.
While reading the post, I was freshly convicted and reminded of my sinful state. As Tim writes,
The Bible tells us in plain terms that we are not sinners because we sin, but we sin because we are sinners. We do not need to seek forgiveness merely for the sins we commit, but for our fundamentally evil and rebellious hearts--hearts that, in their natural state, hate God and are fully and completely opposed to Him.
Yes! This is truth and this truth will set me free! Tim explains further,
When sin has been defined only as individual acts, it is possible for humans, even devoid of God's help, to overcome those evil acts and deeds. A man who explodes in anger or a woman who grumbles against her husband can overcome those sins in their own power. Unbelievers can throw off addiction and poor behavior through an act of the will. But they can never address the heart of the issue. While they may make cosmetic changes, they can never overcome the deeper issues for they can never change their hearts.
I am guilty of this, of making cosmetic changes in my life for two reasons that I know of. One, out of pride, thinking that the sin is really nothing at all, only superficial and two, out of impatience (just another word for pride) and desiring to move onto the next thing. But I realize, I'm being foolish when I make cosmetic changes in my life and I'm also acting out in self-righteousness. I'm claiming that I can change on my own without God's help and that's impossible and never going to happen!
Tim concludes this wonderful post with,
Every Christian needs not only to own up to his sin and guilt, but to admit that he is deserving of God's wrath. No one has properly apprehended God's grace until he has understood his own sinfulness and knows that he fully deserves God's just and holy punishment. The evangelical church of our day is a wrathless church--a church that speaks often of God's love and grace, but rarely of the deepest necessity of this love and grace. The church today needs an infusion of the gospel, the whole gospel, which speaks not only of God's love, but first of our desperate need of reconciliation. The gospel paints us as we really are--as sinners who sin because of our fundamental guilt, our fundamental hatred of God. Only when we see ourselves as sinners can we truly see Christ as Savior.
Amen to that!