You Can Change 4: Why would you like to change

1. To prove myself to God:

The instinct to self-atone runs deep in our hearts

2. To prove myself to other people:

The problem then is that other people set the standard and we settle for living like them.  And that either falls short of living like Jesus or using that measure we end up feeding our self-righteousness.

3. To prove myself to myself:

If I sin then I’ve let myself down.  What I feel when I sin is the offense against me and my pride rather than the offence against God.

Justified by Grace:

When we want to change to impress God or others or ourself – we inevitably put ourselves at the centre of change.  Change is for my glory and that is the definition of sin.  Gospel change includes repenting of good works done for the wrong motives.

John Gerstner: “The thing that really separates us from God is not so much our sin but our damnable good works.” p30

As Christians we constantly slip back into trying to be our own Saviour.  But in the Sermon on the Mount the two options Jesus offers are not between being good and being bad but between “self-righteousness and poverty of Spirit.” (p30)

When we try to prove (justify) ourselves by our good works we in effect say that the cross wasn’t enough.  What makes you feel good is not what you have done (listen up existential post-modern angst) but what Christ has done for you.  You value is not built on change but on your identity as a child of the King.

“Because they can’t grasp the order of salvation and good works, many unbelievers never enjoy salvation.  But it’s also true that, because they don’t fully grasp the order of salvation and good works, many believers don’t enjoy the good works of holiness.” p33

Quoting John Piper:  “Conversion is the creation of new desires, not just new duties; new delights, not just new deeds; new treasures, not just new tasks.” p34

Often when we “give things to God” we are in fact giving them to ourselves.  We give them to ourselves in hope of reward.  The Bible has much to say about reward but the reward is God himself – the joy of knowing and pleasing Him, our joy and delight.

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~ by John on December 21, 2010.

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