August 3, 2011 1 Comment
“Our first problem is that our attitude toward sin is more self-centred than God-centred.
We are more concerned about our own “victory” over sin than we are about the fact that our sins grieve the heart of God. We cannot tolerate failure in our struggle with sin chiefly because we are success-oriented, not because we know it is offensive to God.
W.S. Plumer said, “We never see sin aright until we see it as against God…all sin is against God in this sense: that it is His law that is broken, His authority that is despised, His government that is set at naught…Pharaoh and Balaam, Saul and Judas each said, “I have sinner”; but the returning prodigal said, “I have sinned against heave and before thee”; and David said, “Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned”.
God wants us to walk in obedience—not victory. Obedience is oriented toward God; victory is oriented toward self. This may seem to be merely splitting hairs over semantics, but there is a subtle self-centred attitude at the foot of many of our difficulties with sin. Until we face this attitude and deal with it we will not consistently walk in holiness.” (1)
I am learning more and more how the simple act of being a Christian has been transformed into a complexity of emotions and self-help. I am convinced that the webs of self-help and Biblical counselling have become so ambigious, that we cannot see between the two. Where the Spirit’s work has been replaced with self-help trash and the self-help trash masquerades itself as the work of the Spirit–I don’t know why we are not finding ourselves content in God. Is it not because we have not God within us? Yet, the two are distinct because we look for our righteousness in Christ, and not within our sinful hearts. And this is only through opened eyes from a genuine experience of the true God, not empty spirituality of this world.
Maybe our attitudes towards sin are more tempered by our minds instead of the exact nature of God. In Isaiah, God says that we should be holy because He is holy. I find that especially within myself, my attitude toward sins are more a set of rules to follow than to follow and conform more and more to the image of God. Because only then do we realise how much larger this fight against sin is than just me (Hebrews 12v.4). Keeping our fight against sin to ourselves rejects the gifts of God through the Church, it pushes away the wonderfulness of fellowship with other believers in Christ and the communion of the Holy Spirit. Because surely an army is the collective of soldiers, not just one man against the world.
Why does the Church of Jesus Christ so often seem to be more conformed to the world around it than to God? Is it because we are not fighting sin the right way?
(1) p20-21. Bridges, Jerry. The Pursuit of Holiness. NavPress: 1978.