Foundations of Change

Its been a while since I have blogged.    Too busy at work and then tired at home, etc is the issue.  But as is normal I have been tossing and turning over some scriptures and continuing to be part of my mens group where we talk about a lot of things.

In recent weeks, months, years I have been tossing and turning over what compels a devoted Christian to change, grow, and be sanctified and to be put on a forward moving spiritual journey in Christ.   So many people, friends, and marriages seem to have recurring issues that revolve around the same sin coming up again and again.  Some of these friends are heavily into sound doctrine, Bible Study,  and devoted Christians.  I have written about some friends(a couple) and myself that have a broken friendship.  In the last couple few years the husband showed in one of my church groups I attend.  We had a time upfront of sharing some of our concerns and struggles.  What was said amazed me.  He went on to explain how something he had said when he was dating his wife 25+ years ago was being held over his head.  In my opinion the husband  may have pulled this couple in to the pits but the wife was responsible for consistently placing a glass ceiling on how good this marriage could be. I guess you have to take my word on that since I observed them over 20+ years.

When sin occurs in our personal world I have seen how people (in this case this couple) can narrowly redefine truth in a way that glorifies ourselves, makes us look good in comparison,  and gives us haughty eyes.  We can use truth to tear each other down rather than have a narrative of mercy that can honestly see our sin but also  allows us to openly work on our sin in the presence of Christian family and friends.  This couple spent years building up a pharasaical, self righteous, unmerciful view of the world.   In the comfort of their house they saw themselves as ‘good Christians’ and found security in critiquing the world and other sinners from their glass theological house.   However, when the the issues of the world crept in to their house they had to live with the same self-righteous, poorly designed  “system” they had created. Now keep in mind that I am over-emphasizing some things to make a point here….. I do believe God is working “All things for His good” and that through hardship and suffering this couple will continue to grow in the mercy and grace of the cross.

Lets continue on ……

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is…
We are more sinful and weak than we ever dared to admit and…
We are more loved and accepted than we ever dared to hope.

I call it the pain to power principal. If we can embrace our weaknesses and sin scripture tells us we see the power of the Christ and the gospel. Unfortunately, when proverbs talks about sinners with haughty eyes it means ‘relative to that person I am not so bad’.  Haughty eyes  is a dangerous, common recipe to create people who become stuck in the same rut of not changing and who keep revisiting the same kinds of sinful events in their lives.  People with haughty eyes  have the ‘I am basically ok’  ….. and when I do sin and that person is so much worse attitude.

Keeping the gospel central and continuously living in repentance is the only way keep us on this forward moving spiritual journey.

That is my thought for today.

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4 thoughts on “Foundations of Change

  1. Heather

    what compels a devoted Christian to change, grow, and be sanctified and to be put on a forward moving spiritual journey in Christ.

    Worthwhile contemplation.

    Good post.

    I would say that gratitude for what Christ has done is what keeps a believer moving forward. Your “pain to power” principle applies well. As we move into the light of Truth, we more clearly see ourselves for what we are. And not only does our attitude of repentance grow, but so does the thankfulness for what God is willing to forgive.

    As one who has been quite pharisaical in the past, I would say that not being able to see clearly what *I* have been forgiven plays heavily into whether or not I’m willing to humble myself and extend mercy to others.

  2. centralityofthegospel Post author

    Good point Heather. Some of my other posts point to man’s main issue as a “worship disorder”. Gratitude for what Christ has done falls in that category!

    The main point about the pain to power principal actually comes from a scriptural reference about how in our weaknesses the “power of Christ” is seen most clearly. It is in an sober and “honest assessment” of our sins (seeing the pain our sin has caused us and others) that we have gratitude toward a Sovereign God and His’ purpose and power on the cross…. ie pain to power principal! Many/most people live in denial in some fashion of how sinful and prideful we actually are!!!!

    In Christ

  3. Heather

    I tend to believe that thanklessness for God’s provision and disregard for His magnificence is actually the primary crime of Adam in the Garden.

    Paul listed quite a few “active” sins in the first chapter of Romans. But preceding all is the thankless, self-serving attitude in v21
    For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

    See it?

    The sinful actions simply amplify the underlying heart posture of me-first thanklessness, I think.

    So yes. You could probably accurately call it a “worship disorder”

  4. centralityofthegospel Post author

    Yes. Got it!

    I think this “worship disorder) is why the first commandment is the first commandment (to have no other Gods) and the greatest commandment is …. well… the greatest commandment. Quite frankly if we could keep the first commandment we would not have needed the remaining commandments. This was our original sin. We ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil as opposed to trusting in the Tree of Life (God/Jesus).

    When we sin one of the most important we can ask ourselves is what “functional gods” or idols are making us sin. What thing took our hearts captive to cause us to sin. It can lead us to a lot of self-knowledge as we shine the light of scripture on this question. The other question we can ask ourselves is what or who do we love the most? Jesus asked Peter this same question 3 times even after he did a Jerry Lewis leap off a boat because of his excitement to see Jesus.

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