Free From Sinning?

8 Oct

One of the things that I’ve been wrestling with ever since the Gospel took root in my heart (recently, I might add) was what to do in regards to matters of holiness.  Because after listening to several pastors lately and after talking to other believers, it seemed like to me, that as soon as God grabbed hold of their hearts, their struggles with sin in their life stopped immediately.

The growing frustration I began to feel was that, though I know God did, in fact, grab a strong hold of my heart, I still struggled (and continue to struggle) with sin in my life.  In fact, as I was doing my devotions in Judges last night, I couldn’t help but genuinely despair for a good while at the thought that my heart is identical to that of the Israelites, who in the book of Judges, constantly forgot God’s goodness and constantly turned away from God.  In fact, verses 16-17 was particularly devastating for me.  It says this:

16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. 17 Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them.

I don’t know about anybody else, but I am a whore to other gods.  And the fact that I can’t seem to stop bowing down to them pretty much left me in a very dark place last night.  And the thing is, cognitively, I knew what I needed to do at that point.  What I preach and teach is that the only “solution” to that is to dwell on the cross and what Christ accomplished for me so that my affections for Him expel my affections for these other gods in my life.  But to be honest, last night, I was just in a really dark place.

But in God’s grace, as I was driving, I again listened to another one of Matt Chandler’s sermons.  This one is from the Resurgence National Conference in 2008.  I would highly recommend this to anybody else who is wrestling with this same issue.  He speaks of something called progressive sanctification, which basically means that though we are justified (or made in right standing with God), holiness is a process.  Hence, Hebrews 10:14, where the author of Hebrews writes the following:

14 by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

Here’s a link to the sermon.  Also, for those who want to study more on the topic of progressive sanctification, there’s a lot of good stuff here that I’m beginning to devour up, starting with the distinction given at the top of the page by A. Orendorff on the difference definitive and progressive sanctification.

God is bigger.  God is better.  God is more satisfying.

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