Your daily goal:
Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
(Monday-Friday, from my morning quiet time, I will write a short thought for that day which I pray God will use to motivate you to ‘GO’ for that day. Your objective is simple…to GO…to GO OUT and share the love of Christ with someone in that day….to GO and bear fruit …to be light to the world.)
Today’s Daily Light
(Cont’d) How Lost is ‘Lost’?
It is my opinion that we need to understand just how lost and depraved the human condition ‘without’ God ‘is’ in order for us to fully delight in the wonder of our salvation and to be fully effective in seeing the imperative command of Jesus that we go out and share the ‘light of this glorious good news’.
We will read an article by John Piper the next couple of days….today we continue with point 2.
2. In his total rebellion everything man does is sin.
In Romans 14:23 Paul says, “Whatever does not proceed from
faith is sin.” Therefore, if all men are in total rebellion, everything
they do is the product of rebellion and cannot be an honor to
God, but only part of their sinful rebellion. Of course many of
these acts which flow from inward unbelief conform outwardly
to the revealed will of God (for example, obeying parents or
telling the truth). But they do not conform to God’s perfect
will because of that mere outward conformity. Let all things
be done in love, the apostle says (1 Cor. 16:14); but love is the
fruit of faith (Gal. 5:6; 1 Tim. 1:5). Therefore many outwardly
good acts come from hearts without Christ-exalting faith, and
therefore, without love, and therefore without conformity to
God’s command, and therefore are sinful.
If a king teaches his subjects how to fight well and then
those subjects rebel against their king and use the very skill he
taught them to resist him, then even those skills, as excellent and
amazing and “good” as they are, become evil.
Thus man does many things which he can do only because he
is created in the image of God and which in the service of God
would be praised. But in the service of man’s self-justifying
rebellion, these very things are sinful. We may praise them
as echoes of God’s excellence, but we will weep that they are
prostituted for God-ignoring purposes.
In Romans 7:18 Paul says, “I know that nothing good dwells
in me, that is, in my flesh.” This is a radical confession of the
truth that in our rebellion nothing we think or feel is good. It is
all part of our rebellion. The fact that Paul qualifies his depravity
with the words, “that is, in my flesh,” shows that he is willing
to affirm the good of anything that the Spirit of God produces
in him (Rom. 15:18). “Flesh” refers to man in his natural state
apart from the work of God’s Spirit. So, what Paul is saying in
Romans 7:18 is that apart from the work of God’s Spirit all we
think and feel and do is not good.
The Good That Really Counts
We recognize that the word “good” has a broad range of meanings.
We will have to use it in a restricted sense to refer to many
actions of fallen people which in relation to God are in fact not
good. For example, we will have to say that it is good that most
unbelievers do not kill and that many unbelievers perform acts
of benevolence. What we mean when we call such actions good
is that they more or less conform to the external pattern of life
that God has commanded in Scripture.
However, such outward conformity to the revealed will of
God is not righteousness in relation to God. It is not done out of
reliance on him or for his glory. He is not trusted for the resources,
though he gives them all. Nor is his honor exalted, even though
that’s his will in all things (1 Cor. 10:31). Therefore even these
“good” acts are part of our rebellion and are not “good” in the
sense that really counts in the end—in relation to God.
Father…help us to today to see all we do in relation to You. Help us to ‘frame’ and ‘structure’ our ideas, thoughts, and actions ‘so that’ they bring glory to your name. Thank you that You are only ‘good’…You are perfect ‘good’. Help us to frame our lives in the context of Matthew 5:16… Jesus said..”let your light shine before men ‘so that’ they will see your ‘good’ works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Father…let our motivation for doing good be because we belong to you and want to reveal You to the world. Amen
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