SO, I've been downloading some podcasts of some of my favorite teachers of the Word. John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Mark Batterson, and probably my favorite.... Matt Chandler. If you are someone like me, who likes to be challenged in your thinking, you should look these guys up. Especially Piper and Chandler. So, this morning, on my way to work, I was listening to a talk by Chandler when I had my face kicked in by the Holy spirit, convicting me of what I was hearing Matt say. Cliff's notes: 1 John 1:6-10 basically says that when the Holy Spirit convicts us of some sin our lives, and we do not repent and ask forgiveness for the wickedness that is in our heart, then we are walking in darkness and we cannot, therefore, claim to be in Him. And if we do not repent, and claim that we ARE in Him, we are calling Him a LIAR!
SMACK! Gitcha some of that! And here's what I've realized. It's not enough to say you grew up in church and that you're a moraly upright, good person. If you don't recognize that you are a human, prone to sin, and will continue to sin until you die, and HAVE to repent continuously and confess that our hearts are wicked by nature and will cause us to stumble, then you are a moraly sound, good, upright LIAR. Don't feel bad.... we've all been there.
The good news: John tells us, just as every follower of Jesus has, that by coming to the realization that we're broken, and in need of a Saviour, we CAN walk in the light. We can know Him and fellowship with Him and be loved and forgiven by Him. But it's not enough to say some prayer and think that everything's good from that point on. Salvation is about a trasformation of the heart. A continuous process. Ezekiel 36 gives us God's promis of that transformation. And we need to know that repentance and confession is not something that we did, rather it's something that we DO.
Are you a Liar?
On a side note, Matt Chandler recently woke up one day, a few weeks ago, and had a seizure. He was rushed to the hospital and found that he had a tumor on his brain. He was scheduled for surgery and has since had that surgery. He is doing well and hopes to make a full recovery, but he may not. And he is a huge voice in the ministry. But if you want to see what true humility and a life that lives for Jesus Christ really looks like, go here and read the blog he posted, just hours before his surgery. Matt's Blog Before Surgery