Monday, May 05, 2008
We are studying through the book Respectable Sins at our church. It has been an interesting and challenging time. One of the most confrontational issues in the book is Jerry Bridges contention that the root of all our sin problems is ungodliness. Now Romans 1 clearly teaches that mankind's sin problem is rooted in ungodliness but that is not where Christians live! Maybe we best think about what ungodliness means before we get too defensive. Ungodliness is living life with little or no thought of God. Simple. So obviously the mass of people who may "believe in God" but make every decision as though they were god live in a state of ungodliness but not Christians. Well, all the so-called christians who do not believe that calling themselves christian really means that God has anything to say about what they do, I guess they could be considered ungodly in many respects. But what about born-again, bible-believing christians? People who go to "good" churches; read their Bibles; pray; give; and serve. People like that cannot be called ungodly! Living life with little or no thought of God. Why do you go to that good church? Why do you do anything you do? Too many of us answer with things like, "Because I am growing there." So on whom is the focus? Why do you read the Bible? "I want to get something from God today." Now growing and learning from God are certainly prerequisites for godliness, but when our primary motivation is our benefit then we are fundamentally ungodly. I have been confronted with the fact that this is no where so clearly displayed as in the smaller issues of life. When we get a little extra money on the paycheck, what do we do with it? When we have a few extra minutes, what are we thinking about? I asked the class in Sunday School what God and the Gospel has to do with buying groceries and got a lot of blank stares. Most of us have never stopped to ask ourselves that question. But if we believe in the God of the Bible do we not have to believe that He intersects with every aspect of life. Is not compartmentalizing God to a few moment of Bible reading and a Sunday morning service a manifestation of our ungodliness? And the tolerance of large pockets of ungodliness in our lives leads us to struggle with other sins that Christ wants to free us from. Our sins of covetousness grow from a view of money that does not intersect with the Gospel. Our problems with pride grow from a view of ourselves that is incompletely informed by the Word of God. Our struggles with our tongues come from a failure to let the Sovereign God rule in every area of our lives. It all sounds pretty bleak. But the glory of it all is that the same God who sent His Son to justify us sent His Spirit to sanctify us!