Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rule Keeping

The other day I was listening to Wretched Radio, and I transcribed a short segment about rule keeping and the heart of the sin issue. The host, Todd Friel, was quoting an article written by John Piper. Then he added his own comments after the article. It's a little scattered in presentation (if you listen to Wretched Radio regularly you're used to that, though), but the general thought of the message is worth pondering, so I wanted to share it with you.

John Piper Article: Do you think the essence of your evil is disobeying the commandments. That’s a good start, but that is not the essence of our evil (Romans 1:23 and 2:23). The essence of our evil is that we prefer anything to God. If you think the essence of your evil is commandment breaking, your focus for change will be commandment keeping. If we get good at it (keeping the rules), we think we have changed, but the essence of our evil remains. If we cannot get good at it (keeping the rules), we despair and quit trying. If we know that the essence of our evil is not commandment breaking but preferring anything to God, then our focus for change will be a change of heart because God promised, “I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.”

Todd Friel Comments: We keep the rules not to be rule keepers. Then we just become fancy Pharisees. That is not repentance. If we become rule-keeping Pharisees, we become the same old white-washed tombs that they were, clean on the outside, filthy on the inside. That is such a burden. If you have been trying not to sin because you are trying to be a rule keeper, have you been forgiven of your sins? Have you put your trust in Jesus Christ? Have you experienced forgiveness? Has He granted the assurance that you know that your sins are forgiven. If so, you do not need to strive to keep the rules to please Him or to balance the scales. You do it because He saved you.

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