Thursday, February 4, 2010

I have hardly begun...

False humility is Pride by another name, but genuine faith leads to genuine humility. That is because growing in Christ undoubtedly will make us more conscious of our inadequacy, not less. Mark Galli, in "Are We Transformed Yet?":
I think one of the most spiritually dangerous practices today is encouraging people—in small groups or in front of the church or even in print—to talk about how God has transformed them. ....

Those who share such testimonies cannot but be tempted, as was the Pharisee in Jesus' parable: "Lord, I thank thee that I am transformed, that I am not like this untransformed fellow next to me." And those who hear such testimonies find themselves praying, "Lord, why am I still struggling with this and that; why am I not like this transformed person?" ....

...[T]he mature Paul's most memorable lines do not highlight his transformation as much as his lack of transformation! For example, in the letter to the Romans, he writes in a classic passage,
For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. … So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members (Rom. 7:19-23)
And in his first letter to Timothy, he writes,
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. (1 Tim. 1:15-16)
[....]

...[T]hose who are truly being transformed into Christ find it fascinating to look not at what they've become (changed in this way or that) but at what they have yet to become. The so-called progress they've made is so paltry and so negligible compared to the surpassing worth of the vision that lies ahead of them—a vision of Jesus Christ in glory. ....

Naturally, with a clear vision of the glorious Christ, what can they say about themselves but that they are the greatest of sinners, who have hardly begun to repent? .... [more]
Are We Transformed Yet? | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction