Thursday, October 7, 2021

"We win by confessing our sins"

From Russell Moore's newsletter "Moore to the Point," today:
...[T]hese followers of Christ think they’re failing. Why? Because they assume “success” means a sort of tranquility, a rest from the awareness of oneself as a sinner, a rest from the need to repent of sin.

As I said to one of them, “What you are expecting is achievable, but you have to be dead first. What you’re expecting is to be something other than a sinner. That will happen, but when it does, you will be in the New Jerusalem in the presence of Christ. If you think you experience it before then, you are actually just finding a way to call your sin something other than sin. And that’s, well, sin.”

What they think is failing is actually just the ordinary Christian life involving the kind of spiritual warfare Jesus taught us to wage—which starts with “our Father” and continues through “forgive us our debts,” all the way through “deliver us from the evil one.” We never get too spiritually “successful” to move to some other way of praying. ....

We win by confessing our sins, claiming the gospel that tells us there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, and then fighting for holiness—not so we can prove to Jesus that we are worthy of his love but because Jesus is with us and knows that it takes more repentance, not less, as well as a growing understanding of just how much we need to repent of, for us to be holy. ....

When I hear people wave away their sin and say, “That’s just how I am” or “I’m just human,” I don’t believe they are hearing this from Jesus. And when I hear people despairing of hope because they have to keep fighting and repenting, I don’t believe they are hearing that from Jesus either. Some of us need to take our sin more seriously. And some of us need to receive the gospel more joyfully.

Those who think repentance is failure will eventually give up. But those who recognize the path of repentance and confession and faith as ongoing are those who will see both where the path leads and the One who has been here all along to help us get there. ....
Russell Moore, "Moore to the Point," Oct. 7, 2021.

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