Friday, December 3, 2010

How To Kill Sin ~ John Piper

Even though I've been a Christian for decades, I've sometimes wondered if I'm truly saved because I still struggle with sin.  About a year & a half ago, I was overcome with sadness due to this heavy burden of uncertainty.  Michael & I were listening to a Paul Washer sermon & he began talking about this very thing.  I sobbed with relief into the linens I was putting away as he assured us that only someone who was truly a child of God would ever be concerned about their salvation.  An unbeliever couldn't care less.  Words fail to express the balm that this truth was to my chafed & weary soul.

But, I'm still left with my dilemma of sin.  Like Paul, "I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing." (Romans 7:18-19)  Can't you just hear the utter exasperation in his voice?  His cry of "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" reverberates through my soul.  This is just how I feel!  I can't get out of this!  I keep sinning & can't free myself from this death sentence!  Who will free me?!  Only Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Yet, while I stand before God cleansed of my sin & perfectly righteous through Christ's atonement (praise be to God!), I still sin.  I am a righteous sinner.  And I want to just be righteous.

As Christians, we hate sin because God does.  We love what He loves & hate what He hates.  So, we hate the sin in ourselves, even while we often feel powerless to overcome it.  And we are.  But God isn't.

"For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13)

There are certain sermons that stand out to me, & John Piper's series entitled "How to Kill Sin" tops my list.  In it, he deals with this verse & how we as believers are to "put to death the deeds of the body".  Just a hint - it's not by white-knuckled effort.  Each sermon in this series is positively, absolutely excellent!  Follow these links & download parts 1, 2, & 3.  We copied them to discs, & I've listened to them while driving & cleaning the house.  I . . . LOVE . . . THEM!!!  Seriously, I've listened to them enough to where I'm starting to be able to quote them!

Through these sermons, I'm encouraged to wield the sword of the Spirit to kill my sin.  I hope you are, too.


thesovereignjoy said...

Thomas Watson actually defines God's holiness as "His perfect love of righteousness, and abhorrence of evil." I love it when someone realizes that the heart of my problem is the affections of my heart. I need to love what God loves and hate what God hates if I am to be holy like Him.

The Boyds said...

Beautiful! I absolutely agree. Christianity is not about some outward morality, but an inward change of the heart. When God regenerates our hearts, & we move from death to life, our hearts' affections do as well. We no longer desire to sin - & are grieved when we do - because we love Him supremely & desire to be like our Father.