Friday, December 23, 2011

Getting old isn't the same as getting holy

I've been listening to a sermon by Tullian Tchividjian (pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church) entitled "Jesus+Nothing=Everything" (also the title of  his new book).  The sermon was preached at my brother's church, and it's been a good reminder of the nature of our sanctification--not what we do, but what Christ did.  I cannot focus on "how I'm doing," because the minute I do, I lose sight of what Christ has done and will do.

In the midst of the sermon was this quote from Gerhard Forde, reflecting on the fact that we sometimes think that becoming an old Christian means we are getting more holy.

.. Well, maybe it seems as though I sin less, but that may only be because
I'm getting tired! It's just too hard to keep indulging the lusts of youth. Is
that sanctification? I wouldn't think so! One should not, I expect, mistake
encroaching senility for sanctification! "But can it be, perhaps, that it is
precisely the unconditional gift of grace that helps me to see and admit all
that? I hope so. The grace of God should lead us to see the truth about
ourselves, and to gain a certain lucidity, a certain humor, a certain
down-to-earthness."
I like that.  Encroaching senility or being too tired to sin does not equate to sanctifiation.  Neither does reading my Bible more, praying more, or witnessing if done to seek God's favor rather than out of the freedom of having to do nothing to be loved by Him.