Thursday, June 7, 2012

If you're looking for some quick fix, an easy answer, a one-and-done solution, then you'll never really understand the nature of the fight. And if you promise easy, once-for-all victories to others, then you'll never be much help to them.

The day of 'completion' will not arrive until the day when Jesus Christ returns (Phil. 1.6). When we see him, then we will be like him perfectly (1 John 3.2). The wiping away of all tears, the taking away of every reason for sorrow, crying, and pain, will not come until God lives visibly in our midst (Rev 21.3-4). Someday, not today, all things will be made new (Rev 21.5). Much of the failure to fight well, pastor well, counsel well, arises because we don't really understand and work well with this long truth.

And later on, Powlison continues:

The Bible is always about behavior, but it is never only about behavior. God's indictment of human nature always gets below the surface, into the 'heart.' His gaze and Word expose the thoughts, intentions, desires, and fears that shape the entire way we approach life. An immoral act or fantasy--behavior--is a sin in itself. But such behavior always arises from desires and beliefs that dethrone God. Whenever I do wrong, I am loving something besides God with all my heart, soul, mind, and might. I am listening attentively to some other voice.

Then he concludes:

The war is longer, wider, deeper, more subtle than we might imagine. It is no accident, therefore, that the height, depth, length, and breadth of the love and work of Jesus is more wonderful than we understand at first. What is God after in remaking our lives? Is his purpose merely that we would just stop sinning? That we would become more involved in religious activities? Yes, stop sinning. Yes, use the means of grace. But neither is an end in itself. The point is to become more like Jesus.

From: David Powlison, "Making All Things New: Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken" in Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, p. 79, 90, 102.

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