Monday, June 11, 2007

New Attitude Conference - Discerning our Idols

I want to bring your attention to a great series of messages on Discernment -- a much needed topic these days. The New Attitude conference featured such men as Joshua Harris, Al Mohler, John Piper, C.J. Mahaney and others

I found CJ's messages on Discerning the Heart particularly challenging. The focus was on discerning the idols in our heart. This message was challenging and encouraging at the same time. It's so easy for us to harbor idols in our lives. CJ presents the clear teaching of Scripture that God condemns idolatry in whatever form it surfaces. Idolatry is condemned probably more than any other sin. Feed your soul by listening to this message. You will find it along with the other messages here.

CJ makes reference to some other materials to help focus our attention on the idols lurking in our souls. These resources can be found near the bottom of this page.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Human Nature

As a result of the fact that we have died and been raised together with Christ, we are to think in certain ways concerning the natural inclinations of the heart.

Ephesians 2 says, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

Our natural condition was one of being dead in sins. We walked according to the way the world walked which itself is after the plan of Satan who Paul calls the prince of the power of the air. This spirit is a real being who is even now working in the sons of disobedience. Scripture teaches us that every one of us was among this group who conducted our lives fulfilling the lusts of our flesh and the desires of our mind. This is a condition which is natural. It is characteristic of us as we are born into this world.

Paul tells us again in Ephesians 5, “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”

And in Colossians 3, “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.”

Peter tells us in his first letter in chapter 4, “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.”

As I observe the world around me, the constant stream of images from television and movies, and the tendencies of my own heart, I recognize that what God says to us through His Word in these passages is true. The amazing this is that while we were still sinners Christ died for us and it is through His death and resurrection that we not only have forgiveness of these things, but we have the new life and power to be changed.