LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Neither do I condemn you

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I despair. Despair over my own lack. Despair over my seemingly slow-as-molasses sanctification. Despair over my miniscule love for God. Despair over my greed, my selfishness, my pride.

I don’t wallow in it to the point of actual depression or visible despair. If you met me, you’d never know these thoughts invade my inner heart. But still, I despair.

Yesterday, while reading a regular mailing from John Piper’s ministry, I saw these words regarding the story of Christ telling the woman caught in adultery, "Neither do I condemn you..."
(John 8:11):

“Wearing Jesus’ righteousness, the Father viewed her as if she had never sinned and as if she had perfectly obeyed, because Jesus became sin for her and he perfectly obeyed the Father on her behalf.”

What struck me immediately was that this states she was able to "wear Jesus' righteousness" before He had physically served as the propitiation for her sins - she was forgiven of God before Christ physically hung on the cross.

This reminded me of a question that Daniel had once posed to me, when he asked, in essence, “How do you think OT saints were saved - by the blood of bulls and goats, or by the blood of Christ?”

It seems remarkable to me now that I had never before given that idea the deep consideration it is due, but instead somewhat idly figured that God had saved them somehow before Jesus' death and resurrection - and separate from it. Yet the Old Testament is replete with references to the coming Savior for His people.

They were saved – just as we are today – by faith through grace in One Lord, one Messiah, one Redeemer. They were merely looking forward – whereas I look back – to one point in chronological time when something remarkable occurred that was arranged in eternity.

Although all of this is intellectually interesting, it became all the more appealing to my heart when I read words of John Piper quoted further down in the letter. He wrote: “…and I need the grace of promised help from Jesus today and tomorrow.”

It made me realize that I needn’t despair of my seemingly slow sanctification, my imperfect walk, my shallow heart.

Although I recognize that all of my sanctification rests in God’s hands – I need not only look back with a grateful heart; I too can look forward – just like the OT saints did. I look forward to God’s promises that He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

Not that I mustn’t continue to submit to Him wholly or mortify the old man, but that I must in the faith He has bestowed upon me rest fully in His promises.

Labels: , ,

12 Comments:

Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Amen Susan!
It's all in His time, He's shaping and molding us in His image using trials, using good times and bad to make us who we are. He is the Potter,we are the clay and I can somewhat picture Him sitting at the wheel smoothing away the rough edges. We are His work of art, it's all Him.

Cristina

January 26, 2008 10:18 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Susan,
I believe the despair you refer to is what Jesus refers to as the the poor in spririt in the beatitudes. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for...... Why do Christians feel poor in spirit? Because they feel despair for their sinful state and what do they want? Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousnes for they shall be filled.

I believe that is the despair you are feeling and we all feel that way to varying degrees.........

January 26, 2008 10:18 AM

 
Blogger donsands said...

"There is NOW NO condemnation for those who are in Christ!"

I have to believe Paul was full of joy when he wrote this sentence, right after Romans 7.

Very nice post of sharing your heart, and edifying us with the truth.

Have a great weekend, and Lord's day. He is risen!

January 26, 2008 10:26 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Jazzy,

Sometimes I equate such despair with my own unbelief - not total disbelief, mind you, but unbelief perhaps in God's ultimate and total sovereignty over my life and my sanctification.

Do you ever draw that same conclusion?

That lack of rest (despair, however small, as I reflect upon my own fleshly ways) may reflect some indication of unbelief?

January 26, 2008 1:29 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Donsands,

I so enjoy your comments - here and elsewhere across the blogosphere. I don't always comment on what you say, but please know they are read and received with great interest and joy.

Thanks for sharing that wonderful and powerful verse - "NOW NO condemnation." Now there is truly a reason for us to all sing "hallelujah"! And amen!

January 26, 2008 1:31 PM

 
Blogger Fly on the Wall said...

Job: 2:6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

2:7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

2:8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.

2:9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.

January 26, 2008 3:40 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Susan,
I do feel varying degrees of such things at times. But, I believe Mark is right when he says we need to avoid too much introspection. Praying for more grace seems to always be answered........

January 26, 2008 4:12 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Fly,
You might pick up the Job story a little later in Chapter 38......

1Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

2Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

3Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

The wisdom of man is still foolishness compared to God. He (God) is the answer to why there is something instead of nothing!

January 26, 2008 4:21 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Fly,

Forgive me, but I seem to be missing your point in quoting the particular verses that you did.

Do the verses that you quoted relate to the post topic? And if so, in your estimation, how?

January 26, 2008 6:58 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Jazzy,

Two things I've noticed in my own introspection (which can at times lead to said despair) -

1. I understand better my need of a Savior and am all the more in awe of His grace and mercy - and it keeps me in some measure more humble than I would otherwise be; and

2. I recognize my own faults to the point of having greater patience and compassion with those around me (immediate family, in particular) whose faults may be impinge upon my own comfort or feelings. In other words, recognition of my own limits and faults sensitizes me the faults of others even as they may assail me. I believe that this awareness is used by God to extend for me to extend His mercy and grace unto them.

January 26, 2008 7:05 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Fly -

Thanks to my sitemeter I'm able to conclude that you are from the UK. Probably you are somebody who is interested in throwing mud at the gospel. I'm not one to play games. I have no problem banning people from commenting here.

Watch your step!

January 27, 2008 12:35 AM

 
Blogger Viking Warrior said...

And can ye tell I'm from Scandindavia yon crossed armed fellow?

January 27, 2008 5:32 PM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home