I feel like I get to see ideas form gradually over time, and then finally express themselves in sermons. I suppose I don’t really know which way the thought process goes – maybe he started working on a sermon, and that prompted a bunch of blog posts. But it any case, I get to see the same ideas batted about online, in sermons, and sometimes in books.
We can think it’s a mark of spiritual sensitivity to consider everything we do as morally suspect. But this is not the way the Bible thinks about righteousness…. For those who have been made right with God by grace alone through faith alone and therefore have been adopted into God’s family, many of our righteous deeds are not only not filthy in God’s eyes, they are exceedingly sweet, precious, and pleasing to him.
Maybe this isn’t entirely what the quotation is about, but it reminded me of a sermon he gave on the first paragraph of 1st Corinthians 4 (ESV),
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
The really shocking part of this passage is the statement – “I am not aware of anything against myself”. What? What modern Christian would dare make such an arrogant statement? Paul does say that it is ultimately the Lord who judges. But he certainly doesn’t seem to be stuck in the “everything I do is stained by sin” rut we sometimes find ourselves in.