Summary: Five characteristics of fallen man that are not to be true of those who are in Christ: Note: the fingerprints of these characteristics remain upon us as sanctification occurs over time.
Dakota Community Church
Ephesians 50, Grace at Work 20
April 28, 2013
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
Five characteristics of fallen man that are not to be true of those who are in Christ:
Note: the fingerprints of these characteristics remain on us as sanctification occurs over time and I want you to see how acknowledgement of that truth is helpful while denying it is not.
1. Hardness of heart
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous...
2. Love of darkness
They are darkened in their understanding...
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Men love darkness rather than light because their works are evil.
I find in me a deep darkness which at times the Holy Spirit brings into the light to drive me to my need of Christ.
Do not just flippantly dismiss this thought with a, “Not me Pastor Dan, I love the Lord.”
To love the Lord is not the same as to love pizza or your favorite old sweat shirt.
Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength! - Impossible!
Why is it good to think in this way about oneself rather than going the positive thinking, high self esteem route?
A. We are called to humility, to serve one another, to prefer one another above ourselves; constantly thinking and confessing our greatness and our worth are not conducive to this call.
“Why am I being treated this way? Nobody appreciates my gifts, I’m not going to take it anymore because by golly - I’m a Kings Kid!”
B. Besides that - this way of thinking is true - it actually lines up with reality and keeps us aware of our dependence upon Christ.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
We dare not ask for justice - we would be crushed. But how can we hide from the God who sees everything? This is self-delusion. There is only one way forward that does not destroy us; we must be forgiven. Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven. And what is bound up with such forgiveness? For a start, such a person will not pretend there are no sins to forgive: blessed is the man in whose spirit is no deceit.
D.A. Carson For the Love of God Volume One (April 21)
“Why should I clean the church toilets? (I’m the pastor)”
Why not me?
“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”
If you find this leaving a bitter taste in your mouth, I am with you there; I too have itching ears that long to be scratched with lies about my own greatness.
Did I mention that I find in me a deep darkness?