Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Divine Destruction

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit
(Psalm 34:18 – ESV)

Brokenness before the Lord is a sure sign of the Holy Spirit at work (John 16:8-11). This verse is a clear indication, but certainly not the only place where the need for repentance shows forth in prominence. REPENTANCE IS A MUST FOR SALVATION, and it always has been. This verse is from the Old Testament, but here in New Testament times, God does not bring the Spirit into someone’s life just to have them accept Christ as a person only, they are made to see their utter despair, their need of a savior, and the provision of God through the death, burial, and resurrection of his Son Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). It is not that repentance gains salvation, but that it accompanies it. Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin (Acts 20:21); it is part of the belief of the Gospel (Mark 1:15).

Why would someone want to be saved from the just wrath of God upon sin, if they don’t believe they are a sinner? How can someone claim the name of Jesus as Savior if they have not seen the severity of their sin? What is He saving them from? How can He be Lord if we are still on the throne? Only when brought to an understanding of their worthlessness before a holy God, when they know of their lowly estate and humbly confess their lack of merit can a person have the humility to step off the throne of his or her life. God is the one who orchestrates this action (Acts 11:18 / 2 Timothy 2:25).

For you who know Christ, realize that it is the same in our sanctification as in our justification: God causes us to be broken before Him. We must be broken by our sin and rediscover the fact of our utter wretchedness without Him, and our utter assurance with Him. He breaks us of our self-sufficiency and causes us to rest in His. When we see the depths of our depravity, compared to the heights of God’s holiness, then we can truly see the measure of His love toward us. Only then will we come running into the arms of the God who so freely pardons the penitent (Psalm 32:5 / Proverbs 28:13 / Ezekiel 33:11 / Isaiah 57:15 / Isaiah 66:2 / Micah 7:18-19 / Matthew 26:75 / Acts 3:19 / 2 Corinthians 7:10 / 1 John 1:9).


Even So... said...

This is my 100th post...I will have been blogging for one year as of Saturday, September 16...

Even So... said...

Oh yeah, I also hope and plan to post 250 times in this next year...

God bless you all...

Anonymous said...

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit
(Psalm 34:18 – ESV)

This could be why David was so near the Lord’s heart; he often spoke of brokenness & complete humility before God as essential to a close relationship with Him, as Jesus did with the Beatitudes. This is why Jesus honored the Canaanite woman’s request (Matt 15), & therefore the woman herself. If there had been an ounce of self-pride within her heart, she would have responded much differently than she did. Though He knew her heart, Jesus tested her to demonstrate to all that only by encountering the Christ in utter contrition can we be assured of receiving anything from Him. My favorite passage of this nature is another Davidic psalm:

O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-These, O God, You will not despise.
Psalms 51:15-17

p.s.- congratulations, & may the Lord continue to annoint you for the next 250 posts.

Craver Vii said...

Great quote, stevehall. As I read today's post, it struck me that I rejoice on account of my spiritual bankruptcy, because of the total work of our Lord. I see that there is absolutely nothing I can do to earn the God's favor, and that perspective magnifies and focuses-in on His grace.

But there's a goofy contrast, and it's kinda wierd when folks stand up to share their testimony and their proclamation of dirty deeds is the elaborate, dynamic part of the story--as if they're bragging to be the worst sinner in the room.

Anyway, I got nothin'. Nevertheless, I'm filled with hope, because Jesus paid it all. God's mercy is astonishing, isn't it?

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 5:3

And JD, I'm glad to have come across your posts. They've been a blessing.

Taliesin said...

it is the same in our sanctification as in our justification

I think we (at least I) forget this. The solution is not in trying harder (though I must try) but in turning to Christ through prayer and the Scriptures, just as faith comes to the lost by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

Congratulations on 100 and your anniversary.