“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, April 04, 2014

1% of self-righteousness

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Cor. 5:21).

Why did He make Him to be sin for us? Because we were full of sin and could do nothing to deliver ourselves from the bottomless pit of sin. Falling, falling, 32 ft/sec2 forever falling deeper into that oblivion.

We should have nothing but gratitude for what Jesus did for us. And we should have nothing but gratitude for what God did for us through His Son. We shouldn’t have the slightest murmuring or selfish complaining toward anything.

If They see fit to give us the privilege of suffering with Them for the purpose of our eternal salvation, then let’s accept all that infinite wisdom and love deem necessary to turn us around. Every consequence, however painful, is nothing but a blessing from the skies and a blessing in disguise. Our disciplines and punishments come from evident love from an everlasting Father. How can we turn down love? How can we refuse the visible hand of God in our behalf?

If we grumble over our situation which is always the result of our sin, we repeat the experience of Job. He had convinced himself, with the help of his three pharisaical friends’ reverse psychology, that he didn’t deserve the visitation of wrath that the Lord permitted. We hear this come through every soliloquy, especially chapters 29-31, his final judgment call on his troubles.

But in all of his complaints, never did he claim any responsibility for his misery. He didn’t give God the praise because he was too busy praising himself. It took Elihu to make clear the providence of God for Job.

“Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.” (Job 32:2).
“Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying, I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me.… Why dost thou strive against Him? for He giveth not account of any of His matters.… He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.” (Job 33:8,9,13,27,28).

And the last four chapters shows the Lord backing up every reproof Elihu laid on Job until Job finally acquiesced as his pride backed down. The Lord popped the inflated Job, who had grown to the size of the Almighty, all holy One, and had stood up against Him. Yes, Satan was doing to Job what he did later to Peter (Matt. 16:22, 23). And the Lord had to give His servant Job an attitude adjustment.

This message is for us all. We all need an attitude adjustment. And not only one, but many along the path of holiness. This path we tread is a process of humbling us by our admission to self-centeredness, self-exaltation, self-pity, etc. Our natural tendency is to self, no matter how much progress the Lord has made in our sanctification. We are “corruptible” (1Cor. 15:54) and will be that way until the day Jesus returns in power. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9).

Job is the perfect example of this process of sanctification, being “a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil.” (Job 2:3). Peter, also a good example of sanctification, had fallen down at Jesus’ feet and had cried, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Lk. 5:8). He was a converted man and Christ’s favorite object of truth and grace. Jesus loved Peter and his honest expressions from the heart. But, He was more than gracious to Peter; He had to also be truthful to this object of His supreme regard.

While the Lord never censured the human weakness in Peter, He reproved, corrected, and instructed His beloved disciple. And Peter loved his Master so much that he kept staying with Jesus and letting the divine blows from love chop him down to bite size.

Are we letting the Lord do that for us? Are we as open to Jesus’ ministry through His angels to chop down our pride in order to make us true representatives of the God of truth and grace? Or do we, like Job, shift our guilt onto God and blame Him for our problems? “Wilt thou also disannul My judgment? wilt thou condemn Me, that thou mayest be righteous?” (Job 40:8). “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jer. 17:10).

Adam was blaming God by subtly telling God, “The woman whom Thou gavest … me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” (Gen. 3:12). If we do not take the full blame for our consequences, we put it all on God. Even 1% of shifting our guilt away from us ultimately leads to all blame leaving us.

No wonder the Lord was mad at Adam and Job! To justify self even 1% destroys all repentance. The subtlety of sin to destroy the gift of God! “For He hath made Him to be 99% of sin for us, that we might receive 99% of His righteousness.” If I can even say that God misjudged my state of sin by 1% because I am 1% right, then I didn’t need 100% of Christ’s death for my sin. I can stand on 1% of my goodness and forestall 1% of God’s judgments on me; I can pity myself for God’s mistreatment of me and my case for 1% of my righteousness.

Thus, Satan has his pinky toe in the door of my thinking; and over time he will magnify that imagined minute mistreatment by God into a gigantic argument against God’s poor judgment upon me.

“Behold, He findeth occasions against me, He counteth me for His enemy, He putteth my feet in the stocks, He marketh all my paths.” (Job 33:10,11).

But, God is clear. “What things soever the Law saith, it saith to them who are under the Law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Rom. 3:19). Every mouth needs to stop grumbling. We blew it! We didn’t do God’s will.

Not even 1% of us should open his mouth in complaint to the God of heaven for His discipline. No one can tell God, “I didn’t do it!” Instead, we must all admit that the troubles that we get are just 1% of what we really deserve.

Can we trust His love? Can we trust His motive for His rebukes? The Lord will give us no more than we can bear because if He gave us the full sentence for our insult to Him and His Father, we would find ourselves suffering hellfire. But this He forestalls because He wants to cleanse us and have us with Him forever.

But we must admit, “I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not.” (Job 33:27). 100% of Christ’s death for my justification and the consequences He permits for my sanctification are just and proper and necessary. I am 100% bankrupt of morality. Of myself I have 0% goodness and meekness. God made Jesus to be 100% sin for us that He might make us 100% dependent on Jesus, our Savior.

No more  misgivings toward God or complaints of God’s mismanagement of my case. Satan, you must leave; and take all your griping with you. Lord, what did I do wrong; open my eyes to my sin. I must have blundered Your sanctification once again. I don’t see it; but given my dark history, I can assume another tryst with self and Satan.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Ps. 139:23,24).


Blogger Nsubuga Daniel said...

the psalmist words in your finishing words are mine as well. they are great words.

4/09/2014 1:55 PM  

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