Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Turned Inside Out by the Ten Commandments
For the past several weeks, God has had me studying and preaching The Ten Commandments. During this process, I feel that God has turned me inside out. What do I mean by this?
As a Christian and a pastor, I have been in a constant process of sanctification. It has been impossible to deny that I am a sinful man, and that God is constantly refining my character. But in order to keep up the appearance that I was a Godly man, I tried to hide most of my sinfulness away, and admit (to others and to myself) only a small fraction of my corruption.
You know how it is with dark, wet, dirty places. They grow more and more putrid, until finally someone pulls the rotting stuff out into the sunlight and fresh air. During this study of God's perfect moral righteousness, the Holy Spirit has unzipped me, reached inside to where all the filth is hidden, and pulled my insides out into the light. He is now disinfecting me with His Word, cleaning up several varieties of mold and fungus.
I am left with some very interesting feelings. I feel like running away, stuffing it all back inside, and zipping it all back up. Couldn't we just go back to status quo ante? I also feel tired. True, I have been staying up too late, but that's not what I mean. This has been an intense spiritual exercise, it's not over, and I feel that my strength is giving out. Perhaps that is part of the process? I also feel strangely hopeful. It seems that I felt very limited before. I somehow knew that I was not going to run very fast or get very far in God's service with all that sin inside. Now I'm starting to feel that maybe I can fly!
God has also made me feel humbly grateful. I am thankful to Him for continuing to work on me all these years, and thankful to Jesus Christ for his sacrifice on the cross, by which I am now forgiven for all this sin, with which I have brought disgrace upon His perfect name. In the human arena, I am very thankful to Brother Jarrett Downs, of Heritage Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas. He has preached on The Ten Commandments, and I highly recommend your listening to the recordings, as I have done. I wrote, asking him about his experience preaching that sermon series, and guess what he said---"It turned me inside out."
So, if you have not preached on The Ten Commandments yet, I encourage you to make plans for starting. You might read A.W. Pink, Matthew Henry, John Calvin, and The Larger Catechism for starters. And may God turn you inside out as well!
Love in Christ,
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