Sunday, August 29, 2010
I recently started reading Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges. Susan Schoeman recommended this book during her talk at family camp a couple of weeks ago and our adult Sunday school class studied it last season. I've read the first 7 chapters so far and have really enjoyed it. Here are a few gleanings from chapters 6 and 7.
Chapter 6: Directions for Dealing with Sins
1. We should always address our sin in the context of the gospel.
"Our sins are forgiven and we are accepted as righteous by God because of both the sinless life and sin-bearing death of our Lord Jesus Christ." (p. 48)
2. We must learn to rely on the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
Bridges says we have default setting and resort to trying to use our own willpower to defeat sin.
3. While depending on teh Holy Spirit, we must also recognize our responsibility in dealing with sin.
One of the old writers said: "Work as if it all depends on you, and yet trust as if you did not work at all."
4. We must identify specific areas of acceptable sins.
5. We should use scripture to help us with these identified sins.
"I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11
6. We should pray over the sins we tolerate.
"...it is through prayer that we consciously acknowledge our need of the Holy Spirit, and it is through prayer that we continually acknowledge the presence of those persistent sin patterns in our lives."
7. We should involve one or two other believers in our struggles against our subtle sins.
Chapter 7: Ungodliness
"Ungodliness may be defined as living one's everyday life with no thought of God or of God's will, or of God's glory, or of one's dependence on God." (p. 54)
What does it mean to do all to the glory of God?
1. "I desire that all that I do be pleasing to God."
2. "I desire that all my activities of an ordinary day will honor God before other people."
"An even more telling indicator of our tendency toward ungodliness is our meager desire to develop an intimate relationship with God."
Bridges believes that the root of all our respectable sins lies in the sin of ungodliness and states: "Our goal in the pursuit of godliness should be to grow more in conscious awareness that every moment of our lives is lived in the presence of God; that we are responsible to Him and dependent on Him."