As I prayed today in light of yesterday’s post on what Biblical Phariseeism really is, I asked for direction and discernment in what direction to go next. As usual, I simply went to work. At my job as a Database Administrator I am surrounded by cubicles. Some of those I work with love to have speaker phone meetings in their cubes that seem to go on forever. The way God created my mind, I cannot work if those amplified conversations are going on all around me. Therefore, I use my iPod and headphones to compensate.
I have podcasts on my iPod from John MacArthur, John Piper, and R.C. Sproul, among others. Today during a very long, loud meeting in the cube behind me, I listened to a sermon by John Piper called “Battling the Unbelief of Lust.” I did not think that this sermon would have much to do with our current topic, but I was very surprised. Those who battle lust, mortifying the desires for it, are the ones who seek a pure and holy life. They are genuine Christians. On the other hand, those who treat lust as simply something temporal while their salvation is some abstract concept that guarantees eternal life in Heaven are assuming that that religious act they did in the past saves them and their pastor has told them, “once saved, always saved.”
What has this got to do with Phariseeism? Phariseeism is the Religion of Do. It is based on salvation by religion instead of by faith in the promises of God and the finished work of Christ. Who battles unbelief in all its forms? The genuine Christian who is regenerate and justified by faith does this because they are working out their salvation with fear and trembling. They seek holiness and purity and Christlikeness. The temporal is their proving ground. On the other hand, those who do not battle unbelief prove that they are in it and their unregenerate nature becomes manifest in their dead religiosity through which they depend upon to gain God’s favor. Please read John Piper’s sermon below. I pray that it will bless you as it did me. – Mike Ratliff Continue reading