So you're might be asking yourself, "Why should I take this class called Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands when it cost money and will take more time and effort?" Well, my first reaction would be to tell you that harder things often yield great fruit to those who embrace them. And that might be enough for some of you. For others you may need more convincing.
Over the next few weeks I want to present to you quotes from the book this class is built upon in hopes that you see the great benefit that would come to you by taking this class. The point of the class is to be the kind of instruments that God can use to minister to others. Trying to learn how to help others deal with sin and live godly lives tend to reveal our own sin and call us to deal with it and in turn live godly lives.
This first set of quotes may not seem to some of you like a good reason to take a class since it deals with our sin. but we have to know what sin is in order to deal with it correctly. One problem though is that we all are often tempted to hide our sins. But sin rightly identified gives great hope to those ready to fight and kill it. It's good to know our enemy so we know what and how to defeat it. This class will help you see sin rightly and be better prepared to fight and kill it.
Sin is the ultimate disease, the grand psychosis. You cannot escape it or defeat it on your own ... Our deepest problem is not experiential, biological, or relational; it is moral, and it alters everything. It distorts our identity, alters our perspective, details our behavior, and kidnaps our hope. (12)
Sin is rebellion:
more than breaking a few rules; it is a fundamental flaw in my character. ... Rebellion is the inborn tendency to give in to the lies of autonomy, self-sufficiency, and self-focus. It results in a habitual violation of God-given boundaries. (13)
Autonomy says, "I have the right to do what I want when I want to do it." Self-sufficiency says, "I have everything I need in myself, so I don't need to depend on or submit to anyone." Self-focus says, "I am the center of my world. It is right to live for myself and to do only what brings me happiness." (14)
Do you often live an autonomy, self-sufficiency, and self-focus life? I do, whether I want to admit it or not. In fact, knowing it and admitting it does not make us rebellious - we already are rebellious. The sooner we face the truth the sooner we seek change. God gives hope to rebels.
What makes knowing and admitting we are rebellious difficult is the foolishness of sinfulness:
Foolishness believes that there is no perspective, insight, theory, or "truth" more reliable than my own. It buys into the lie that we know better. It causes us to distort reality and live in worlds of our own making. It is as if we look at life through a carnival mirror, convinced that we see clearly (14).
Foolishness is a rejection of our basic nature as human beings. We were never created to be our own source of wisdom. We were designed to be revelation receivers, dependent on the truths God would teach us, and applying those truths to our lives. (15)Does foolishness describe you? It does me. At times, when I reject God's truth, I live in this state of foolishness. Without help in seeing my foolishness I might remain in this state of deception for long periods of time. Who of us enjoys being deceived or living a lie? How many of us what to be duped? Not me. The sooner we see our foolishness the sooner we can flee from it.
But far more devastating than our rebellion and foolishness is that fact that in our sinfulness we are in a state of complete inability to do what God ordained us to do:
This inability colors every situation and relationship in our lives. It is not just that I don’t want to do God’s will, or that I think my way is better, it’s that even when I have the right intentions, I can’t pull it off. (15)But there is hope ... Jesus Christ has conquered sin on the cross and rose again to give life. The life that Jesus gives enables to do what God ordained us to do. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. That's good news.
Friends, this is a class you don't want to miss.