Drinking Deeply

Thursday, October 13, 2005 at 2:05 PM

But he, seeking to justify himself

But he desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus... Luke 10:29

So over the course of the past week or two, I've had the blessing to be able to read Luther and Calvin on justification by faith. This was what separated them from the Medieval Catholic Church and that's what should separate Christians from everyone else today. Mormons, Buddhist, Catholic, Atheist, the list goes on and on.

But that reading brought something to my mind today, something that I'd like to share.

It isn't really a scriptural argument, but rather a reflection.

Now of course, much can be said of the context, in fact I heard a very interesting sermon on how the situation ties into Martha and Mary, but that is another topic for another post.

But the phrase got me thinking. Why did the Pharisee seek to justify himself? What was he looking for? Of course, the response I thought of was that the Pharisee was seeking to prove himself to Christ. To give an excuse for why he did what he did. He wanted affirmation that his correct response was properly lived out, and he wanted affirmation from Christ before the watching crowds. He wanted Christ to say "yup, you got it right, you're the model." It wasn't just enough that Christ said that he got the response correct, he wanted more.

This got me thinking about my personal life these past few weeks. Sadly enough, it has been very short on the fruit of the Spirit, and very high on the "But, desiring to justify himself...I said..." Very little has service been for God, but service has been for the sake to prove myself to the world. I do have a living faith. I do do this.

Too quickly have I forgotten the simple truth: "man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."

Look, I'm not saying that I don't want to be doing good works anymore, but just that, upon examination of my reasoning for what I have been doing, I have found it wanting, deeply wanting.

Always reminded of the cross. Never forgetting.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,

The great unchangeable I AM,

King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!


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Blogger Frank Martens said...

and that my friend, is everyone's battle  


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