Total Depravity

From The Vanishing Conscience by John MacArthur, page 79.

The blind man can see no difference between a masterpiece of Titian or Raphael and the queen’s head on a village signboard. The deaf man cannot distinguish between a penny whistle and a cathedral organ. The very animals whose smell is most offensive to us have no idea that they are offensive and are not offensive to one another.  And man, fallen man, I believe, can have no just idea what a vile thing sin is in the sight of that God whose handiwork is absolutely perfect.

J. C. Ryle, Holiness (Durham, England: Evangelical Press,1979 reprint)

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.  Isaiah 64:6

There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  Romans 3:11&12

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  I Corinthians 2:14

No man can come to me (Jesus Christ), except the Father which hath sent me draw him………. John 6:44

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:  And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.  Isaiah 6:1-7

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  Isaiah 1:18

Until we see the King as He is, we will not see ourselves as we are.

Are You Offended?

I carry a copy of My Testimony in my back pocket to share with people whenever I get the chance.  My Testimony is the account of how God worked in my life to bring me into a relationship with Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.

I also give it to those who profess to be Christian, in hopes of encouraging them in their faith, and encouraging them in the sharing of their own testimony.  The long and the short of it is that I will share My Testimony with anyone who is interested in reading or hearing it.

I do not know who is a genuine believer and who is not.   Scripture teaches that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  Since the Bible repeats the fallen condition of man over and over throughout it’s pages, I have to assume that everyone is unsaved from the start. 

Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised by an individual’s response.  Recently I shared My Testimony with an Urgent Care doctor.  I mentioned to him that I can lead a horse to water but I cannot make him drink.  The doctor graciously received My Testimony and replied; I have been to the trough and have drunk deeply.

I cannot know anyone’s true spiritual condition.  Sharing the life changing message of Jesus Christ with those who also claim to be a Christian is a good and right practice even though some “Christians” are  offended by this. 

Their offense justifies this practice.  Taking offense at the hearing of another’s testimony of salvation reveals a person’s true spiritual condition.  I come away from situations like this deeply saddened, but at least I know how to pray for them.

My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. Psalm 34:2

Can I Have a Pure Conscience?

A pure conscience is the result of having no unconfessed sin.

Conscience – that faculty by which we apprehend the will of God, as that which is designed to govern our lives.  That process of thought which distinguishes what it considers morally good or bad, commending the good, condemning the bad, and so prompting to do the former, and avoid the latter.*

To what standard is our conscience trained?   Is our standard political correctness, cultural practice, peer pressure, family tradition, church tradition, the Bible or something else?

Since God wrote the book, the Bible should be the Christian’s only standard for faith and practice.  If we find that our conscience is not trained to the biblical standard, it can be retrained by letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly.   The goal for the Christian is to think biblically with a pure conscience.

Confess – to speak the same thing, to assent, accord, agree with, to admit.  To confess by way of admitting oneself guilty of what one is accused of, the result of inward conviction.*  In other words, confessing one’s sin is to say the same thing about it that God says. It is to agree with God against oneself.

To whom should we confess our sins?

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  I Timothy 2:5

What is the result of our confession of sin to our one and only Savior and Mediator, Jesus Christ?

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

I John 1:8-10

Now the end of the commandment is charity (love) out of             a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:              I Timothy 1:5

*Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of  Old and New Testament Words by Unger & White.  Copyright 1984, 1996  Thomas Nelson, Inc.