I am a pretty good person. I treat other people decently. I don't steal, kill, lie much, or swear much, and I give to my church and other charities. I live a pretty easy life too. I’ve got happiness in my nice wide-screen entertainment center complete with game console and I just want peaceful evenings to spend there. I want my job which is not too stressful and pays me pretty well. I want a nice long vacation. I want a secure retirement. And I want some cancer-free years in my den. Then I’ll have joy.
But what have I left out of that nice description of my nice life? Where is God in all that. Where am I deriving my joy from in such a life? Oh yes, I can pray a thanksgiving prayer to God for all of these manifold blessings he has bestowed upon me. God is the most importing thing in the universe. Sin is rebellion against God. When I sin, I don’t want to be bothered with God let alone find my joy in Him.
Romans 3:10-11,18 (NKJV)
As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one"
There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.
"There is no fear of God before their eyes."
This is not me any more. Here is who I am: I want to find my joy in God. I want to be completely satisfied with Him. I want to love God with all my heart and soul and mind and strength. I want to be a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ. Why do I want these things? Because I have been given a new birth. I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God. I have a new nature in me.
But that old nature still hangs around. I need to be reminded constantly about God and my devotion to him and how he saved me and gives me grace every moment. I need to read my Bible every day. I need to talk about Him to other people, I need other people to tell me about what God is doing in their lives. This is what constant prayer, devotion, fellowship, worship and witnessing is all about. It is about feeding the new person that I am in Christ, and starving my natural condition which is not righteous and does not seek nor fear God.
Because sin separates us from God and ruins our fellowship with Him we have a wonderful promise from Him in:
1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Inspired by: John Piper - All Jews and Gentiles are Under Sin Part 2