Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Act the Miracle

I found a very helpful devotional on John Piper's blog today. It's something I very much needed to hear, as it seemed to relate very well to what I'd just recently posted to my own blog, and I plan to listen to the longer version for which a link is provided below. Check it out, and perhaps you'll also find it a helpful insight!...

When it comes to killing my sin I don’t wait for the miracle, I Act the Miracle.

Acting a miracle is different from working a miracle. If Jesus tells a paralyzed man to get up, and he gets up, Jesus works a miracle. But if I am the paralyzed man and Jesus tells me to get up, and I obey and get up, I act the miracle. If I am dead Lazarus and Jesus commands me to get up, and I obey, Jesus works the miracle, I act the miracle.

So when it comes to killing my sin, I don’t wait passively for the miracle of sin-killing to be worked on me, I act the miracle.

For example, Paul says, “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).

So he tells me to put my sin to death. I should not wait for God to kill it while I remain passive. But he tells me to kill it “by the Spirit." Sin-killing is a miracle of the Spirit. But I do not wait passively, I act the miracle.

Again Paul says, “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

So Paul works hard to kill the sins of lethargy and distraction in his ministry. “I worked harder than any of them.” But the decisive animation of that work is the grace of God. It is a miracle. But Paul does not wait passively, he acts the miracle.

Or consider Philippians 2:12-13. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).

Paul commands me to work out my salvation, because God is the one who works this in me. My willing and working is God’s willing and working. It is a miracle. But I do not wait passively, I act the miracle.

I spoke to the Bethlehem College and Seminary Chapel about this crucial act of miraculous sin-killing in my own life. These are lessons I learned afresh on my leave of absence. They feel very fresh, very important and very powerful in my life right now. It is a very personal message.

I invite you to listen or watch “I Act the Miracle.”

© 2011 by Ken Peters


Laurence said...

You have struck upon a topic near and dear to my own heart. That being the end of sin in my life, and perhaps more specifically a yearning to be fruitful
I agree with what's been said here, and I would also ask, What exactly is the process of "killing sin" ?
If we think that "killing sin" is something we are NOT doing we are only half correct. "Killing sin" by the Spirit, is done by being obedient to the Spirit. Learning to follow the inner voice that is from Him, the Holy Spirit living within us. Every waking moment of Jesus life on earth was to DO THE WILL of him who sent him.

We start off with becoming a living sacrifice, move onto the renewing of our minds, and then right into "fitting in" with the body of Christ. I'm alluding to Romans 12 of course. All of what Paul speaks of positive action, not a list of omissions.

Ken said...

Very true. It certainly is both/and. Pursuing the positive actions -- that is, our life in God -- are certainly a great way to avoid the negatives. I like how Paul said to first seek "the things above, where Christ is", then "put off" (or repent of) the sins of this world, then to "put on" the things of the Spirit (Col. 3:1-12). In other words, in my understanding, it's like a continuous cycle of renewal in which we're doing it all continually as a lifestyle!