Lately I have sat down with many reformed brothers who love to read the puritans and reformers (just like me) and it seems I have the same type of conversation. A conversation where they communicate that there is a massive chasm between where they are in their life and where they want or need to be. This is especially in the spiritual realm. When I ask them whats up I hear them talk about “not reading the Bible and praying enough.” Or not being a good enough father/husband/friend/pastor etc.”. I hear them say they aren’t hating their sin enough, or not believing the gospel enough etc.
On one level these brothers are very perceptive because what Christian can say they really pray enough? What Christian can say they are living in light of the gospel enough?
But on another level these brothers remind me of someone who is one of their heroes.
They remind me of Martin Luther, but in his pre-converted state. In His pre converted state Luther was always worried about living up to a holy God. He never rested in God’s grace. He needed to hear the gospel and once he did he was set free.
Here is what so many brothers have done with Good reason. In their attempt to glorify their saviour they have become morbidly introspective, focusing on their works and their sin and not on their standing in the gospel not on their saviour. The result of this is they have little joy and Christianity becomes a dead cold religion of works and sin not a hope giving relationship with Jesus where my righteousness, hope, joy and life is found in him alone!
These brothers are the new Reformed Catholics!
What is the antidote to this morbid introspection?
It is focusing not on ourselves as sinners but on Jesus as saviour.
It is focusing not on ourselves as spiritually and morally incomplete but on Jesus who spiritually and morally completes us
It is not bringing our eyes low so that all we see is ourselves but lifting our eyes heavenward so that all we see is Jesus.
Isn’t it a bit ironic that the one thing we reformed guys who love the puritans and the reformers need to hear is the gospel?