Tag Archives: Defeated

Our Pursuit Of Holiness

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“Too often, we say we are defeated by this or that sin. No, we are not defeated. We are simply disobedient. It might be good if we stop using the terms victory and defeat to describe our progress in holiness. Rather, we should use the terms obedience and disobedience. When I say I am defeated by some sin, I am unconsciously slipping out from under my responsibility. I am saying something outside of me has defeated me. But when I say I am disobedient, that places the responsibility for my sin squarely on me. We may in fact be defeated, but the reason we are defeated is because we have chosen to disobey.

We need to brace ourselves up and to realize that we are responsible for thoughts, attitudes, and actions. We need to reckon on the fact that we died to sin’s reign, that it no longer has any dominion over us, that God has united us with the risen Christ in all His power and has given us the Holy Spirit to work in us. Only as we accept our responsibility and appropriate God’s provisions will we make any progress in our pursuit of holiness.”

Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness

The Means To New Life For Others

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2 Corinthians 4:1-12 The Voice

Drawing from Exodus 32–34, Paul uses Moses as a model of one who has been transformed by God’s glory, but in a limited way. Moses encountered God (the Lord) through the Spirit on that mountain, but the Spirit now—as a fulfillment of the new covenant—dwells in the hearts of believers and continually transforms them. This transformation is based on a new way of understanding God’s revelation: Jesus Himself, the One who reveals God’s glory, is the very image of God. Through this Spirit-enabled encounter, believers experience a new way of living and therefore come to resemble the Anointed One as they reflect His glory.

Since we are joined together in this ministry as a result of the mercy shown to all of us by God, we do not become discouraged. Instead, we have renounced all the things that hide in shame; we refuse to live deceptively or use trickery; we do not pollute God’s Word with any other agenda. Instead, we aim to tell the truth plainly, appealing to the conscience of every person under God’s watchful eye. Now if our gospel remains veiled, it is only veiled from those who are lost and dying, because the evil god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers. As a result the light of the good news, the radiant glory of the Anointed—who is the very image of God—cannot shine down on them. We do not preach about ourselves. The subject of all our sermons is Jesus, the Anointed One. He is Lord and Master of all. For Jesus’ sake we are here to serve you. The God who spoke light into existence, saying, “Let light shine from the darkness,”[a] is the very One who sets our hearts ablaze to shed light on the knowledge of God’s glory revealed in the face of Jesus, the Anointed One.

But this beautiful treasure is contained in us—cracked pots made of earth and clay—so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us. We are cracked and chipped from our afflictions on all sides, but we are not crushed by them. We are bewildered at times, but we do not give in to despair. We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned. We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed. We always carry around in our bodies the reality of the brutal death and suffering of Jesus. As a result, His resurrection life rises and reveals its wondrous power in our bodies as well. For while we live, we are constantly handed over to death on account of Jesus so that His life may be revealed even in our mortal bodies of flesh. So death is constantly at work in us, but life is working in you.

Jesus’ death is the means to new life for others. Similarly when believers suffer for others as Jesus did, their suffering is an avenue for God’s life to transform situations.


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