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Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

–1 John 2:15-17, ESV

And yet again, I’m struck by the way the Scriptures read me. They say things about me that I would never want anyone to know.

The desires of the flesh, desires of the eyes, and pride in possessions–these are my sins. Obviously, they aren’t my only sins. Still, they represent a large quantity of the presence of sin in my life. And with one mind, double-mindedly, I want those things and I want them removed. I find myself in the classical Pauline Dilema, a la Romans 7 all over again. That which I do not want to do, I do. That which I want to do, I do not.

I see things…and I want them. I see a nice set of furniture…an expensive turntable…a nicer car. By grace I’m learning to want Christ more.

I desire physical touch (even inappropriate touch) and sometimes it’s an idolatrous desire. Physical touch isn’t bad, nor do I think I have to somehow deprive myself of it for aesthetic reasons. Simply put, I crave it more than I want God’s design for me, which is chastity (since I’m single).

But thanks be to God that he who by faith is made righteous shall live (Romans 1:17, marginal reading).  The Gospel doesn’t simply deprive me of that which everyone else has or some other such nonsense. The Gospel–that Christ died for my sins to reconcile to Himself a people fitted for His service and mercy to all of creation–makes it so that I am not enslaved to my desire for touch, or money, or pride, or acceptance, or approval, ad nauseum. Instead, I shall live because by faith [that is, trust in Christ], I am made righteous in the eyes of a holy God.

And that must be enough.

I read of the certainty of this trust. And I feel the incompleteness in my own heart. Is Christ trustworthy? He certainly is. He died and rose again–and in so doing, showed Himself, the firstborn of all creation, to be faithful to His faithless people.

And, as the Bride and with the Spirit I say, Come, Lord Jesus.

Amen. Even so, quickly come.

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