Journal Proverbs 20 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find? …A king who sits on the throne of judgement winnows (sorts through) all evil with his eyes…
Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin?” Unequal weight and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord. Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.” Prov 20:6-11
Observation: Where does maturity begin? I think it begins knowing what the Atonement of Jesus really brought and my response (or the lack of response) would be like.
Analysis: A lot of responses by folks would say talking about Salvation and personal application might be exercises in doubt. Adamant responses of “Of course I am saved”, or, “of course so and so is saved” would be said.
This subject is what occurred to me reading this. It was after a discussion that my wife and I had during devotions this AM.
A scenario: Adam and Eve are married. Adam and Eve proclaim themselves to be Saved. Adam decides to separate and proceeds to divorce his wife (reasons unknown). Both proclaim personal salvation in Christ. Question: Is Adam saved? Is Eve saved?
Outside observers may have opinions, but only the King knows. That’s his function—judgement, evaluation, examination, decision, and subsequent proclamation. That is the statement of the first verse above.
Continuing: Can I say I have made my heart pure? Emphatically not. I know that I have not made my heart pure. There is no process available to me to purify myself by my own actions. Whatever “purity” I have is a sovereign gift from God, through faith in the Atoning Work of Christ.
Is that a “one and done” exercise? I would like to think it is but the more I read into the Scriptures I conclude it is not: Salvation is an everyday surrender to the Cross—I must proclaim my dependency to Jesus daily; no days off. If I try to explain why I don’t have to, then I am using a different scale other than the full Word of God.
How can an observer determine a Christian from a non-Christian? I can’t: Only God sees the heart. However, the last scripture says it all, and that simply: Even a child makes himself known by his acts. Paul echoes this sensible truth to Timothy: “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.” (1 Tim 4:15)
It is the daily review of the Gospel: Justification and Sanctification. Both different, both are the same coin. While Justification is all the Trinity’s decision and action, both Justification and Sanctification requires daily response (read: surrender) from me.
Prayer: Lord, why did this empress me this morning? I needed the reminder, I know. I forget being dependent upon You and think I can coast on some past accomplishment. I am remembering “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling” and realize that this is coordinated with surrendering—the Scripture is not contrary to itself in any way.
Help me to continue to daily surrender to the Cross. I want to please you in everything I do. AMEN.