Thursday, May 08, 2014

A lamentable tendency

But the sin that the Holy Spirit has come to deliver us from is not merely acts, it is also a disposition. In earlier chapters we talked about the fact that there is that in us which prevents us from living the life of God. This factor is called by several names. In the Old Testament it may be called the “evil imagination,” or the “spirit of prostitution,” although most often it is not named at all. It is simply described as that lamentable tendency in the Hebrew people to break the covenant even when they know it is a good covenant...This understanding that we have a disposition to sin explains why we cannot seem to stop performing acts of sin, and in some cases, certain acts of sin. And it is this disposition which prevents us from fulfilling God’s expectation that we be holy people. It is not enough that our acts of sin be forgiven, because we simply commit them all over again...Not only must the acts of sin be forgiven, the disposition toward sin must be changed. If such a change is possible, then it is possible for God’s people to live the holy lives they are commanded to live.— Called to be Holy, pages 178-179

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