Natural Affections


Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

~Galatians 5:24, NLT


Beware of refusing to attend the funeral of your own independence.

~Oswald Chambers

From the outside looking in, I thought being the pastor of a church would not be that difficult but it didn’t take long to get my eyes open. I made the false assumption that all good people love Jesus and that is not true. In the church, virtue can easily become a substitute for the righteousness of Christ {atonement}. Believe it or not, some people have managed to work their way in to key leadership positions by simply being a good person. We don’t seem to recognize the sinfulness of such virtue. We praise the good man. We pat him on the back. Of course, when I say man, I am referring to people in general. Very few of us debate the sordid, the vile, the grossly immoral but we fail to see the evil in virtue for its own sake. Many times the good hates the best and Jesus is the best. You may live a good life but Jesus is the best life. As a matter of fact, if we aren’t careful, our natural affections and our virtue can be in competition with Christ. We could even covet the praise that only He deserves. How vile is that kind of pride!

When I discovered this truth in the 70’s, I countered with sermon after sermon on our depravity. When I speak of depravity, I mean our inability to produce any righteousness that God will accept. All righteousness or goodness produced by the flesh {our natural life a part from Christ} is what the Bible calls SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS and Jesus condemned it. Self-righteousness is always marked by excessive pride which leads to a spiritual blindness. The self-righteous see the sins of others but they do not see their own sin. I started a men’s bible study class in the first church I served out of seminary. I targeted men who would not attend because they did not want to fill out an envelop, didn’t want to be called on to read or discuss, or wouldn’t attend a couples class. I was up to 6-8 in no time. One of our group was hyper critical; I think he inherited it from his father. We had a lesson on judging others one Sunday and he spoke up. I was shocked as I listened to his confession. He said, “Bro. Jack, God has spoken to me today. He has told me that my sin of judging others is worse than the sin I am judging them for.” I thought “hallelujah,” he has got it.

Self-righteous people are a pain to a pastor. Aside from the fact that they crave recognition, they have no real love for Jesus and no sense of compassion. They are so critical and judgmental that they do more damage in ministry than good. Beware of your own virtue. Surrender it to Jesus as an offering and let Him put it to death.


I looked at the long range weather forecast this morning: the high for Christmas Eve is 31. We may not have a white Christmas but it looks like we will have a cold one. There are few voices in our day that are as bold and clear as Erwin Lutzer. I think I have read all his books and there are no bad ones. His latest book is on the Cultural Revolution and Cultural Marxism. It is a must read. If you are confused as to what is happening in the USA, read the book and you will see clearly. The Progressive movement is not progressive; it is pure Marxism. We are dealing with a different brand of communist here in the states: the main difference between traditional communism and the cultural marxist is they do not want a bloody revolution such as they had in Russia. The revolution they seek is gradual and is brought about by cultural upheaval. To do this they must gain power in our present institutions and they have done so. They control higher education. The department of education is infested with marxist. They are will represented in the courts and of course they control most of the media. They own Hollywood. I will tell you up front, it is not a feel good read; it will disturb your mind. The name of the book is NO REASON TO HIDE, by Erwin W. Lutzer. He professes to be an evangelical but he does associate with Calvinist, but he is absolutely not woke.

The pastors had their Christmas Party at Jim and Nicks yesterday and I enjoyed it. We had 15 which is good for us. Have a great day and enjoy this warm weather.

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