You're Still an Unbeliever

Every Thursday morning, I get together with three guys to pursue Jesus. It's really early. The coffee is curiously strong. The conversation is lively. I love it. We just started reading, You Can Change, by Tim Chester. If you've ever asked, "how do I become like Jesus?", read the New Testament. Then, read this book. It's biblical, it's practical and it's tremendously hopeful. And, it is not a self-help book (contra what you might infer from the title).

Tim says that our root problem is unbelief. We sin because we refuse to trust in Jesus. Instead, we trust in the deceptive desires of sin. Tim says this;

Not many Christians think of themselves as unbelievers. After all, we normally use the term to describe people who aren't Christians at all. Most of us can happily endorse the creeds of our church. But our problems rarely arise from a lack of belief in a confessional or theoretical sense, though this may be the case. More often they arise from functional or practical disbelief. The problems lie in the gap between what we believe in theory and what we believe in practice.

On Sunday morning I sing of my belief in justification by faith (confessional faith), but on Monday morning I still feel the need to prove myself (functional disbelief). Or I may believe I'll be acquitted on the day of judgment, but I still want to justify myself in an argument tomorrow. I may affirm that God is sovereign (confessional faith), but I still get anxious when I can't control my life (functional disbelief). Sanctification is the progressive narrowing of the gap between confessional faith and functional faith.

You Can Change, 75.

When you detect a sinful pattern in your life, ask yourself, "what lie am I believing? How am I failing to trust in Jesus?" Then ask yourself, "why is Jesus better? What does Jesus offer that sin can't?" Unbelief is our root problem, so attack sin at its root.