I was listening to a podcast, titled Immanuel Nashville, and came across the quote below from Ray Ortlund.
“A broken-hearted whore clinging to Jesus is infinitely closer to God than the most upright solid citizen who does so much good, he’s too good for Jesus.” – Ray Ortlund
I had to replay that part of the podcast a few times to hear the quote above. It was mentioned in relation to what Galatians 1:4 calls our “present evil age” that we live in.
Ray Ortlund goes on to say, “What’s evil about this present evil age, nobody is a sinner. We live in the most righteous world. Puritanical, tense, uppity, nobodies wrong, nobodies jacked up, everybody is so righteous in their politics and their sexuality. Where are the sinners in the world today? Well we are, and we admit it. Nobody else can admit that, they can’t risk it. But we belong to a Savior who loves sinners.”
I love the line, “they can’t risk it.” The world is holding on to the ever changing.
In Christ, we are free to acknowledge our sins. That is one way we differ from the ways of the world. We have a freedom to rest in the perfect righteousness of Christ and admit our sins. We don’t live in the world holding on to our burden of sin. Rather we express our sins and admit we are no longer self-relying beings.
We show the world that we are vulnerable because we are loved and freed by Christ. Freedom doesn’t rest in the approval of the world; it rest in God having already approved of us. By faith, we are redeemed by the grace and the peace of Christ. A grace that covers us and a peace that grants us freedom in our weakness.
God commands us to live in the world but not to be of the world (John 17:14-15). We can be vulnerable in our admittance of sins to God and to others. It will express your reliance on God and may bring encouragement and healing to someone who’s living in the false righteousness of our world.
Going back to the original quote…
The broken-hearted whore clinging to Jesus? Society says they are despicable and far from God.
The upright citizen doing so much good? Society says they are doing good for themselves.
When we cling to Jesus, we can believe He will change our hearts. When we cling to our self-righteousness, we can believe we don’t need a change of heart.
Lord, may I cling to you in the midst of my sin. Reveal to me in your Word and in my conscience all sin and whatever is not honoring to you. Lead me to the way of your Son. When I commit sin against You, may I confess it, repent of it and rest in your grace and peace as you work to change my heart. Amen.