By: Todd Bumgarner
Calvin once said that “scarcely a single person has ever been found who did not fashion for himself an idol…in place of God.” An idol can be anything. According to Tim Keller (author of Counter Gods), an idol is “anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”
This past Sunday I taught on idolatry from Jeremiah 2:1-3:5. In context, God’s people (in Jeremiah’s day) had whored themselves out to other gods. Jeremiah tells them in 2:33 that they are so good at searching out love that even prostitutes can learn from them.
Standing on the shoulders of guys like Darrin Patrick, Tim Keller, Dick Keyes, Dick Kauffman, and David Powlison, we have compiled a handout that helps you to begin to zero-in on your idols. By completing the statement, “Life only has meaning, I only have worth if…” you can begin to expose the idols of your heart. Linked below is the handout that we passed out on Sunday with a third page added with the “heart questions” that I threw out.
This coming Sunday we’ll go a level deeper moving from surface idols to source idols with an intent of getting at the “sin beneath the sin.”
This last week we wrapped up the inaugural sermon series here at 2 Pillars Church closing out twenty weeks of looking at Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. We wrapped up by focusing on Galatians 6:11-18 where Paul makes clear that Christianity is not primarily an outward thing, but an inward thing. The outward life of a person is transformationally affected only by the inward work of the gospel, that is, by the Holy Spirit who indwells believers and convinces us that we are truly children of God.
At the end of the letter and at the end of the day, the real question we must answer is: Am I a new creation? In this passage, we said that Paul gives us two tests in order to self-assess: 1) What do I boast in? 2) How do I approach the world?
Below are two powerful quotes, related to these self-assessing questions, by two men whose work on Galatians was very instrumental in our sermon series. These were shared on Sunday and reproduced here for your benefit.
“Only if we have humbled ourselves as hell-deserving sinners shall we give up boasting of ourselves, fly to the cross for salvation and spend the rest of our days glorying in the cross.”
“The gospel changes what I fundamentally boast in – it changes the whole basis for my identity. Therefore, nothing in the whole world has any power over me – I am free at last to enjoy the world, for I do not need the world. I feel neither inferior to anyone nor superior to anyone, and I am being made all over into someone and something entirely new.”