Doing It Consciously.
In a message by Alistair Begg, titled “A Confused Culture & A Compromised Church,” Begg lays out a series of statements which not only delineate various elements or dynamics but climb in intensity.
In this particular case, we could say they rungs of the ladder climb in relationship to “commitment.”* Here is the transcribed portion, although the audio clip is longer.
But the fact is – that we’re all carrying alien cards.
And it is this book which determines how alien we really are.
First of all . . . .
It is really alien to read this book.
It is really alien to believe this book.
It is really alien to obey this book.
It is really alien to carry this book.
Progressive statements are not foreign to our thinking and can even be found in the Bible using different forms . . . .
Lot . . .
- Saw the plains of the Jordan
- Pitched his tent towards Sodom
- Moved into the city of Sodom
It is not that speakers and preachers are unfamiliar with such progressions, BUT it may be that many do not CONSCIOUSLY think about using them. Consciously using such progressions, as did Alistair Begg, can . . . .
√ give clarity
√ provide a variety of expression
√ accentuate or drive a main point, or the main thought of the message (a compromised church)
Here are some other possible “ladder examples” which might cause you to “consciously” think about possible “Ladders” which can help clarify, add variety to, or drive the point you are making.
(Let’s start with using Alistair Begg’s “template” — not just the different elements of, but a laddering which reflects an increasing intensity of the dynamics which operate)
Become a genuine believer and — Your life will change!
First of all . . . .
Your desire to worship will change.
Your language will change.
Your use of time will change.
Your thinking will change.
You will “change the channel”— as to what you listen to, watch, and read.
Your interest in godly fellowship will change.
THEN! — You will find it more and more necessary to change your friends.
It will be equally necessary to change your amusements — the place you used to go to relax and enjoyed –, and sometimes that goes along with your friends.
Your giving will change.
Your going may change— your passion will be affected!
YOUR LIFE WILL CHANGE!
“Here is what you will see when you get on that road — You heart will convict you because you know you are walking on the wrong road. Then, you will find that some decisions and actions no longer upset you as they once did. Your heart and mind are more comfortable. There will come a time when you will rarely feel convicted and finally, your heart and mind are quietly comfortable with being that road.”
There are marks of being a new believer . . . .
- A desire to know more about what the Bible has to say
- An increasing awareness of God’s presence
- A life of prayer throughout the day
- A greater and greater interest in the spiritual, and less and less of this world
- A faithfulness to worship and fellowship
- A willingness to give your time and talent to Him
- A letting go of your financial resources
Now, you will also be able to follow that backward when you backslide. One of the first steps backward is the return of a stingy spirit, that selfishness which marked your old life is now back — and given time you will spend less and less time serving, then worshiping will become sporadic, and . . . .
“Those who try to manage the effects of sinful choices — like David —
- begin with what they think are simply answers — try to make it look like it wasn’t them – call Uriah back home for a night with his wife
- then when that doesn’t work, manage it by re-arranging some of the details, so what was planned will still or now work — get him drunk, so he goes home
- then move to desperate measures when the attempts at managing it in a simple way are not working — have Uriah killed by the enemy of Israel
You see there are steps people move through when they are trying to MANAGE the consequences of sinful choices.
“People who join the tribe of the rebellious start with . . . .
- adding a few new worldly friends,
- then dropping some of the old spiritual & good friends,
- finding some even more rebellious friends,
- alienating themselves from all the old & good friends, and
- having only rebels as now friends,
- being one of those seasoned rebels who other new rebels are looking for.”
*We could conclude that Begg did these from memory and should have moved the fourth rung to the first or second rung. Or perhaps the order of intensity is correct if we conclude that the hardest level is to go public by carrying the Bible.