“Had it not been for _______ [fill in the blank], we would have never stumbled into sin.”

Had David had followed in the footsteps of Adam and Eve, he would have written something like this: “The woman whom you put on the roof, she was naked and beautiful, and I committed adultery.” It seems absurd when we hear someone else say it, but it’s what you and I do every day.

Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5 HCSB)

among whom [sons of disobedience] we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Ephesians 2:3 ESV)

Husbands and wives, your spouse is not the cause of your moral failing – your own sinful heart is. Parents, your kids are not the cause of your moral failing – your own sinful heart is. Pastors, your congregations are not the cause of your moral failing – your own sinful heart is. Christian, this fallen world and the difficulties in it are not the cause of your moral failing – your own sinful heart is.

This is so important to understand: changing your external situations and relationships won’t change you. If you want to see lasting change and personal transformation, you can’t start externally. Instead, like David, we need to start with the iniquity in our own heart.

If the Bible’s description is accurate, then God’s grace is our only hope. Changing our environment won’t help, so each one of us needs grace – grace that’s not only big enough to rescue us from our sin, but also powerful enough to free us from the self-atoning prison of our own righteousness. Cry out for that grace today and watch the Lord provide in abundance.

~ Paul Tripp

Read the entire great post here:  http://www.paultripp.com/wednesdays-word/posts/external-change

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