In my sermon yesterday, I made reference to two articles that have had a great influence on my thinking regarding how sin works and how God defeats it. Here are the links to the articles if you’d like to read them for yourself.
The first of these is David Powlison’s, Idols of the Heart and Vanity Fair. Powlison says that humans are, by virtue of being created in God’s image, worshipers. Our hearts will find an object of desire to worship. This is unavoidable. We can either worship the God who created us through faith in Jesus Christ, or we can worship some alternative that promises us fulfillment but fails to deliver.
The second publication that I mentioned was a sermon by a Puritan pastor named Thomas Chalmers. He published a sermon entitled The Expulsive Power of a New Affection. He explains that we cannot merely identify an idol and call it sin; that idol’s occupation in our hearts must be “expelled” by a powerful new affection for Christ through the gospel.
The gospel is the “power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). Through the gospel, we have direct access to God through the blood of Jesus Christ. Thus, the gospel can expel the idols from our hearts and replace them with affection for the only true object of worship, God himself.