The following is by Ray Ortlund, Pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, from a recent small group setting a few weeks ago. Attending Immanuel this summer has been so transforming in my understanding of "how we change in light of the gospel". Thanks, Ray.
"What steps do we men often walk through to get out of the shadows and into the light?
1. Keeping up appearances successfully, even unconsciously.
2. Failure, followed by brokenness. 'Brokenness' is not dysfunction, but a willingness to be real at the foot of the cross. Unbroken men MUST look good. Broken men need a Savior too urgently to care any more about appearances. The walls fall down. The need comes out.
3. Confession. The proof that our confession before God is sincere is that we are candor about our own sins with one another. Real confession is not general and vague, but detailed and up-to-date.
4. Prayer, forgiveness and cleansing. The biblical response to one another's confession is not therapy, but prayer for healing. All the promises of the gospel converge on the sinner who repents and confesses before God and others.
5. Refreshment, joy, and witness. Whenever people hear fresh stories of God's real mercy to real sinners, they marvel, they are drawn in, and the light spreads."
1 John 1: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Jesus is in the light. Jesus is the light. We can have forgiveness, healing and life by running to the light (openness and confession with God and others), as we fix our eyes, and throw our lives onto Jesus.