Deep, Enduring Change

I am blogging from Atlanta, Georgia at the Catalyst 2014 Conference. I have been asked to serve as a part of the Blogger Team at Catalyst!

Tim Keller, the founder and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City spoke to us on the following topic:

What does it take to change yourself inwardly, deeply, and enduringly?

You won’t change society unless you know how to change yourself. I’ve seen lots of promising young leaders and movements go down due to character flaws.


4 Things to KNOW about Biblical Teaching:

1. Know the magnitude of your sin problem. Romans 7:19-20. None of us realize how serious our sin is. We make excuses or explain things away. We are blind to the sins which can destroy us.

John Owen wrote On the Mortification of Sin – “Be killing your sin or sin will be killing you.”

You will never change unless you know this

2. Know how your sin CANT be overcome. Can’t happen by trying harder or doubling down.  Acts of will cannot lead us to comply with moral law.

Augustine said the law stirred up and increased sin.

There is a more subtle way. When religion and morality comes in, sin takes another form. It can aggravate the impulse to be your own Savior and Lord.

You can do this by being bad and breaking the Law, or attempting to be good, drawing your value from keeping the Law. Doubling down on the moral law does not change you.

3. Know why that sin CAN’T be overcome.

Edwards says we can do good things for selfish motives.

A sign that our motivation is coming from the wrong place is that we cannot admit our mistakes or we obsess over our failures. Criticism and small crowds don’t bother you.

You are either proud cause you are living up to the standard, or decimated you are not.

You can either be crushed with guilt or anxiety.

(Note: This is such a good point in our walk of grace as we battle sin. This could have been a whole session!)

4. Your very structure and identity must change.

Jesus became Mr Hyde for us. He became hideous for us.

4 Things to DO in Prayer

It takes years of prayer to make things real in your heart. These need to be worked into prayer day in and day out.

1. Do it. You would never forget if your life depended on it. Don’t forget to pray

2. Do it until it engages your affections. Your heart will follow as you develop this habit. 

3. Look at your besetting sins in prayer.  It keeps you humble and focused on God

4. Be expectant. Know that God desires to do things, and will when you are ready. 


To see some other posts on NoSuperHeroes referencing Tim Keller look at The Meaning of Marriage and Are you Rebellious and Religious?

For more about the Catalyst Conference go to