It is a bit scary that I might be cut from the same Pharisaical cloth.
I need a more concentrated sense of my sin. We need to understand our sin in a more detailed manner. Only through knowing our sin in its detail can we really experience grace and salvation to its fullest within us. Ozzie Chambers writes, "There is never any vague sense of sin [in the presence of God], but the concentration of sin in some personal particular."
This concentrated understanding of our sin is important because then there is real freedom in realizing what grace has saved you from. It is easy for us to claim we are sinners. OF course we are sinners! We all know that and can claim it very simply. We do not experience real grace in that though.
It is just as easy for us to claim we are sinners, but we have been saved. Yes, that is true, but that kind of understanding is not concentrated enough to really understand what grace really means. A more concentrated understanding of our sin allows us to feel and answer the real question:
"SAVED FROM WHAT??!!"
If we are only claiming the unconcentrated and ambiguous claim of being a sinner, we are no different than anyone else. In this manner, we only know grace and salvation as a concept, which does no one any good.
We have to break ourselves down and embrace our sin that we may sincerely embrace grace offered to all of us. When I begin to quit calling myself only a sinner, but a selfish man with too much desire to please myself through my time, my words and my actions, I can THEN feel a distinct sting of my sin. When I feel that distinct sin, I am able to realize what I am actually saved FROM! Salvation and grace become that much more real to me. With each sin exposed, the embrace of grace grows that much more sincere and real.
Ozzie writes, "The cleansing fire had to be applied where the sin had been concentrated." When we allow ourselves to concentrate our sin instead of leaving it vague and general, we begin to know real cleansing. In Isaiah 6, verse 5, Isaiah concentrates his sin. He does not say, "Woe is me! For I am a sinner." We all know he is a sinner. We all know ourselves to be sinners. No! Isaiah repents, "Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips." Isaiah concentrated his idea of his sin.
The Seraph touches the cleansing coal not to Isaiah's entire life either. He touches the cleansing coal to Isaiah's lips; the very concentrated part he had repented of.
When we can concentrate our sin into the detailed sins, we can answer the question,
"SAVED FROM WHAT?!"