In case you haven’t heard, the new iPhone 7 was unveiled to the world yesterday. As I watched the event and listened to the Apple team explain their new product launch, one thing struck me—they’re striving for perfection. Several different times, they repeated the phrase, “This is the best iPhone we’ve ever made.” With the use of their brains, experience, their advanced company, and their relationships with other companies, they’ve managed to up the game once again with a very advanced smart phone. However, before you rush out to purchase it, remember, the new iPhone 7 might not aid your sanctification.
The War Against the Flesh
Several years ago, the word “selfie” did not appear in any dictionary. Today, it’s a popular word because it’s a popular practice. The new iPhone 7 has a much better camera that will take much better pictures, and as you can expect, it will take much better selfies. With the very intentional focus on health, your phone does far more than call friends. It now tracks how far you’ve walked and aids you in becoming less sedentary and more active. As the iPhone becomes better, the phone enables us all to enjoy ourselves more. We can look better in the pictures, feel better with our exercise applications, and know more with software connections. However, no matter how smart the iPhone becomes, there is something broken in man that can’t be fixed by Apple.
To be a Christian is a difficult road involving sanctification. The war against the flesh is one of the main topics of Scripture (1 Peter 2:11). We can’t expect to increase in holiness just by merely holding a new and improved smart phone in our hands. Can we harness the iPhone 7 to grow in grace and become a more mature Christian? Absolutely, but the flesh craves self, and what we need is less self and more of God. Will you be more likely to use the new phone for God or for self (Galatians 5:16-24)? We must decrease and it’s extremely difficult to decrease when we’re holding one of the most advanced computer devices of modern history in our hands.
Sanctifying Questions Before Buying the iPhone 7
- Will my new iPhone 7 prevent me from being influenced by Christ more than this world?
- Will my new iPhone 7 become an idol in my life?
- Will my new iPhone 7 prevent me from treasuring the local church and the benefits of being connected to real people?
- Will my new iPhone 7 tempt me to trade the teaching of my pastors and their shepherding care of my soul for Internet preachers?
- Will my new iPhone 7 become a door to a dark world of pornography?
- Will my new iPhone 7 help or harm my communication ability with real people?
- Will my new iPhone 7 feed my struggle with materialism?
- Will my new iPhone 7 help or harm my ability to read the Word of God?
- Will my new iPhone 7 help or harm my ability to stay connected with God in prayer?
- Will my new iPhone 7 help or harm my critical nature and my temptation to envy other people?
The Smart Phone and the Wise Christian
The wise Christian comes to a place where he recognizes his inability to increase in sanctification and Christian maturity apart from the basics. No amount of advanced software will be sufficient apart from a striving after God that engages the heart, soul, mind, and strength. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones writes:
Much of the trouble in the church today is due to the fact that we are so subjective, so interested in ourselves, so egocentric. . . . Having forgotten God, and having become so interested in ourselves, we become miserable and wretched, and spend our time in “shallows and in miseries.” The message of the Bible from beginning to end is designed to bring us back to God, to humble us before God, and to enable us to see our true relationship to him. 
The wise Christian will use his phone to grow in the knowledge of God, but he will likewise recognize that an iPhone 7 is not necessary to grow in grace. Hundreds of millions of people will never own an iPhone 7, and they will grow closer to God and increase in spiritual maturity without it. The wise Christian will harness every opportunity to know God more and decrease in selfish motives. The wise Christian will not look to his phone as his ultimate joy, but instead—will look to Jesus Christ as his ultimate treasure. The wise Christian will use his new phone to seek the face of God in the Word of God. Is the new iPhone 7 necessary? Guard your heart, make wise decisions, and live passionately for the glory of God.
Sanctification is God’s will for our lives (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8). An iPhone 7 is not necessary, but if you own one—make sure it doesn’t own you. All technology has limitations, so look to Jesus Christ as your ultimate joy. What if we pursued God with the same passion Apple puts into creating better products?
- Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (1978). God’s Ultimate Purpose : An Exposition of Ephesians 1, 1 to 23 (13–14). Edinburgh; Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth Trust.