Monday, November 23, 2009

The Gospel Saves AND...

The Supremacy of God's Son

Hebrews 1:1-4

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”


The Holy Spirit has been bringing some conviction to me recently as I consider how I can in one breath both give thanks for the saving work of Christ Jesus and then add to Christ’s work one hundred other things on which hinges my own, or someone else’s Salvation. Now... I KNOW that Salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone in Christ alone... but I see in myself a trend that is pervasive in those all around me... How quickly we are to move PAST the Gospel that Jesus Christ saves sinners. We keep it in our back pocket like a Trump Card for heaven but strip it of its power to continually transform those who by it [The Gospel] are gripped! In reality I am learning afresh that it is the GOSPEL that SAVES us but also is PRIMARILY at work in our Sanctification!

In Romans 1:15 - The Apostle Paul says that he is, “Eager to preach the gospel to you too who are in Rome.” Paul is writing to those “in the church” so that they might be sanctified and continually challenged and transformed BY the Gospel.

Are there deep, head-hurting, heart-wrenching, Biblical Doctrines to wrestle with and seek to understand as we mature and grow in Christ? Absolutely. However, we don’t move PAST the Gospel to get to them. We only mature in character and understanding THROUGH the continued application of the Gospel!


“We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else." - John Calvin


Michelle H. said...

Roxie quoted this on her FB this morning and it's been rolling in my mind , "The more I study the life of Jesus, the more I have become convinced Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination." -- people don't come to Jesus b/c of what I say or how I say's b/c the Truth is's fascinating b/c HE is fascinating!!

Jake said...

Hey Michelle - Thanks for the comment (and thanks for reading!)

I agree completely that the Gospel is Truth and holds within itself the power to draw men, open blind eyes, and kill the flesh to make us holy...

Now... somewhat unrelated to this blog post: I know that the Kingdom of God and the Gospel is not advanced by force. There is something glaringly ineffective about standing on a box with a bullhorn in our culture. That being said, the larger context of that particular statement (article by Shane Claibourne - walks a fine line between a disagreement with methods and a decision to no longer see any kind of proclamation as part of a robust theology of the Gospel and evangelism.

I am not endorsing Medeval Crusades, Bullhorns, OR throwing Bibles at people... However... that doesn't allow us to shy away from calling sinners to repent. Often that happens best in the context of relationships but it is not exclusive to them and can happen to complete strangers because... IF we REALLY believe that the GOSPEL has the power... and NOT the method... then IT, when presented will ALWAYS bear the fruit it intends... after all.. Jesus was both gracious (John 4) and bold (Mark 1:14-15) in his call to repentance...

...and we should be the same