Monday, March 20, 2006

Not a Balance

The metaphor of the two thieves may cause us to think that we need to strike a balance. But how can you have a balance between legalism and lawlessness? Between moralism and relativism? Proclaiming the gospel is not a balancing act between emphasizing God’s mercy and his holiness. It is something entirely different.

Tim Keller:
The gospel produces a unique blend of humility and boldness/joy in the convert. If you preach just a demanding God, the listener will have "low self-esteem"; if you preach just an all-loving God, the listener will have higher self-esteem. But the gospel produces something beyond both of those. The gospel says: I am so lost Jesus had to die to save me. But I am so loved that Jesus was glad to die to save me. That changes the very basis of my identity—it transforms me from the root.

I can't tell you how important this is in all mission and ministry. Unless you distinguish the gospel from both religion and irreligion–from both traditional moralism and liberal relativism–then newcomers in your services will automatically think you are simply calling them to be good and nice people. They will be bored. But when…the gospel is communicated in its unique, counter-intuitive balance of truth and love, then listeners will be surprised. Most people today try to place the church somewhere along a spectrum from "liberal" to "conservative"–from the relativistic to the moralistic. But when they see a church filled with people who insist on the truth, but without a shred of superiority or self-righteousness–this simply explodes their categories. To them, people who have the truth are not gracious. People who are gracious and accepting say, "Who knows what is the truth?" Christians are enormously bold to tell the truth, but without a shred of superiority, because you are [a] sinner saved by grace. This balance of boldness and utter humility, truth and love–is not somewhere in the middle between legalistic fundamentalism and relativistic liberalism. It is actually off the charts.

Pastor Rod

“Helping you become the person God created you to be”

1 comment:

MTF said...

God has indeed written His law upon our hearts. . .

"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" Romans 8:4

Amen