Thursday, October 17, 2013

You have to look a little to the left...

Once we realize that the gospel is the power of God for salvation, our action becomes a "reasonable service." However, if our service is front and center, the church may easily (wittingly or unwittingly) proclaim itself as the Messiah. (Ch. 7)

Now on the surface, this sounds obvious. We have heard verses about this and probably even heard such language in sermons. But have we stopped to think about the implications?

I can only speak for myself, but I think that I have had a tendency to focus on the word "salvation" when I hear such statements. My salvation is in the gospel, and the gospel is the good news about Jesus, and I want salvation so I confess and say I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. From there, it becomes a matter of saying and doing more right things, like going to church, not cursing, grace before meals, and maybe even an appropriate "Amen!" now and then.

But what if instead of focusing on the word "salvation," I focus on the words "gospel" and "power." Now instead of wanting salvation for myself, I find myself just being in awe at what the gospel has done. I now see that I cannot just give some lip service to such a thing, thinking that by doing that I am saved. It is not my confession in the gospel that saves me, it is the gospel itself that is the power of salvation. So now I see that next to the gospel, my good actions are but filthy rags.

So here is the paradox. If I focus on my salvation, I do the good things because I want to be saved. But in doing so, I dishonor the gospel, become my own savior, and since I have not lived a perfect life, I end up damning myself to hell. Or, I can focus on the gospel, be in awe of the beauty of a Savior who would do such a thing for me, and my life is changed, maybe to look just like the life of the one who seeks to be their own savior. Only I am not doing it to achieve salvation, I am doing it because of my love for the one who offers salvation to me.

That is a Gospel Driven Life.


For fun, but also application, have you taken the awareness test yet?

If you have taken the test for the first time, chances are, you did not see the bear at first. It is because your mind was focused elsewhere. Just like we sometimes focus so hard on salvation, that we miss the gospel. Salvation is a by-product of the Gospel Driven Life. But having the Gospel Driven Life is not always a by-product of chasing after salvation.

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