Wednesday, February 12, 2014

There's so much more

Multitudes in the Church walk around as if they are in mourning—never knowing rest of soul or the peace of Christ’s presence. They picture themselves under the thumb of God’s wrath rather than under His protective wings. They see Him as a harsh taskmaster, always ready to bring a whip down on their backs, and so their lives are filled with fear, guilt and despair. They live unhappily, with no hope, more dead than alive…The real problem is our lack of faith in God’s covenant promises. We refuse to accept His unconditional love, His unlimited forgiveness, His free reconciliation. We are not willing to believe He pardons and restores us simply because He loves us. Instead, we become focused on our sin, losing all sight of what God wants from us most.— It Is Finished, pages 180-181

<idle musing>
Wow. That aligns perfectly with what I posted yesterday. We just don't know who we are and what that means. Or, more likely, we just can't believe it—it seems too good to be true.

Part of the problem is the way the "gospel" has been presented to us (I put gospel in scare quotes for a reason). We are told that God-is-mad-at-us-and-hates-us-and-we-are-on-our-way-to-hell-unless-we-turn-and-repent-right-now-because-Jesus-may-come-at-any-moment-and-you-don't-want-to-go-to-hell-do-you?

Who in their right mind would turn down an offer like that! But that isn't the gospel! That is a small portion of the gospel—the salvation part of the gospel. The gospel is the story of God at work in the world from Genesis 1 through Revelation and beyond. The gospel is the good news that God loves you—always has—and wants to restore you (and all of us) to what we were in the garden. And he won't stop until he accomplishes that.

That's the final snippet from this book. Tomorrow I'll begin pulling stuff from Scot McKnight's The King Jesus Gospel. He goes on at length about what the gospel really is and how we got to where we are today. Good stuff...
</idle musing>

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