Friday, November 13, 2009

Performance-based faith

“The message of “Jesus plus nothing” from start to finish is often too humbling for us to swallow. Instead, we opt for performance hoops to jump through in order to impress God. Sure, we trust him alone for salvation and a place in heaven. But when it comes to daily living, it’s difficult to fathom that he wants to be our resource and carry the load.

“Growth doesn’t happen by trying harder. It doesn’t occur by a “two steps forward and one step back” approach. Genuine growth occurs as we absorb truth about who we already are and what we already possess in Christ.

“Believers shouldn’t passively sit around waiting to receive something new — more cleansing, more of the Holy Spirit, or more of whatever popular teaching says is lacking in us. We have everything we need for a godly life. We have an unshakable kingdom, an eternal covenant, and every spiritual blessing. We are complete and lack nothing. The only logical response is to spend our lives reminding each other of these extraordinary truths and giving thanks to our God.

“Requesting and possessing are polar opposites. Once a person is in Christ, they are a possessor, not a requester. We see this point illustrated in the Lord’s Supper. We shouldn’t participate in this celebration in order to obtain something. Instead, we are to celebrate the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Jesus Christ. Just as this celebration is based solely on the work of Christ, we should conduct all of our business in the light of what he has already done.

“To thank God for every spiritual blessing and then to ask him for more patience, for example, is to ignore Christ within us. Isn’t patience part of what we need for a godly life? Do we have all the patience we need already implanted within us or don’t we? Through the Scriptures, God answers this question with a resounding yes. Because we possess Christ himself, and since Christ is not lacking in patience, we already have all we need.”—The Naked Gospel, pages 187-188

<idle musing>
Amen!
</idle musing>

2 comments:

Drastic Plastic said...

Is this like performance-related pay?

Joel Brueseke said...

The Naked Gospel is an excellent book. Andrew hits the nail on the head all throughout the book.