Thursday, January 05, 2006

Gentleman Caller

I've been reading 'God is the Gospel', by John Piper over Christmas. It's an excellent book, and has really challenged what i believe about the point of salvation, who the Holy Spirit is, and how we do evangelism.
Piper's point in this book is that the greatest gift that God has to offer is Himself, not anything else, and that our justification, santification and re-birth are means to an end. The end is relations with the great I AM. This has challenged my very self centred approach to the cross. Thinking that the cross was a way to make much of myself (of course God loves me...His son died for me), or to see the cross as my way of escaping hell. But no. God created us to live in relationship with Him, to bring glory to Him, and that is what He does on the cross. The cross is the place where God's glory in the face of Jesus Christ shines the brightest. Look at what Christ is doing, look, therefore, about how much God is worth. The point of the cross must be the lose our self centredness, not to enhance it! To see that in the death and ressurection of Christ we see the glory of a God who fulfills everything i need. To realise that is a much greater thing than forgiveness or feeling loved? Would you be happy in heaven if Christ wasn't there but all your friends and loved ones were? I hope not!
And the Holy Spirit? I'm not sure how i regarded the Holy Spirit before. Obviously as the third and equal part of the Trinity, obviously as no less God than the Father or the Son, but i think in some way i saw Him as independant of the other two. What a load of nonsense! The only way the Holy Spirit changes us is by showing us more and more of the attraction of the glory of the father! It can not do things independantly of Him. If i remember one thing from this book, i hope that is it. We are only changed by looking at the Father and realising His greatness. To do that we need the Holy Spirit more than anything else.
Which takes us onto evangelism. It takes two things for people to believe in the gospel.
1. The Gospel must be faithfully proclaimed. I don't why its taken me so long to realise this, but man! Who was ever saved by my garbelled version of the gospel, or by the 'nice' bits of the gospel, or by anything other than the gospel? No one! It's just not possible. All the time i've wasted in petty arguments with non Christians...why wasn't i just telling them the gospel?
2. The Holy Spirit must move in their hearts to show them the light of Christ. Romans 1:20 says that we are without excuse, that we can clearly see the things of God, we just ignore them. Only the Holy Spirit will open their hearts, will be the light shone into their hearts. That'll only happen if we lets pray!

1 comment:

lucian woolf said...

go here

i am not a wierdo. you know someone who is my alter-ego.

i am writing a story. keep checking up on it. like a plant grows from a pot, my tale of woe grows from this blog.