Sunday, June 21, 2009

How about some Gospel humility?

“The gospel . . . is the wisdom of God because it doesn’t praise our intellects or advertise our strengths. It causes us to fall on our knees and acknowledge our weakness, our dependence, our terrible need. It causes us to look up to God as the great Savior. ‘It is by his doing that we are in Christ Jesus’ . . .. The gospel teaches us that our righteousness, our sanctification, our redemption, and our wisdom are all gifts of God. The message of the gospel scuttles human pride because it reminds us that our life did not start with our choosing God but his choosing us. Therefore, all the glory is God’s.”

- Thomas Schreiner, “The Foolishness of the Cross” The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology (Fall 2002)

"For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, 'Let the one who boast, boast in the Lord.'" (1 Cor. 1:26-30)

And so, if you are saved today, remember Who it is who saved you, Who it is who keeps you saved, Who it is who intercedes for you, and Who it is who has promised to finish what He started. If you find yourself following Christ today, you have Him to thank, and him to praise. If you are a Christian today, do not boast that you are a Christian - boast in Him who saved you.

5 comments:

couragetotremble said...

Absolutely nothing to boast about. So much so, that I do not know if I can be as angry with the enemies of God as I ought, as filled with righteous indignation against those who pour contempt on His holy Name as I ought, knowing that but for His grace, I would be in their shoes. What do you think about this?

WhiteStone said...

Laurie, you lay things out so clearly. Today's sermon in church spoke to the same. How much more we love God when we recognize the depth of our need for His work in us...that our own works are worthless.

Andy C said...

At a wedding yesterday and the sermon in church today, I heard the following verse:

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, But to Your name give glory Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.
Psalm 115:1

A good reminder, thanks for posting!

Laurie M. said...

Nahomi,
You raise a good point, and I've given it some thought and discussed it with Paul as well. We both feel that as Christians, the body of Christ in this world, our role is to do the work He came to do and commissioned us to do. He said that the world already stands condemned, and so He did not come to condemn it but to bring salvation (John 3:16-17). I think that should be our attitude as well. His commission to us was to spread the good news - of salvation in Him. He himself, when He did express His pure anger, His righteous indignation, during His earthly ministry, it was reserved for the hypocrites within the religious establishment, not toward the sinners or the heathens. I'm not sure how pure our righteous indignation can be, as James says, "... the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." And as Paul, who refers to us as "vessels of mercy" says, "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord.' To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink...overcome evil with good. Rom.12:19-21. Paul also, when we see him angry, is angry with offenders within the church, in particular Judaizers. Peter tells us that "...it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God..." in the midst of a discussion of persecution in the name of Christ (1 Pet. 4:12-19). From all this I surmise that our role as the church is to extend mercy and not wrath to this condemned world. We are to understand that God has will deal with His wrath toward evil in His time, and that we are to rest in the knowledge of that and put away wrath. We are responsible, however, to deal with hypocrisy and legalism, and gross sin within the church as needed, and with gentleness and all humility.

Karin said...

Excellent post! It is only in Him that I boast. All praise be unto Him! Thanks for sharing this with us. Blessings.