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Back to the Basics (again)

April 19, 2011
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Over the last couple weeks I’ve really been reminded, in a myriad of ways, about what the gospel is and what it is not. What it means for life, and what it doesn’t mean. I find myself so often reverting to a works-based model of Christianity, where even though I know I’m justified by faith, I have to keep God’s love and favor by doing “good” things and doing good things “enough.” It’s wrong, and I know it is, but I’m back there so much. Really, it’s scary too. It can say some serious things about my functional belief system. For example, take these verses from Matthew 7:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ ”

What if it said, “Lord, Lord, did we not have all the right doctrine, hold to and affirm the truth, do countless good deeds, serve people in the church, and give generously?” Since I don’t really cast out demons or perform miracles (and neither do you, probably), I think my re-phrasing can be a helpful way to think about these verses. The point is, what do I, what do we, point at when we assess our spiritual lives/salvation (including justification AND sanctification)? What I’m doing? How I’ve been faithful? How much time I’ve spent in the spiritual disciplines? Or Christ?

Is it Christ?

Good little reminder here:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. vickie permalink
    April 20, 2011 3:13 am

    I think the works thing is our default, and we just have to push ourselves to think about what Christ has done, rather than what we have done or are doing. But, there is a fine line in this–b/c we know Christians by their fruit, right? So, there has to be a balance of us being obedient to Christ by doing the things He commanded, yet always knowing that the bottom line is that He did it all for us and His sacrifice was accepted by the Father, proof being Christ’s resurrection. Praise God! 🙂

    • April 24, 2011 6:22 pm

      I totally agree with you. Good point on the fine line of obedience and grace.

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