But this is the message of the cross: God took the worst evil and made it into the greatest good. He took the cross of Christ and made it into the salvation of mankind.
So the message is a proclamation of our rescue – “the gospel of your salvation.” It means that you simply wait until it comes to you. The message is not “rescue yourself.” It is “here is your rescue!” And that means, you can’t dress up belief as something more than hearing and saying “that’s right!”
It says that we can rest and we can trust that, without qualifiers, God works everything out according to the counsel of His will. We do not have to worry that somehow we will miss God’s will. We are not the protectors or the progenitors of His will.
There is a vast difference between walking around thinking that you have made a decision for Jesus, and thinking that God chose you in Christ before the foundation of the cosmos.
We tend to downplay the value of forgiveness. We want our redemption to be about our “sanctification.” But Paul says here that our redemption is all about forgiveness. It was bought with blood and it is lavish.
Because of His great love for us, God (in His infinite knowledge) determined to adopt us as sons as into a very prestigious family. It turns out, God delights in us and finds great pleasure in us! He considers the adoption to be a great praise to Himself.
It is the whole lot of us that He intends to be holy and blameless. There cannot be a few mature and successful while others are struggling with unholiness and blame. As I always say, if there is a little drop of pee in your coffee, the whole cup is disgusting. If all are not holy and blameless, the whole lot of us together are unholy and blameful.
I’m starting a new sermon series at Bread and Wine Fellowship on the fabulous book of Ephesians. We already started last week, and I’ll post some things from my introductory and overview thoughts later. Today I want to jump into the text. I’m posting stuff from my study process in case someone might enjoy or […]
How can I overcome the fear of failing an Almighty God? God is indeed almighty! You don’t understand God’s kind of love if you don’t understand that He is all-powerful and constantly ready to judge you for your secret shameful life. After all, you wouldn’t even be asking this if there wasn’t obvious sin in your life. But if you repent and make it stick, and get rid of the habitual sin in your life, and really make your life to be all about loving God and loving others, and never do any obvious sins like sexual sins especially, you can feel good about knowing that you are not failing God.
I am just returning from the Mockingbird Spring conference in NYC, where I heard Nadia Bolz-Weber give a talk. Of course, I should be doing a whole conference review, and maybe I will. However, she told some extremely powerful stories that hinged on confession. Confession is of course a HUGE part of my idea of […]