It seems that Peter has something like this in mind. ‘Your sin’, he seems to be saying, ‘is a very serious matter. It set you in opposition to God and handed you over to eternal condemnation. From that situation there was no escape. You were hopelessly, irrevocably lost. There is no ransom from such a situation. And then, incredibly, unbelievably, a ransom was found.
This is exactly how behavioral righteousness works under the gospel. People think the basis of the gospel is moral pressure because it is written that it many times results in righteous behavior. However, the basis of the gospel has nothing to do with this.
The parable of the laborers in the vineyard is a profound lesson in the dynamics of life under grace. One thing that I think is important to notice, is that in this parable it is considered a blessing among all concerned to get to work. Standing around doing nothing is not simply wrong -more importantly, it is undesirable.
We talk about the rich young ruler a lot in my house. His problem is not, as is commonly thought, his unwillingness to obey. He came asking the wrong question in the first place. He did not come asking, “How can I inherit eternal life?” He came asking, “What must I do that I may obtain eternal life?”
16 He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. 17 He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. 19 He […]
Despite ourselves, God views us as precious family and He longs for reconciliation. He is the One who cries hot tears of joy to see us restored to relationship with Him, while abundantly providing for us. Joseph embodies God’s feelings towards us in the midst of our terrible history against Him.
Even so, you cannot mix grace and law. Like leaven, the law overtakes the whole loaf. If you mostly believe in the one-way grace and acceptance of God, but you still maintain that somehow there remains the remote possibility that our poor performance can persuade Him to reject us, you have the leaven of the Pharisees.
I am declaring our transition campaign a success. What an incredible series of crazy and obvious miracles has happened to launch this church!