Presentation on theme: "The Gospel Driven Life Being Good News People in a Bad News World."— Presentation transcript:
The Gospel Driven Life Being Good News People in a Bad News World
Tentative Schedule ChapterTitleWeekDate Looking Up, Looking Out: Breaking News 1The Front Page God: Checking Headlines117 August 2The Real Crisis224 August 3The Big Story331 August 4Getting the Story Straight47 September 5Don’t Just DO Something, SIT There! Finding yourself in the Story514 September 6The Promise-Driven Life621 September Looking Around, Looking Ahead: A Cross-Cultural Community 7News of War and Peace: God’s Politics for a New Creation728 September 8How the Good News Creates a Cross-Cultural Community85 October 9The Health Page: Feasting in a Fast-Food World912 October 10Today’s Headline: The Church in Exile1019 October What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You get Things Done Part 1First Things First: Making God Supreme in Our Productivity1126 October Part 2Gospel-Driven Productivity122 November Parts 3-- 6DARE: Define, Architect, Reduce, Execute139 November
Rules, steps, formulas, good advice… We love rules, steps Just tell me what TO DO
The Origin of the Christian Life We live from the already completed fact, of being chosen, redeemed, called and justified Being justified is not the goal, but the source of our new life For our standing before God we need a report – not a resource
What drives you? What anchors you? – Something outside of yourself? Are you driven by power, wealth, ambition, self-esteem, acceptance? Or nobler things: making the world a better place, loving God and neighbor… “While affirming the importance of having clear goals and a worthy focus in life, I am urging us to put purposes their place, as servants of promise.”
Making the distinction: GospelLaw IndicativeImperative BelieveDo IdentityConformity PositionPractice PromiseCommand The gospel saves us … giving us reason to walk through the wilderness, the law guides us giving us directions for the journey. Christians are driven by God’s promises, and directed by God’s purposes.
Wrestling with the Promise (Gen 15) After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:1-6 ESV)
Abram’s response Abram had a pure promise of an inheritance – but he had no heir His response is not blind optimism or positive thinking. He believes the promise. He was then and there declared righteous. – Yet he was not the picture of moral integrity
The pronouncement makes it so Justification (being declared righteous before God) is at the core of the divine-human paradox: How can I have assurance that I am accepted before God as righteous when I continue to sin? The promise makes it so – and it is received by faith – if we get this right, it will radically alter every other aspect of our life
The covenant with Abraham is different: Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. (Galatians 3:16-18 ESV)
The Fulfillment of the Promise (Rom 4) For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:13-25 ESV)
Abraham the example… Abraham is the example that God justifies the wicked – If it is by law, then it is not by promise; if it is by promise, it is not by law. (v14)
God’s effectual word God’s promise (His declarative WORD) creates the reality in the present (v 17): That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
The scandal of justification How can God declare us righteous if we are not inherently righteous? God Himself creates the condition “Christ lived the purpose-driven life so that we would inherit his righteousness through faith and be promise- driven people in a purpose-driven world.” “Salvation – or what Paul calls the inheritance – comes by faith alone, in Christ alone, through God’s word alone, so that it may be by grace alone, to the end that all the glory will go to God alone.”
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: What Really Drives You? The example of the sailboat: no wind, no power – No matter how many fancy gadgets you have Example: woman struggling in her marriage: – “How to have a Better Marriage” series did not work – “What I need is forgiveness.”
Faith is defiance… It tells the world: “Your exhortations will not work anymore, if they ever did. There is someone else who did everything that needs to be done for me.” Faith distrusts every other promise maker
Following Jesus God IS HOLY – and therefore we must be holy Antinomianism: because we are saved by grace, we have no obligation to keep the law Yet, is greater asceticism – better techniques or formulas what we need? We DO need the means of grace – public and private
Not whether or not, but how Personal disciplines are not at question – but in what manner do we pursue them? – Is it a technique for personal transformation or is it a saving and sanctifying encounter with the Triune God who has met us in his Son? – Are we working toward our justification or from it? – Are we drawn to look outside ourselves, to Christ, or are we feeding our natural tendency to focus on ourselves and our inner life?
More than Imitation Why should we still struggle against indwelling sin? – Paul’s answer: Romans 6 – 7 – Our union with Christ is the basis – as you have been made, so be and do. Examples: – Christ the vine and we the branches Though justified by faith alone, it is a faith that is not alone, but accompanied by love and hope
“Christ for Us” and “Christ in Us” Christ for us and Christ in us: – the alien righteousness imputed to us – the sanctifying righteousness imparted to us These are compatible – justification and sanctification - but the former is the basis of the latter Is justification the source of new obedience or the result?
Conclusion “Don’t feed off of your New Years resolutions; rather, feed off of your union with Christ. You are part of the harvest of which the glorified Christ is already the firstfruits! Then resolve again, every day, to return to Christ, to recall your baptism, and to repent of all that weighs you down and distracts you from running the race with your eyes fixed on him.”