The first thing to remember is that we must never separate the benefits (regeneration, justification, sanctification) from the Benefactor (Jesus Christ). The Christians who are most focused on their own spirituality may give the impression of being the most spiritual but from the New Testament’s point of view, those who have almost forgotten about their own spirituality because their focus is so exclusively on their union with Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished are those who are growing and exhibiting fruitfulness. Historically speaking, whenever the piety of a particular group is focused on OUR spirituality, that piety will eventually exhaust itself on its own resources. Only where our piety forgets about us and focuses on Jesus Christ will our piety be nourished by the ongoing resources the Spirit brings to us from the source of all true piety, our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Glory of the Gospel
The Gospel would not be good news if it did not reveal the glory of Christ for us to see and savor. It is the glory of Christ that finally satisfies our soul. We are made for Christ, and Christ died so that every obstacle would be removed that keeps us from seeing and savoring the most satisfying treasure in the universe—namely, Christ, who is the image of God.
~ John Piper, God is the Gospel, p. 62.
The Gospel vs. The gods of the Elite
God has not arranged things so that the foolishness of the Gospel saves [only] those who have IQ’s in excess of 130. Where would that leave the rest of us? Nor does the foolishness of what is preached transform [only] the young, the beautiful, the extroverts, the educated, the wealthy, the healthy, the upright. Where would that leave the old, the ugly, the introverts, the illiterate, the poor, the sick, the perverse?
[On the other hand…] The gods of the rich are not gentle with those the rich dismiss as poor; the gods of the wise are not kind to those the wise reject as stupid; the gods of the social elite are not patient with outcasts.
Do You Know…?
Do you know the Christ of the Gospels? Or have you fallen into the trap to which Christians (especially, perhaps, Reformed Christians) who love doctrine and systematic theology are sometimes susceptible (unlike John Calvin, it should be said): fascination with dogmatic formula at the expense of love for the Savior’s person?
– Sinclair Ferguson, from Yesterday, Today, and Forever
God Made Us to Pray
While studying this afternoon I stumbled upon this thought from J.I. Packer:
It is not too much to say that God made us to pray; that prayer is (not the easiest, but) the most natural activity in which in which we ever engage; and that prayer is the measure of a man in God’s sight. ‘What a man is alone on his knees before God,’ said the saintly Murray McCheyne, ‘that he is, and no more.’