Tuesday, October 11, 2011

two thieves of the gospel

This week I get to participate in an incredible conference called "Transformacion de la Cruz" or "Cross Transformation". It is coming out of John Piper's ministry Desiring God and it focuses on why the cross has to be central to every area of our ministries and lives.
Last night the key speaker, Pastor Glenn, gave an excellent talk about the two thieves of the gospel- religion and irreligion. He described the irreligious as the person who tries to lower God's standard to justify himself. And the religious as the person who tries to raise his own justification to get closer to God's standard. Both descriptions stung. Depending on the situation, I will choose which of these two thieves of the gospel serves me best. It is so hard to accept my absolute failure and God's absolute perfection... and the only way I can deal with these two unavoidable realities is to cling to the cross. For it is there that these two realities are reconciled.
I know this may sound like lofty theology, but it has become the very truth that I cling to in moments of despair. It isn't natural to think about the cross. But I've found that this is an area where discipline has really served a sweet purpose. Good theology is only good as long as it makes its way into your heart. I can speak about grace and the cross but if I am not living it, it's useless. Thank God that even the act of remembering and practicing grace is an act of grace in and of itself. He is good, He is good indeed.

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