Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Centrality of the Gospel

Well, our move is over and we are getting settled in here in Maine. I thought I might try blogging again!

I have been pondering the centrality of the Gospel. This is one of those things that I think we lose sight of sometimes. While there are many important things, personal holiness, right doctrine, God-honoring worship, et cetera, we must view all these through the lens of the Gospel.

I was thinking of the issue of personal holiness this morning. I am afraid that many of us have made that a central issue in our lives. Now, please do not mistake what I am saying. It is very, very important. But it is important because it puts emphasis on the Gospel. When our neighbors see us living holy lives they ought to be able to see from their interaction with us that it is the Gospel that empowers sinful men to be good. But when holiness is the main thing then we become "good people." The problem with being good is that the worldling already believes that most people are good and that God will not punish people who are basically, on balance, at the end of the day, good. But the message of the Bible is that All are wicked and the only good in life is God! The only hope we have to offer is that the righteousness of Christ can change our innately warped nature and make it into a new man.

If we do not keep this Gospel focus in the forefront of our minds we run a real risk of being in the place of the Pharisee of Luke 18:9-14. I would much rather be the publican in this parable!