It seemed appropriate this morning, as “The Cure” is newly wending its way around the neighborhood, to repeat a statement I’ve made in several sermons and posted onto my Facebook page. People give me credit for the statement, but like most things I express that are wise, insightful or a betterment for society, they did not usually emanate from me. This particular one is from Bill, I think. He probably stole it from God. That’s how he rolls. He has to answer for that copyright infringement. Anyway, the statement goes something like this:
God’s goal for the non-believer is conviction of sin-so we’d run to His love.
God’s goal for the believer is conviction of His love-so we’d run from sin.
Amongst about 700 other implications from this statement is this one: Everything changed at the cross. He doesn’t deal with us the same, He doesn’t motivate our behavior the same, He doesn’t have the same goal to accomplish.
Everything has changed. Every intention, from the moment the Mosaic covenant was penned, was to convince mankind that his self-righteousness wouldn’t cut it, and to weary him out until he cried uncle and ran to love to a Person, instead of compliance to a list.
And now the great weariness experiment is over. It really is over. God will never appeal to it again…unless you have not given up yet. In which case, the Law is still internally driving you to weary of your empty self-sufficiency. But if you are His, you must know this: every moment of every day, your God is wooing, drawing, calling out that new heart. He is not compelling you to try harder, strain more, prove your love more or even trust harder. Instead, He is drawing you to become daily more and more convinced of His love, your new identity and His power in you to mature you into who He has called you-Righteous.
In chapter three of “The Cure” (Two Gods) we are begging the Church to believe and risk living out of this incredible truth: You, yes you, are completely, absolutely, fully righteous, right now, exactly where you are! You will never achieve more of it. Believing that is the very truth that will allow you to mature into the expression of that righteousness. And that alone will free you from the sin which entangles you.
The new day has dawned. It would be great for us to stop begging in private for it to happen. Instead, we could just walk outside and stand in it’s bright, warm glow; stunned, next to a bunch of others of us, all with squinting eyes, gradually and wonderfully adjusting to the Light.
John, one of the three amigos, part of the ever-growing tribe of grace.