Friday, October 22, 2010

Words worth pondering

From Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer

On the truth that the gospel message is a message about sin...

It is not conviction of sin just to feel miserable about yourself and your failures and your inadequacy to meet life's demands. Nor would it be saving faith if a man in that condition called on the Lord Jesus just to soothe him, and cheer him up, and make him feel confident again. Nor should we be preaching the gospel (though we might imagine we were) if all that we did was to present Christ in terms of a man's felt wants. ('Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Do you want peace of mind? Do you feel that you have failed? Are you fed up with yourself? Do you want a friend? Then come to Christ; He will meet your every need...'--as if the Lord Jesus Christ were to be thought of as a fairy godmother, or a super-psychiatrist.) No; we have to go deeper than this. To preach sin means, not to make capital out of people's felt frailties (the brainwasher's trick), but  to measure their lives by the holy law of God. To be convicted of sin means, not just to felt hat one is an all-round flop, but to realize that one has offended God, and flouted His authority, and defied Him, and gone against Him, and put oneself in the wrong with Him. To preach Christ means to set Him forth as the One who through His cross sets men right with God again. To put faith in Christ means relying on Him, and Him alone, to restore us to God's fellowship and favour.
It is indeed true that the real Christ, the Christ of the Bible, who offers Himself to us as Saviour from sin and an Advocate with God, does in fact give peace, and joy, and moral strength, and the privilege of His own friendship, to those who trust Him. But the Christ who is depicted and desired merely to make the lot of life's casualties easier by supplying them with aids and comforts is not the real Christ, but a misrepresented and misconceived Christ...

5 comments:

  1. Well, that puts a new spin on the many books written for women that say, "Jesus will help you with..." "Ask Jesus because He works..."

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  2. I love that book. Might be my all time favorite.

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  3. Those are good words. Really making me think this morning. Started to write a longer comment, can't get the words right, but thank you for sharing this. I needed it to help me think through some things today.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this, Lisa.

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  5. Well, that puts a new spin on the many books written for women that say, "Jesus will help you with..." "Ask Jesus because He works..."

    ReplyDelete