Quote of the Day
Pr. William Cwirla
This is the God of the gospel of grace. A God, who out of love for us, sent the only Son he ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for his milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross and died whispering forgiveness on us all... The God of the legalistic Christian, on the other hand, is often unpredictable, erratic, and capable of all manner of prejudices. When we view God this way, we feel compelled to engage in some sort of magic to appease him. Sunday worship becomes a superstitious insurance policy against His whims. This God expects people to be perfect and to be in perpetual control of their feelings and thoughts. When broken people with this concept of God fail - as inevitably they must - they usually expect punishment. So, they persevere in religious practices as they struggle to maintain a hollow image of a perfect self. The struggle itself is exhausting. The legalists can never live up to the expectations they project on God.I was a legalist - through and through [and not to say I am completely done with my old ways, either]. I would project those expectations of pleasing this God on myself and others. And I could not live up to those expectations he refers to. Wilderness. I continued to wander there for a long time, but Manning was someone who I would constantly return to for refreshment and a bit of healing. An oasis.
It isn't just that we failures will get in. It’s that we will probably get in like that!
We failures-in-living-the-Christian-life-as-described-in-the-Bible will probably say
something like, “You mean it was that simple?!” “Just Christ’s cross & blood?! Just His righteousness imputed to my account as if mine? You gotta be kidding!” “And all of heaven is ours just because of what was done by Jesus outside of me, on the cross — not because of what Christ did in me” – in my heart, in my Christian living, in my behavior?!” “Well, I’ll be damned!” But, of course, that’s the point isn't it? As a believer in Jesus as your Substitute, you won’t be damned! No believer in Jesus will be. Not a single one! - Rod Rosenbladt (For Those Broken By The Church)
The tilted halo of the saved sinner is worn loosely and with easy grace. We have discovered that the cross accomplished far more than revealing the love of God. The blood of the Lamb points to the truth of grace: what we cannot do for ourselves, God has done for us. On the cross, somehow, some way, Christ bore our sins, took our place, died for us. At the cross, Jesus unmasks the sinner not only as a beggar but as a criminal before God. Jesus Christ bore our sins and bore them away. We cannot wash away the stain of our sins, but he is the Lamb who has taken away the sins of the world. (Ragamuffin Gospel)