Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is the Gospel Worth It?

Is the Gospel Worth It? Martin Luther is credited with saying “The Gospel cannot be preached without offence and tumult.”[1]

Isn’t the person of Jesus Christ supposed to be the very essence of peace, compassion, forgiveness, and charity? Why then this talk of offence and tumult?

First, it is not the purpose of the preacher or the Christian bearing witness to the person of Jesus Christ at work in their life to cause division or strife. However, any person seeking to proclaim Christ can proclaim no other Christ than the one revealed to us through Scripture.

It is not the disciple who brings strife. Neither is it the Gospel that causes division. It is the presence of the sin of pride, that prince of all other sins, which prompts the one confronted and convicted of their own transgression to hold on to those same transgressions rather than to kneel before the cross of Christ in repentance and plead for mercy.

We reject the righteousness of Christ, which convicts us of sin, which leads us to the cross, which justifies us before our Heavenly Father, which sets us back in a proper relation with our God and Creator. Instead, we claim to be more enlightened, to have a new revelation which nullifies the claim of the Gospel on our life and allows us to set aside that call to righteousness and holiness commanded by the Old and New Testaments. In doing this, we become more tightly bound to our sinful selves and enslaved to a dead end theology with no hope of being made anew!

Thanks be to God for the graciousness of our Heavenly Father, who continually holds before our eyes the person of Christ, calling us to abandon those unfulfilling ways and rest in His forgiveness and peace. We only first need to recognize the emptiness of our efforts and trade our path to destruction for a path of life and peace.

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why do you spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare![2]

Pastor Craig

[1] Selections from the Table Talk of Martin Luther
[2] Isaiah 55:1,2