Thursday, October 11, 2012

Good Intentions

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.    (Romans 7:15)

We are all about good intentions. We want credit for trying, for giving our best effort. We intend to follow Jesus in all that we do. We really want to. When this doesn’t work, we intend to try harder. We really do. Well, when that doesn’t. . .Are you getting the picture?
We are up against the perfect law of God. Good intentions don’t matter, only results. Are you perfect yet? Me neither!

Until we come up against that perfect law of God, until the gravity of our own sinfulness becomes reality to us, until we recognize that our best efforts are not even fit to be put in God’s garbage can, we can’t truly experience God’s infinite mercy. You see, until we recognize just how short we have fallen, we can’t appreciate God’s love. We turn Jesus into a helper. Well, let me tell you right now – Jesus did not come to earth to help you be a batter person. Jesus came, died, and rose again that you might become someone totally different. Jesus doesn’t want a better you. He’ll start with that, but He will never leave you there. He won’t allow it. He is going to remake you from head to toe. Nothing is going to be the same.
Following Christ is not about a cessation of sinful activity and an initiation of righteous living. Our righteousness will never get us where we truly need to be. No, Christianity is about a living relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. Much of Christian literature is about telling us what is wrong with us. Most of us already know that!

The gospel is about telling us what God has already done to take care of the problem. There is nothing for you to do, no multi-step program to begin, only to fail miserably like every other time we have tried to live up to our good intentions. Jesus Christ comes to us to live life together, in community, with us. He comes to us to proclaim in our lives as He did on the cross, “It is finished.” No, that won’t mean you’re always perfect from that point onward, but you will be whole!

Pastor Craig