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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Big and Complete Gospel...in Christ

The Apostle Paul's use of the Adam/Christ connection in Romans runs counter to our Western individual way of thinking. Most of the Christian world has rejected or severely modified the bondage of man's will and replaced it with a free will that over emphasizes man's decision making capacity and minimizes Christ drawing us to the Father.

Paul was so convinced of this link that it became the principle motivation for our ministry of reconciliation. II Cor. 5:14 "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." This inclusive language enables us to minister to broken people without the evangelistic pressure we feel is necessary for us to be faithful.
No wonder we get such phoney and shallow decisions and such pride and exclusionary ministry.


Anonymous said...

The notable English mystic, William Law, writing in about the year 1750, made the following statement, to which we all must give sincere and earnest heed lest we, like those who 1900 years ago rejected Christ and the truth He brought, should refuse Him that now dwells and speaks and works within His temple of living stones, accepting in His place the cheap and worthless substitutes of man's invention. Thus writes William Law: "Consider how it is that the carnal Jew, the deep-read scribe, the learned rabbi, the religious Pharisee not only did not receive but crucified their Saviour. It was because they willed and desired no such Saviour as He was, no such inward salvation as He offered them. They desired no change in their nature, no inward destruction of their own natural tempers, no deliverance from the love of themselves and the enjoyments of their passions. They liked their state, the gratifications of their old man, their long robes, their broad phylacteries and greetings in the markets. They wanted not to have their pride and self love dethroned, their covetousness and sensuality to be subdued by a new nature from heaven derived into them. Their only desire was the success of Judaism, to have an outward Saviour, a temporal Prince that should establish their law and outward ceremonies over all the earth. And therefore they crucified their dear Redeemer and would have none of His salvation because it all consisted in a change of their nature, in a new birth from above, and a Kingdom of Heaven to be opened within them by the Spirit of God. O Christendom, look not only at the old Jews, but see thyself in this glass, for at this day (O sad truth to be told), at this day of Christ within us, an inward Saviour raising a birth of His own nature, life and Spirit within, is rejected as gross enthusiasm. The learned rabbis take counsel against it The propagation of popery, the propagation of Protestantism, the success of some particular Church is the salvation which priests and people are chiefly concerned about."

Don Hendricks said...

Thank you for that quote. I have read and appreciated Law in the past. As I read this quote it occurs to me that William Law is discerning thoughts and emotions in the hearts of those religious leaders that expose the flesh but I am not so sure they had that clear a picture of what Christ came to accomplish in the new covenant. I believe Christ held Isreal to the law covenant and their first century judgment was deserved. I loved his application at the end of the paragraph.