Just heard this statement;
Luther’s theological leaning was not about having a full frontal assault on the worst of us, It was a full frontal assault on the best of us!
Scripture over and over shows Jesus talking in parables and welcoming prostitutes and tax collectors… but to the religious, got it together, religious pharisee he was bold, direct, and sometimes angry. The world seems to have this backwards, we have an angry, critical spirit at the sexually immoral and dregs of this world — often indoctrinating many against the Christian faith. And we welcome self righteousness and pharisees into our ranks and inner circle!
Food for thought!
Below is the summary of one section of this document:
Being the Church in our Culture.
Summary: Paul knew that ‘getting the gospel straight’–not falling off into either legalism on the one hand or license on the other–is absolutely critical to the mission of the church. The secret of ministry power is getting the gospel clear. To be even slightly off to one side or another, loses tons of spiritual power. And people don’t get really converted. Legalistic churches reform people’s behavior through social coercion, but the people stay radically insecure and hyper-critical. They don’t achieve the new inner peace that the grace of God brings. The more relativistic churches give members some self-esteem and the veneer of peace but in the end that is superficial too. The result, Archibald Alexander said, is like trying to put a signet ring on the wax to seal a letter, but without any heat! Either the ring will affect the surface of the wax only or break it into pieces. You need heat to permanently change the wax into likeness of ring. So without the Holy Spirit working through the gospel, radically humbling and radically exalting us and changing them from the inside out, the religion either of the hard or soft variety will not avail.
Also, from this document: Centrality of the Gospel
The summary is:
All problems, personal or social come from a failure to use the gospel in a radical way, to get “in line with the truth of the gospel” (Gal.2:14). All pathologies in the church nd all its ineffectiveness comes from a failure to use the gospel in a radical way. We believe that if the gospel is expounded and applied in its fullness in any church, that church will look very unique. People will find both moral conviction yet compassion and flexibility. For example, gays are used to being “bashed” and hated or completely accepted. They never see anything else. The cultural elites of either liberal or conservative sides are alike in their unwillingness to befriend or live with or respect or worship with the poor. They are alike in separating themselves increasingly from the rest of society.
Then in a comment on Steves BLOG Pastor Mark Anderson said the following:
I am no friend of the third use of the law. We know the law will not justify and that in spite of it’s absolute claims it can neither save or give life. At the same time eliminating the word “should” from preaching does not eliminate the myriad requirements placed upon the Christian in a world of sin and death. If we do not speak the legal word of obligation our people will hear it anyway from the culture and in the opposing, illusory language of personal rights, which is tantamount to handing the sinner a blank check. And it is precisely the obligations we are concerned with. For every relationship – including the relationship with God – comes with obligations. The gospel has not eliminated these.
In fact, it is when the sinner is brought to the point of recognizing how he\she has failed in these obligations that the gospel breaks in with all it’s force and freeing power. We should preach the non-negotiable obligations which come with creaturely life but these will never create what they demand. Christ is our last word.
Below are soms scriptures and Bible Gateway readings that show our identity in Christ.
Please click more to read
John Piper is right on in this sermon. John says NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER think of the Gospel as a way to get saved and think you can leave it behind and do something else to get strong.
The Gospel is…
We are more sinful and weak than we ever dared to admit and…
We are more loved and accepted than we ever dared to hope.
1 Thessalonians 5
1Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.