Your greatest hope
As I mentioned yesterday,
The liberation we get from the gospel promise
(“It is finished”)
is different than the liberation that we are promised
in our culture of self-reliance and self-obsession.
The gospel takes away our self-reliance
and tells us that our liberation comes
from something outside of us
that happened long, long ago (like, at the beginning of time).
That, because it is so,
we already have all of the love, security, worth, meaning, etc.
that we unsuccessfully look for in a million smaller places, people, and things.
The gospel liberates us from the pressure
of having to fix, free, and find ourselves.
It relieves us from the burden of having to be right, respected, rewarded, and regarded.
In this promise,
you don’t have to change the world to matter;
your kid doesn’t have to be behaviorally perfect for your own worth;
You don’t have to be successful to justify your existence.
There are a couple of ways to live...
You can live your life believing that your greatest hope
lies in what you can someday become, do, and achieve;
or, your greatest hope can rest in what Jesus has shown you...
That you are whole, complete, and created good
from the foundation of the world.
You’d think that this totally undercuts ambition and effort
and leads to apathy.
The objection is this...
So, if it truly is finished
If I’m good-to-go with God
not on behalf of anything I do
but by what God has done for me in Jesus...
Then doesn’t this make me lazy?
Like, why do anything
if I don’t HAVE TO do anything?
It’s an honest objection. It is asked by people who think that the point of Christianity is behavior modification.
But what’s so mysterious is this...
This grace-centric gospel actually generates and empowers
risk-taking effort and neighbor-embracing love.
(How so? We’ll get to that tomorrow...)