Copyright ©1975 - Tim &
Where the Gospel is essentially central (or existentially central), as opposed to being merely peripherally present, we may affirm two things in a Creedal fashion:
ONE: Jesus Christ alone is Lord. . . (and, if your mind works like most, I just gotcha!), for the statement is not finished: Your mind automatically went on to suggest, "I already know that, what's your second point?" But the statement is not completed as designed.
Jesus Christ alone is Lord, meaning specifically, not me! That has assisted me in my thinking about the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
TWO: I am a sinner, meaning specifically, not was one!
The old saying, "I used to be a sinner, then I became a Christian," is so misleading! I used to be a sinner, separated from God, without hope and under God's wrath.
Today, I'm a Forgiven Sinner,
Today, I'm a Justified Sinner,
Today, I'm a Blood bought Sinner,
Today, I'm a Redeemed Sinner,
Today, I'm an Atoned for Sinner,
but in the language of that wonderful old hymn of the faith,
"I'm Only a Sinner, Saved by Grace."
It developed between my wife and me several years ago, that when we found ourselves arguing over some dumb thing, we had to both admit that we'd lost focus on Jesus Christ. My point in saying that is that if you (whomever you are) are thinking gospelly, I can't pick a fight with you. For any two believers in Jesus to come to that silly, blood pressure raising, angry point, we both must have lost focus on Who Jesus Christ is, in space and time, as well as Who He is to us in the existential moment of time.
It is kinda embarrassing to have to admit that, but, as I Corinthians states, "Wherefor, let him who thinks that he stand, take heed lest he fall." That seems to be the explanation as to why so many preachers, and high profile people in the "Christian Community," are found to have fallen flat on their faces. Every time I listen to one confess, through tears, "I don't know how I could have done that!" I respond, "I know! For starters, you thought you couldn't!" In other words, they had lost focus on Jesus Christ, and somehow deemed themselves "above" such behavior.
As I turn over in my heart the idea that, "Jesus Christ alone is Lord, not me," it assists me in truly working at the following of Jesus Christ.
As I turn over the fact that I'm forgiven, it assists me in forgiving.
As I turn over the fact that God's wrath against me because of the sinful nature of mankind, inherited from Adam the First and verified by my own actions and attitudes is . . . over, because of what Christ has done, it assists me in working at that process which we're commanded to work at: Loving God with our entire being, and secondarily, loving my neighbor(s) as I automatically love myself.
Just some thoughts which the Lord uses to assist another pilgrim on the journey.
Soli Deo Gloria!