““If you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.””
– C.S. Lewis
I know there’s a moment when the preacher says something you can relate to — “Maybe you’re the guy struggling today with porn, drugs, drinking, punching small animals, and racing police officers, and you hate evangelism and Bible-reading and prayer just as much as I do!” —
— so we totally nod along, BUT: relatability is not an excuse for lukewarm living. It’s not permission to sit on the sidelines.
A sigh of relief is not a sigh of excuse.
On one end, guilt-fear-and-shame are lazy preacher tactics that cripple us into fear-based faith, which isn’t sustainable. Guilt has me staring at me. But on the other end, half a grace has me staring right through God.
Sometimes what we perceive as grace is really watered-down reactionary Gospel, or it’s the preacher simply having a catharsis of his own demons to feel better about his past.
So we wouldn’t want…
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