Tuesday, June 3, 2008

God Draws Near to Us in Christ

“In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;“

Romans 15:17-19


Paul lived a missional lifestyle. He calls himself a priest to the Gentiles. He went around and proclaimed truth to a disobedient people and because of that he was often persecuted, jailed, whipped, and stoned. If anyone was to boast of his efforts and perseverance for the sake of the Gospel, it would have been him. But he doesn’t boast. His very words say that it was Christ who did the accomplishing; the Holy Spirit who gives hope and changes hearts. He was merely a vessel. With this mindset that he was merely a joyful pawn in God’s hands being used to bring Gentiles to repentance he had no room for pride. It wasn’t him. It was Jesus.

In today’s culture proclaiming truth is looked down upon. People don’t want to be told that what they believe is wrong. They call Christians who hold to the idea that Christ is the only way bigots, or closed-minded or narrow. They seem to think that as people get more educated and more modern, ideas about Christ should dissipate. In their eyes Christianity is backwards and ancient, not relevant today with all that we know now. When I was in college I would hear the same thing all the time, ”Don’t try to force your beliefs on me.“ They think that if you say ”What I believe is right and what you believe is wrong.“ then you are arrogant.

The thing is that they are doing the exact same thing. They are saying that they believe one thing and that what I believe is wrong. They are being ignorant and arrogant. All of the worlds belief systems and religions are to some degree based on the works of the individual to make them righteous or to get them closer to God.






Christian Science.




Bahai Faith.


Jehovah’s Witness.

The International Church of Christ




Followers of all of these all find their sense of self worth and justification from their own merit. What they have done or are going to do.

They have room to boast and be prideful and look down at others because its all about what they’ve done.

Christianity is the only one that says our sense of self worth is found in God’s view of us. And His view is not based on our actions but on His love. Man is sinful and unable to please God apart from Christ

The worlds religions have prophets who tell people about the path to get closer God or Enlightenment or Happiness or whatever.

Christ is the only one who claims to be God Himself drawing close to us.

Paul got this. It was all about Christ not himself.