February 8, 2013 by
This quotation rocked my world this morning:
Without Christian hope we are left with a limp Christian existentialism in which immediate experience is everything. This may be a charismatic existentialism with highs and healing. It may be a conservative existentialism with freedom from guilt and reassuring orthodoxy. It may be a pietistic existentialism with leadings from God and peace in my heart. But they all lack the rigour to meet the demands of discipleship. In contrast, the New Testament calls upon us to look to the futurePorterbrook,Gospel Living,” 27.
I am amazed at how much of my life has been affected by the ebb and flow of life. Something exciting happens and I am happy. Something sad happens and I doubt whether I am doing the right thing. All the while, I justify myself by saying, “I am rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
In reality, Jesus is calling me to live in light of that passage, but also to live in light of what follows–namely, that salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed (Romans 13:11). Truly, the entire ethical section of Romans is couched in what God has done on behalf of man and in light of the salvation that is coming in the future.
When we realize that our lives are meant to point to Jesus. No, I mean that. Really point to Jesus, not merely saying it, but making decisions that will show the worth and glory of Jesus’ call on my life. Then, we will be able to sing the doxology that closes the book of Romans.
Too many Christians live their lives for the next great hype–a service that will rock, a healing that will come, a peace that will wash over us–or in a sterile knowledge that has answers to difficult questions. We too often have replaced our Savior with a benefit. Being a disciple of the Messiah means I follow the Messiah. I don’t replace him with an experience or an assurance stemming from somewhere else. I long for heaven and for Jesus’ very presence. That WILL come. . .once the moans of creation reveal the glory of the sons of God (Romans 8).
*This post orginially appeared on Matthew's blog, Off the Wire.
Matthew is a Church Planting Resident at Crossway Community Church in Charlotte, NC (2012-2013). He attended The Bethlehem Institute in Minneapolis and received his MDiv at Southern Seminary in Louisville. Recently, Matthew successfully defended his dissertation (PhD) at Southern Seminary on the self-witness of Scripture. He plans to plant a church in the southeast United States that evangelizes, disciples, trains, and plants other churches. He is married to Ashley and has three daughters. You can read more from Matthew at his blog, Off the Wire.