Grace links mankind in a common brotherhood; grace makes the great man give his hand to the poor, and confess a heavenly relationship; grace constrains the intellectual, the learned, the polite, to stood from their dignity to take hold of the ignorant and unlettered, and call them friends; grace weaves the threads of our separate individualities into one undivided unity. Let the gospel be really felt in the mind and it will toll the knell of selfishness, it will bring down the proud from their elevated solitude, and it will restore the downtrodden to the rights of our common manhood.Charles H. Spurgeon, sermon no. 96, “The Christian – A Debtor”
I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support as I’ve been taking a little hiatus from podcasting. The past few months have been extremely busy. Among other things I have been involved in my church’s committee responsible for seeking a new pastor, I’ve been making my own contributions to the Sunday sermons (which you can hear on the C3 Denton podcast), and of course I’ve been adjusting to fatherhood of our now 1 year old sweet little boy. I’ve decided it’s time to finally get things rolling again, and my desire is to begin doing podcasts more regularly as we get into the summer.
This passage and its meaning in the Christian life has been on my mind for a long time, ever since I listened to John Piper’s sermon on it a long time ago. What I think of most when I meditate on this concept is the idea that we bear a debt of grace. We have been shown such immense grace, and we carry with us the hope of humanity in our love for Christ. Yet how often do we actually display this? When I preached on Zechariah 14 recently, what I drew from the passage as a main idea was the fact that we as the body of Christ are waiting in great hope for the day of the Lord, because it is the day that all the evils of sin will be ended, all the striving and division of humanity will be ended.
And the remarkable thing is that we have that end now, in Christ! Yet, we don’t have it fully realized, as we live in this time of aching. We’ve seen the victory of Christ over sin, but we still are looking to His return. What I see from a lot of believers isn’t joyful proclamation of the freedom of Christ. It’s fear, arrogance, and echoes of the same desire for power and control that the world apart from Christ clings to in its own misbegotten hope. So many of us who claim the name of Christ need to recognize the great debt of grace we bear, and make our payments on that debt in the form of patient and generous love to our neighbors and to one another.
I’m not excluding myself from this by any means. But I am calling on all my brothers and sisters – if you believe that Christ is victorious, then by all means live like it! That doesn’t mean swaggering like earthly victors swagger lording their triumph, which is what I’ve seen from even some “reformed” corners of online Christendom. It means laying our lives down, being patient with one another. It means bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and putting to death the works of the flesh. It means we need to remember the incredible grace shown us, and display that love in our words, and in our deeds.