Monday, September 12, 2011

Fear and Trembling Transforms Evangelism and the Glory of Christ Pt. Four

How does fear and trembling transform the way we help others see and savor the glory of Christ? The answer is, we need to help people know that they are under the wrath of God because of their sin.

There is so much good intention to show people the love of God, without realizing that the love of God in Christ is a love that rescues us from the wrath of God. Listen carefully to Romans 5:8-9, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” The love of God rescues us from the wrath of God.

This means that when we share the Gospel we do not simply present God as a caring loving God. The gospel will not be the gospel against that backdrop. It only makes sense against the backdrop of truth. God is holy and glorious. We have all sinned against him and fallen short of that glory. We are under his just wrath and without hope. But God so loved the world that he sent his only Son that whoever believes in him might be saved—saved from wrath (John 3:16, 36). When Paul, the prisoner, had one chance to speak to Felix the governor, Luke tells us, “He reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment” (Acts 24:25). Felix needed to understand the wrath of God.

Evangelism, parenting, corporate worship—all of them, and all of life—exist to magnify the glory of Jesus Christ. That glory was displayed in its deepest love and highest beauty when Jesus willingly went to the cross to bear the wrath of God against our sins. Our evangelism, our parenting, our corporate worship will never display the glory of Christ as they ought until God is known and feared.

“Let us offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” Hebrews 12:28-29.

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