Saturday, May 30, 2009

Our Finite Wisdon

The conventional wisdom seems to be "Don't worry about other gospels, (prosperity, self-help, etc.) they won't affect the church, Christ's work will get done."  The more I think about this, the more I realize that it just isn't true. Christ was downright upset at what had become of His Father's temple and Law. Paul was really upset when people tried to change the gospel to suit their situations.

Having been involved quite deeply in music ministry, I know the pressure is put on you to provide a "good" service that will attract people, and please everyone. And it can easily be done, as long as you are willing to compromise the very Spirit that leads you. People don't want to admit on a weekly basis that their sinfulness, and everything about this life, would prevent them from even being in God's presence, were it not for the cross of Christ and the righteousness and worthiness Christ alone has earned us.

It's a joy to worship? Yes.  But what feeling of awe (fear) do we get when we come face to face with the most holy and perfect God, Creator of all things, and find that we are in need of Christ to even bear it?  It's not necessarily pleasant to face our own sinfulness and unworthiness. We know that God sees us white as snow, but if we see ourselves as white as snow, then who needs Christ? Never forgetting that it is only by His grace that we live, we can truly give thanks, and serve in our calling as His ambassador, knowing He will finish the work He began in us.

If we feel "good" at worship because it was good music and good teaching, and good friendships, then we have succeeded in making it a "good" Sunday. But what power is there in a good day that we have made? 

But if we worship with our eyes on the cross, and why we need it, He continues to sanctify us as we worship, we change because He changes us, and the power of the cross, God's power, makes it a good day, and we are a witness to that. 

If we begin to think that we are "good" and "sinning-less" people, mature Christians who rarely slip, then are we saying that we can usually give Christ His cross back? We don't need it anymore? We're walking the walk, not just talking the talk? Can we just have fun at worship, clap and shout for joy, and give thanks that our lives are getting better now, and avoid any thought of sin still being apart of our lives? That's a thought that is all about us, and how we see us, not all about God, and His holiness.

If we take our eyes off the cross, we loose the power of the cross in our lives, in our ministry, in our churches, and in the body of Christ.  Paul resolved to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified and concludes in 1 Cor 2:3-5 "I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." It's all about the power in the gospel, Christ and Him crucified, and our witness to that. It's not a "slick" worship service and feeling good about a Christian walk. God's power will fill a church; man's wisdom will empty it.

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