March 11, 2008

Why Are Christianity And Acid In The Same Article?

We've recently being going through a series in our community groups here at LifePoint called "The Gospel Centered Life". Throughout that series, we have attempted to really get at the heart of what the Gospel is and how it impacts, transforms, and radically alters our lives. We've talked a lot about "religion" vs. "the gospel" and what the differences truly are.

And yesterday I read this sermon excerpt by Tim Keller via Monergism and it dovetailed so nicely that I wanted to share an excerpt:

This is saying, here is the way you can tell whether you are a Christian or just a moral person ... a Christian or a religious person. A real Christian is a person who says, "it is an absolute miracle that God's loves me. "It's just a miracle that I am a Christian." This is actually an acid test; let me just lay it on you here at the end. There are two kinds of people that go to church: there's religious people and real Christians. And the way you can tell the difference is that a Real Christian is somebody who sees everything that comes as a gift.  In other words a real Christian sees that you are totally in debt to God, but a religious person is someone who is working hard and making an effort and trying to be good, going to Bible studies and just saying "no" everywhere, and denying themselves a lot of pleasures, and so forth, and a religious person is someone who is trying to put God in their debt. That is the difference.  A religious person is someone who is trying to save themselves through their good works. A religious person is somebody who thinks they are putting God in their debt since they have tried so hard. A Christian is somebody who sees themselves as in God's debt. Here is the acid test: If you are a Christian you have a spirit of wonder that permeates your life. You are always saying "how miraculous", "how interplanetary", "how unreal". You are always looking at yourself and saying, "me a Christian ... incredible, miraculous, unbelievable, a joke!!! " but a person who is trying to put God in their debt - there is none of that spirit of wonder at all.

If there is one thing that God has been pounding into me the most lately is this. Am I a Christian who truly lives and understands that my assurance, my justification, my confidence, and my acceptance with God rests not on what I do or don't do, but rather what Jesus did and already has done? Do I live that way? Do I teach others to live that way?

Or am I just religious and standing apart from Jesus? You need to read the whole article.

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