gratitude & hoopla: On Not Moving On from the Gospel

gratitude & hoopla

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

13.4.06

On Not Moving On from the Gospel

I said yesterday that even very fine things, "Biblical" things, can distract us from that which is in fact the essence of all Biblical things--that is, the cross of Christ. Matthew Henry said:
Though the Scriptures are the circumference of faith, the round of which it walks, and every point of which compass it touches, yet the center of it is Christ; that is the polar star on which it rests. [HT: Gospel-Driven Life]
All truly Biblical things cluster around the Cross in varying degrees of proximity, but all of them point in awe-struck wonder to the Cross, to Christ's victory at Skull Hill.

If "I am not ashamed of the Gospel" means anything at all, it means I am willing to see all things in the light of that victory. Why? "For it is the power of God to everyone who believes." (Romans 1:16) As John Stott has said, "Let us never move on." And as Mark Lauterbach says, "Let us never give our people any hope of heaven or holiness but the Redeemer's glorious work for us."

Some people might say, "Oh, but I'm all about the Holy Spirit." Be careful with that, because in fact the Holy Spirit is "all about" the crucified Christ. Some Holy Spirit teaching seems to have "higher knowledge" pretensions. For some, the Gospel is nothing more than a memento from the past, brought down from its honorary shelf and dusted off each Eastertide, perhaps, only to be put back in its proper place afterward so that we can all move on to bigger and better things. But listen to what Andrew Murray says in his book, The Prayer Life:
The Holy Spirit ever leads us to the cross. It was so with Christ. The Spirit taught him and enabled him to offer himself without spot to God. It was so with the disciples. The Spirit, with whom they were filled, led them to preach Christ as the crucified one. Later on he led them to glory in the fellowship of the cross when they were deemed worthy to suffer for Christ's sake.
Paul said, "I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." (1Cor 1:22) And he said that, be it noted, to a Spirit-filled church. In the final book of the Bible--which is called, significantly, "The Revelation"--the second Person of the trinity is depicted at times as a wounded lamb, and then again as one who wears a white robe that has been dipped in blood. Even in eternity, you see, our attention will be riveted by the visible reality that all the glories of that place were purchased for us by the crucified Jesus. Halelujah to the Lamb!

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