Thursday, September 11, 2008

witness and authenticity

In our witness for Jesus are our lives important? Of course they are, we would agree. If the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, it's salvation from what? Basically from sin and its results. Although the unfolding of that can take a lifetime, and is not really completed until the resurrection when the new creation in Jesus is complete in the new heaven and new earth. And this is not just for us as individuals but for all of creation.

It's interesting that those who spoke the word of God to God's people (in the Old Testament) were called men of God. They were supposed to live out their message, and sometimes with explicit directions, as in the cases of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

I get a sense of God's salvation working in my life nearly everyday. If I don't, I think I'm in trouble. Why? Because I need it everyday. Salvation in the New Testament is set in past, present and future tenses. But mostly present tense. Salvation is God's ongoing work for us in Jesus by the Spirit. It is communal in that God's people are in it together; it's not supposed to be just a "God and I" endeavor. And it's missional, meant to replicate itself in showing to the world the power of God for salvation in our own lives so that others can find this salvation themselves.

This does mean that people need to see that we are real, and that the Jesus we proclaim to them is real as well. And because salvation is present tense (as well as past and future) we can have a fresh sense of both our need and of God's saving work in our own lives daily, as we trust in God and in his word to us in Jesus.

What would you like to add to these thoughts?


Deb said...

Amen! That is so well said,sweets!

Diane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diane said...

I agree that God's salvation is in the present tense and that we need to focus on our relationship with God today. However, God's promises, while fulfilled as soon as he makes them, may not unfold for us for weeks, months or years. Or millenia.

Andrew said...

"But to those of us who are BEING saved ..." (1 Cor. 1:18)

If you just happened to ask any fellow Bolingbrookians, i.e., Susan and Olivia, you'd find out just how much I need that ongoing deliverance from sin each day. Yuck.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Honey. You're a good encourager.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Well stated. And important to keep in mind. It's all unfolding, and it's journey-oriented, I think. And surely in a true sense this goes on forever for us, even after we're confirmed in righteousness so as not to sin any longer in the love of God in Jesus- the love and life of the Trinity.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes. Those closest to us know we're weak and sometimes sinful, or they can see blind spots we can't.

So much pretense can occur among Christians, but I'm glad I am part of a body at our church in which we can honestly be ourselves, and in which we know our need as well as God's provision in Christ.