As I explore various blogs on the internet, I find most of them to be of little interest, but occasionally run across one that seems to be seeking me out. You'll find links to the blogs I love in the sidebar of this page.
One of the more recent blogs I've found is the one written by Tullian Tchividjian, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida. (By the way, I admire him for the simple reason it took him a lot more effort to learn to spell his name in kindergarten that it took me.)
Recently, he's been talking about who we are in Christ, and more specifically, what we have as opposed to what we have to seek out and find. Here's what he said a few days ago-
"I used to think Christian growth happened as we go out and get what we don’t have–if we’re going to grow we have to go out and get more patience, get more strength, get more joy, etc. But after reading the Bible more carefully I’ve learned that Christian growth does not happen by working hard to get something you don’t have; Christian growth happens by working hard to live in the reality of what you do have.
You could say that Christian growth does not happen first by behaving better, but believing better–believing in bigger, deeper, brighter ways what Christ has already secured for sinners. In other words, the hard work of sanctification that Paul talks about in Philippians 2:12 is a continuous, daily going back to the reality of your justification."
That's a great look at what the Christian life is, and how we often fail to understand it, working hard to get what we don't have instead of working hard to live in what we do. Then, just today, he posted this tidbit about the gospel-
"The gospel isn’t simply a set of truths that non-Christians must believe in order to become saved. It’s a reality that Christians must daily embrace in order to experience being saved. The gospel not only saves us from the penalty of sin (justification), but it also saves us from the power of sin (sanctification) day after day. Or, as John Piper has said, “The cross is not only a past place of objective substitution; it is a present place of subjective execution.” Our daily sin requires God’s daily grace—the grace that comes to us through the finished work of Jesus Christ."
I've been saying that the gospel is for the church, not just the lost. Pastor Tullian says it a lot better than I have been (with a little help from John Piper, who's blog you'll also find listed in the sidebar). This quote will certainly turn up in my SS lesson in the next couple weeks.