Sunday, October 10, 2010

Agreement in Principle

Commenting on John 20:24-29, Don Carson offers this:

We must also reflect on the repeated little word "my". Thomas does not say, "Our Lord and our God," as if he were reciting some sort of liturgical slogan. His confession is intensely personal: "My Lord and my God!" It is never enough merely to confess the truth of something that is out there in the public arena. Even the Devil himself could affirm, however begrudgingly, that Jesus is both Lord and God. But a true child of God is making more than a public statement about a public truth. The Christian is not simply affirming that Jesus Christ is the Lord and God of the universe but that in the most intimate sense he is the Christian's Lord and God. The confession is intensely personal. If you cannot utter the words of this confession with similar deeply personal commitment, you have no part of Jesus and the salvation that flows from his death and resurrection. Your heart and mind must confess with wonder, "My Lord and my God!" (Scandalous, 163)

This morning in church, the sermon was on Exodus 4, where Moses agrees in principle that delivering Israel from slavery and back to the promised land is a good thing, but has no end of lame excuses for not wanting to be involved personally. The point was made: Beware of agreeing with God in general, but denying in reality.

Evangelism? Yeah, it's a great thing to do. How long has it been since I've actually done it? Umm.....
Knowing the Word? Of course it's a worthwhile pursuit. For someone else, right?
Forgiving? Forgiveness is a wonderful, blessed thing! Until I have something to forgive, that is.
Husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her? Oh, how much better of a place the world would be if more men did that! What, me? Well, I, uh...
Caring for the alien, the fatherless, and the widow? Yeah, I think the church should do something about that. Or the government should tax evil rich people to take care of that. Yeah, that'll do it.
Keeping myself from even a hint of sexual immorality? Oh, that would be great if that could happen! What, it's not supposed to really happen, is it?
World missions and loving our enemies? Great! Who, me?

And on and on we could go. There's a lot in scripture that we - I -might think is a great idea. But am I willing to actually own it and do it? It starts with submitting to Jesus as Lord and God, and continues through all the dozens of implications of his Lordship. Do I personally not just acknowledge that Jesus is Lord and Savior, but submit to his lordship and embrace his salvation? Am I genuinely saved, and do I live like it? How about you?


Robert said...

Thank you. I needed to hear this to start off my week. In fact, I need to put something of this sort on my bathroom mirror to keep me focused on it as I start every morning. I've been reading and meditating on the book of James the past few weeks and that helps, too. I pray that we both see fruit from God's work in our lives as we faithfully submit to Him.

DJP said...

Good post.

In principle.