Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gospel for the Broken

Rod Rosenbladt on Ligonier's blog has an interesting article on why many people leave the church, becoming the "sad alumni." It's partially due to the fact that there is a law-grace-law teaching that consistently discourages them by pointing to their failures as evidence of their lack of maturity which is shameful. Rosenbladt points out that the true gospel takes a very different view on our failures. We will walk into heaven as failures - not as mature, perfect disciples, but failures whose only claim to God's presence will be the perfection of Jesus.

Here is his conclusion:

But is the blood of Christ enough -- all by itself -- to save a still-sinful-Christian? Or isn't it? Is what Luther said about the Christian being simul justus et peccator biblical or not? Can Christ's righteousness imputed save a still-sinful Christian? And can it save him all by itself? Or not? I think the way we answer this question determines whether we have anything at all to say to the "sad alumni" of Christianity.

Has the Law done its killing work on these "sad ones?" Boy, has it ever. They need more of the Law like they need a hole in the head. For them, the gospel often got lost in a whole bunch of "Christian-life preaching." And it "did them in." So they left. And down deep there is a sadness in such people that defies description.

C.F.W. Walther said that as soon as the Law has done its crushing work, the gospel is to be instantly preached or said to such a man or woman. What the "sad alumni" need to hear (perhaps for the first time) is that Christian failures are going to walk into heaven, be welcomed into heaven, leap into heaven like a calf leaping out of its stall, laughing and laughing as if it's all too good to be true. It isn't just that we failures will get in. It's that we will get in like that. "You mean it was just Jesus' death for me, that's why I'm here?" But, of course. That's the point isn't it? As a believer in Jesus you won't be condemned! No believer in Jesus will be. Not a single one!

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