Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Can we trust the gospel but not be in a relationship with Jesus?

That's the question I was discussing in my bible study with someone this morning. I was musing on our problem with the bibles warnings specifically those to do with drifting or being hard hearted or being lazy which have been a feature of our times in Hebrews. My question was why do people struggle with those warnings? Why when the bible so repeatedly tells us to guard ourselves, to beware, to watch out for shipwrecking our faith or failing to finish do we struggle with such warnings. Either they are rejected out of hand or they crush us. Is it because our faith is not robust enough and is too brittle because it is too focused on us?

But helpful it was put to me that it may be that we believe in a system rather than in Jesus. We believe in the gospel rather than enjoying the relationship we have with Jesus. This means such warnings challenge the system I am relying on rather than calling us to a deeper understanding of and experience of a relationship with Jesus. As you look at Hebrews that really stands out - what the writer does is take this church he is so concerned about on a majestic tour, not of the gospel, but of who Jesus is and what he has done and the implications for them of faith in the person of Jesus.

The gospel is not a system, it is not mechanics, it is a person Jesus Christ the Son of God who became a man, lived on earth, willingly died on the cross in our place. He is the guarantor of a better covenant into which we enter by faith in him! In short without Jesus there is no gospel and we must ensure we do not so use the term gospel as to empty it of its focus on the person of Jesus Christ.

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