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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Gospel Graphs

Nothing terribly profound today, but I thought I'd leave you some charts for the weekend. A friend of mine gave me some sermons to listen to, and I was listening to Steve Lawson preach "Bring the Book." It's a great message about the importance of preaching God's Word. As I'm listening to Pastor Steve exhort us to exalt God in our preaching, I started to think of preaching in visual terms. These charts are a very uninspired representation of my thoughts about preaching.

[One note. There is a limited amount of exaltation that can be made. For every minute (or ounce of energy) that is exerted for one cause, limits the amount that can be extended for another.]A current trend in evangelism is to bring people to Christ by encouraging them about how special they are. Notice, however, two obvious trends. The exaltation of man automatically limits the amount that God may be exalted. Second, grace actually becomes a condescension, working its way down. One has to ask, Why would I need grace? God would be foolish to not want me.An attempt to "balance" this perspective has been made by many. We will not exalt man, making him the center of the universe, but we will attempt to leave him in a neutral position. However, even in the person's attention, if they are not made little of, there isn't a great deal of room for God to be made much of. Therefore, notice how grace is shortened. Again, God's grace is diminished as I may see myself as a sinner, but without much being made of God (and much condemnation being made of my sin), I still don't really comprehend why I would ever have been an enemy of God. I'm not really that bad, am I?But notice what happens when man is not exalted. Actually, when man is presented as the sinful wretch each of us is (contrary to our self-esteem society), God is exalted all the more. Notice how great grace is, as it reaches high above us and is great in length. As I truly see myself as unworthy, I see God as truly merciful, loving and gracious. Much should be made of God, and man should be made low, for then grace is exalted.

But does God want grace exalted? Paul believes so. For he stated: He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

2 Comments:

  • At 10:42 AM, Blogger BReformed said…

    I love this! Very thought provoking....makes me consider the non sequitur "erring on the side of grace".

     
  • At 3:21 PM, Blogger ~d said…

    sorry danny, this has nothing to do with this particular post, but i just read an article on blogging responsibly that speaks to a lot of the concerns you had recently (and have since resolved for yourself). thought i'd share it if you care to read....

    http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001341.cfm

    by the way - why can i link easily when i'm creating a post, but i can't when i'm commenting? is there a secret i don't know about?

     

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