God is calling us to an adventure of faith. He promised to satisfy our thirst along the way. He can split a rock so that water gushhes out. In fact he even knows how to nail a perfect man to the cross so that mercy gushes out
The power of the gospel creates somethiong altogether different from the world today. It creates churches that, to borrow from John Piper, are God-exalting, Christ admiring, Spirit-filled, Bible-enjoying, grace-preaching, convenience-defying, cross-embracing, risk-taking, selfishness-crucifying, gossip-silencing, prayer-saturated, future-thinking, outward-reaching and beautifully human congregations where the undeserving can thrive.
Too often we regard God’s power as an added ingredient that turbocharges our own efforts. The early church did not thinkl that way. They thought of God’s power as a miraculous intervention without which they were dead.
The family of God is where people should find lots of gospel, lots of safety and lots of time. In other words, the people in our churches need:
Multiple exposures to the happy news of the God from one end of tehBible to the other
The safety of non accusing sympathy so that they can admit tehir problems honestly and
Enough time to rethink their lives at a deep level, because people are complex and changing is not easy,
Real belief takes us into Jesus Christ. Real belief destroys aloofness. It moves us from self-completeness to christ completenes. We stop treating him as a religious garnish to be placed on the side of life. Rather we find in him our all.
What then does it mean to believe in him? Here is what it does not mean. In english we might say “I believe in teh free enterprise system”, that is to say “I agree iwth it, I like it.” But try that out on John 3:16: For God so loved this evil world, that he gave the sacrificial gift of his only Son, so that we could say “Sure that’s what I beleive in – along with Motherhood and Apple Pie”. The massive love of God calls for mor and creates more than mild agreement
In her New York Times artice “The trouble with Self-Esteem”, Lauren Slater quotes a researcher who studied criminal and concluded: “the fact is, we’ve pit anti-social men through every self-esteem test we have and there’s no evidence for the old psychodynamic concept that they secretly feel bad about themselves. These men are racist or violent because they don’t feel bad enough about themselves.”