Review of "The Gospel in Life"
The Gospel in Life...one of the most vibrant and "convicting" studies I've ever read. I have so much appreciation for pastor/author Tim Keller's direct and pointed approach (often finding myself saying, "Ouch!") to living out what can so easily become an acceptable routine for our
daily Christian walk. Yet, after applying numerous band-aids and soaking in the balm of God's word, the underlying theme of this study has been transforming...that being, Grace Changes Everything.
We spend so very much of our time behaving as if God's acceptance is based on our own actions. Most certainly scripture does teach us how we should live and behave. Our obedience is not optional. But we tend to wander about somewhat afraid that if we do things wrong God will somehow reject us. Our obedience is driven by a selfish motive to "win" God's favor by doing things right. The problem is that we continually set ourselves up for failure. We simply can never be good enough. Grace changes everything.
How do we effectively touch those around us with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Only through the revelation of how that Gospel has touched us. And, in our knowing, we then let our actions speak loudly to others about what we believe. Grace has changed us. Our credibility and appeal come from people seeing just how we have been changed. What do our actions say about what we believe? How do we interact with our community? What drives us to help those around us in need? What does our "garden" look like and what fruit is growing there? How risky and costly is the help we offer? Grace changes everything.
In Psalm 51 David presents a beautiful picture of grace and a repentant life transformed by it. David truly missed the mark numerous times in his life. But he knew his only salvation was in God's forgiving grace. In this Psalm written to The Chief Musician (meaning, it was most likely a song), David presents the very personal to the reader and/or listener. There's no evading it. He basically says, "I'm lost...I'm the sinner"...not one of many, but the one for whom grace has changed everything. And, because You have done this for me, here's how I will respond (vs. 13- 14). Our response to living the gospel outwardly to the world should be no different.