Tuesday, August 16, 2016

John 8:39-47

John 8:39-47
Contemporary English Version (CEV)

  If I'm a salesman, I'll tell you anything you want to hear in order to close the deal.  I want your business and your attention, so I'll shape my message to soothe your mind so that nothing will distract you from following me.  Much of the prosperity Gospel that is preached today is the same basic idea -- people shaping the Gospel so that it only delivers good news and promises worldly things that attract attention and capture the hearts and minds of people, even though it requires distorting the Gospel in order to do so.
  Jesus didn't mince words.  He didn't hold back, because he knew that people needed to see and understand the reality of sin.  Without a full grasp of how lost we are, we don't fully appreciate what God, in Jesus Christ, has done for us.  Without understanding exactly how dark it is, you can't be grateful for a light.  Jesus shows us the reality of sin, and then points to himself as the path out of sin and despair and hopelessness.  He doesn't come to condemn -- he points out that we would have been condemned, and then steps into our place to receive our punishment so that we might receive eternal life.
  The reality of our sin, a crushing weight lifted from us by grace, is something we try and avoid, but to face it and confess it is the better way -- then, rather than trying to avoid it, we move through it and into the light of grace on the other side of sin.

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