Friday, October 12, 2007

Up and over the rollercoaster!

The last two days I've been in Galatians 3 with Claudia, Ed, Steve and Andy. We've looked at the role of the law and God's promise to Jesus. The scale of the gospel is stretched back to Abraham and outward to the nations but at all times centred upon the curse bearing death of Jesus. It's wonderful news!

In Galatians 3v15-25 is like climbing up a rollercoaster, clunk, clunk, clunk. "Driving you up the redemptive historical timeline to Christ" (DA Carson) And then when you reach the top you start to fly, and soar and rejoice! Why? Because by God's promise we can be sons of God by faith in Jesus (v26). God's promise saves us! No law keeping required. The law was a temporary measure that was necessary for Israel because of sin to ensure that the Christ would come and the promise come to us! Now, anyone can be counted righteous and enjoy the promise of God's Holy Spirit - filled and clothed with Christ and so sharing his status.

Terry Virgo says (God's Lavish Grace, p41) seeing this is like painting in watercolours. You have to "let the paint dry. Let the wonder of God's grace overwhelm you. Let it bring you to a deep sense of his total acceptance". Enjoying this grace it should become normal conversation for sons to be "delighting in what the Lord is doing in life, conversation that would help [us] to remember about grace and be thankful for it every day" (Marcus Honeysett, Finding Joy, p47). As Virgo puts it, grace is not a stagnant pond but rather a gushing river.

It's been a joy over the last twenty four hours to see God's grace at work in people - in staff and relay and in the unity and joy of church leaders in Plymouth. It's a delight to see men and women who love the gospel of God's grace and to stand with them.

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