Thursday, June 05, 2008

Only is a most Christian kind of word

I love having 800 pioneering missionaries in Christian Unions in the South West. But,contrast thousands upon thousands outside of Christ.The maths is hopeless! But, God says his gospel is the power of God to defy the maths and save the nations.

  • I cannot save them.
  • You cannot save them.
  • They cannot save them. Nor are they inclined to save themselves.
  • God can save.
  • God can save the obviously sinful–he has saved you and I.
  • God can save the self-righteous, those lacking justice, love, kindness and humility –like us.

The grace of God does this. And onlyat the cross do we see how God can both punish sin and save sinners. Jesus dies in our place for our sin!!


Only the cross makes forgiveness possible. This is Christianity! Jesus died for our sin,throwing them into the sea.
  • We don't scrub ourselves clean.
  • We don't improve ourselves.
  • We don't try a bit harder.
  • We don't pedal faster.
  • We don't do more.
  • We don't get spiritual or more religious.
Idols require us doing. Christianity is God doing it all. God done it all.
See, Micah 7v18-19:
  • It is HE who pardons.
  • It is HE who passed over the sin of Israel because of the blood on their doors.
  • HE does not retain anger.
  • It is HE who delights in love.
  • It is HE who has compassion.
  • HE treads sin under foot.
  • HE hurls our sins into the sea.
This is the Incomparable Grace of God:
Our sin removed – by HIM! At the cross of Christ.
That is what Micah sees as he looks upriver.

  • Only when we see the unique power of the gospel to bring repentance, andthe unique power of the gospel to remove sin will we see the church built.
  • Only then will we see genuine joy in our lives.
  • Only then will we step out of mediocrity and into the unstoppable purposes of God, swimming in the depths of God's river of salvation history. We need the grace that only comes in the gospel, grace that all the scriptures testify about.
  • Only when we see God's big gospel story, his big gospel river and our place in it will we have faith to see this world changed.
  • Only in the gospel is repentance possible, only in the gospel can sins be removed. That's why the church stands on the powerful word of the cross, able to believe for more than we can imagine.
All of this ONLY talk is really unacceptable in the 21st Century. But frankly, I've had enough of the mediocrity. What God lays out for us in the gospel is more compelling, more glorious, more sense than anything this world offers. For the gospel presents us with Jesus Christ, the Shepherd-King. How Micah must be overwhelmed as the eyes of his heart see with faith what is coming, and has now come. Overwhelmed by the unique, incomparable grace of God in his powerful repentance-bringing, sin-removing gospel.


  1. Wow. Thanks for posting this, it really encouraged me- and helped me to readjust my focus once again.

    I tell myself I know that stuff, but a minute later something else comes along which pursuades me that there must be something do, or to say...

    ...or maybe that I'm the something else that can get things done, more effectively than the gospel.

    But then I find myself looking at the cross once more, and realize how helpless I am, and how full of grace God is. That there is no something else.

    This post helped me to do that - thanks.