2008-11-02 - It's All About Jesus
1 Thessalonians 1:10, "And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come."
Where does the inner spiritual life come from? Is it this something we are born with and all naturally have in ourselves, or is all our spiritual life given us by God's gracious kindness and mercy? There is disagreement on the answer to this question in the Christian church. Many say that we are basically good, and that while we need forgiveness for our sins, and it is a blessing that Jesus died for our sins, all we need is to add faith in Jesus to what we already have - a natural goodness - and all will be well with us.
I suppose that, in the end, the essential element and needful thing is faith in Christ, but I also think that those who reason that faith is merely added to what we already have naturally in ourselves think much too highly of themselves. I cannot help but wonder if they will think to sing in heaven about their own goodness, and their own wisdom in trusting Jesus, and honestly, singing songs about how wonderful we are seems ludicrous when we are speaking about the praises of the saints in heaven. So will we really be singing about the wonder of our own ability to see our need for Jesus in heaven? "I am worthy to receive honor, and glory for I figured out that I needed Jesus and all those poor souls suffering in hell didn't."
I don't think we will be singing about ourselves in heaven. Outside of Christ we are dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1, Col. 2:13), and those who think to try to get up off their knees from worshiping Christ to do themselves a turn of honor in heaven will find they have no such motivation when they know, first hand, Christ's glory. I don't suspect we will be singing about ourselves in heaven. It is hard enough to grasp the concept of doing it while we live. We know our sin. We know our frailty. We know that we don't sustain ourselves. We know that God's tender loving care is everything to us, our all in all. We also know that we did not first love Christ, but Christ first loved us, and gave Himself up as a propitiation for our sins, 1 John 4:10. It is a wonderful thought that Christ has loved us, and taken our sins upon Himself. We don't take the credit for faith. He loved us first. Our job? Our job is to be "overflowing with gratitude," (Col. 2:7) for what Christ has done for us. We take our pride outside and shoot it dead in the driveway. All things in our lives hold together in Christ (Col. 1:17), and it is shameful pride to take personal credit for any grace we have been given. It is a gift, and even more, it is a gift from the Living God, Creator of Heaven and Earth.
It is not about us. This is so hard of a concept for us to grasp. So many of our praise songs and books place the focus on ourselves. My friends, nothing centers in us, but all things center, move, and have their being in Christ. When we sing in worship, we ought to be singing about Christ. When we pray, we ought to seek His glory in our lives and those we are praying for. When we commune with Him we must be seeking deeper fellowship in Him, for Him, with Him, and into Him. Everything is about Jesus and the more we believe this the greater comfort, peace, and joy we will know and experience.
Soli Deo Gloria,