“I believe in a gospel that is big enough to root out indifference, apathy, ignorance, and poverty of soul. It’s big enough to change utterly lost men and women into bold champions of the faith. It’s big enough to wake a slumbering church from its sleep.” – Eric Mason
“Being transformed by the gospel means that we as the covenant community bring that newness of life wherever we go. Our desire should be for our kingdom activity to point to the need for the soul to be changed.” – Eric Mason
“Accountability allows us to confess patterns of temptation, and in so doing we are restrained from actual transgression.” -Trillia Newbell, United
If you treat people like projects for you to improve, then when they don’t want to participate in that project you will inevitably treat them as a waste of time or you will feel threatened by them–because all you are seeing in them is something that needs fixing.
But the Bible instead calls us simply to love our neighbor as ourselves. This changes the motive to intervene. Our interest in people’s growth becomes selfless because it is based on love, instead of a “need to fix” them. It changes how we intervene.
It means ‘I want to help them, but I love them even without improvement, and I love them even if the pace of improvement is considerably slower or different from what “I” wanted.’
That is giving up control. It re-humanizes people so that we treat them like people and not just ‘projects.’
“If our expectation is that we should be able to take four simple steps to succeed in our struggle against sin, Hebrews warns that we’ll despair and be self-condemning when we continue to fail. We’ll become despondent and exhausted. This is one of the reasons why people run from seminar to seminar, why they pile up self-help books, and why they spend millions of dollars every year for psychotherapy. Our problem is that we don’t see the depth or power of our sin or how we’re to continually fight against it.” -Elyse Fitzpatrick, Comforts from the Cross
Q: Is there a difference between glory and grace for Christians?
“Ans. Yes. But the difference is in degrees, and not otherwise. For heaven must be begun here. If ever we mean to enter into heaven hereafter, we enter into the suburbs here. We must be new creatures here. We are kings here; we are heirs apparent here; we are adopted here; we are regenerate here; we are glorious here, before we be glorious hereafter. Therefore, beloved, we may read our future state in our present. We must not think to come de scelo in cealum, as he saith, out of the filth of sin to heaven, but heaven must be begun here. You see both have the same name, grace, and glory. Therefore, wouldst thou know what thy condition shall be afterwards? Read it in thy present disposition. If there be not a change and a glorious change here, never look for a glorious change hereafter. What is not begun in grace shall never be accomplished in glory. Both grace here and glory hereafter coming under the same name, it forceth this.” Richard Sibbes, Glorious Freedom
“I cannot but hate sin; and, hating sin, I must act his part anew, that is, as he died for sin, so I die to sin; as he was crucified for it, so it is crucified in me; as he was pierced, so he gives corruption a stab in me; as he was buried, so my corruption is buried; and as he died once, never to die again, so I follow my sins to the grave, to death, and consumption of old Adam, that he never riseth again. So I say, the consideration of my union with Christ, that I in Christ did die and was crucified, because my head died and was crucified. And then it puts that affection into me that was in Christ, and makes me act Christ’s part, to die to sin daily more and more. These and the like thoughts are stirred up in a Christian, which St Paul aims at in Rom. vi. and other places.” -Richard Sibbes, Glorious Freedom