“The gospel of justifying faith means that while Christians are, in themselves still sinful and sinning, yet in Christ, in God’s sight, they are accepted and righteous. So we can say that we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope—at the very same time. This creates a radical new dynamic for personal growth. It means that the more you see your own flaws and sins, the more precious, electrifying, and amazing God’s grace appears to you. But on the other hand, the more aware you are of God’s grace and acceptance in Christ, the more able you are to drop your denials and self-defenses and admit the true dimensions and character of your sin."
This quote is from one of our favorite pastors, Tim Keller from Redeemer Church in New York. I think that his description of what it means to be a Christian and put faith in God's promises is amazing. We are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope.
We listened to one of Keller's sermons last night in the cool darkness of our porch and I was overcome by how it, and so many of his sermons, spoke so closely and intimately to my heart. I'm sad to say it's pretty rare that a sermon we hear at a regular Sunday church service brings tears to my eyes or makes me feel God's nearness in such an intensely personal way. Yet this is what I crave, and not just on Sundays. I crave the deep comfort that comes from sensing God's closeness and His understanding of me, from the particular ways my heart aches to the unspoken joys that fill and sustain me.
Part of the passage above was in the sermon we listened to but there was so much more to it. I think today I might head to the Bible to read more about the prophet Elijah. Feeling inspired today to learn and to deepen my faith.
I hope you all had a beautiful weekend!