Saturday, September 6, 2008

COMMITED?

“Commitment preaching” or preaching that calls believers into a radical walk with God is a counterfeit without the message of God’s grace activating, motivating, and actually creating that commitment. Through the preaching of the Gospel of grace, the Spirit of God reveals God’s unconditional love and acceptance. By revelation, the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are loved by the Father just as Jesus the Son is. The understanding of this reality then stirs up our love and affection for God. Romans 8:15,16 says, “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father! The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God”. “Abba Father” is our recognition of and affectionate response to God’s love. It is not a premise by which we “deduce” we are the children of God; it is the power which we know and delight in being the children of God. His love supernaturally activates and compels us to commit ourselves and offer ourselves as living sacrifices. Paul said in Romans 12:1, “In view of (all) the mercies of God, make a decisive dedication of your bodies (presenting all your members and faculties) as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service”. Reasonable service? Yes, but “in view” of something; in view of God’s unconditional acceptance and love found in Christ’s merciful finished work. We are not to labor in order to “muster up” commitment or be “guilted” into appropriate affection for God out of obligation."

Jim Hoag

2 comments:

Joel B. said...

Amen! "For the love of Christ compels us..."

It's not about our own worked-up commitment. I don't know how many sermons I've sat through that were nothing more than attempts to convince me that I needed to become more committed, or a better person, so I could be a better sacrifice to God. It's just so wildly out of line with the true grace of God!

It's a love-relationship, not a duty-bound servanthood.

07000intune said...

"There is a spiritual 'civil war' going on in the church today between 'controlling legalistic spirits' and the 'Spirit of Grace' that is Jesus Christ."
Craig - I tracked you frm Julie's site. i've no idea if you've ventured onto my blog...I know I've been practising my explanations with Julie. So you may or may not know that my feeling is that this grace position does not go far enough. It doesn't quite trap the rat in its hole. I don't think the devil could care less whether we're walking with out and out sin spirits or (sin spirits disguised)legalist spirits...as long as we still think we are independent beings in our inner core - the lie of Genesis 3:5. We're not actually fighting a civil war between grace and legalism....it's far more insidious and under the surface than that. The 2nd we come out of a meeting where we have broken through into the Presence of God, and we relax back into our default innercore believing that we are "self sustaining , self-running beings" actually we're hooked back functionally and temporarily into Genesis 3:5 again - - PROOF.....the time it takes again to break all that junk off us again when we come to the next meeting. When Jesus said He came to destroy all the works of the Enemy...nothing was excepted. When He said He came to lay the axe to the root....He wasn't talking about Mosaic Law...it's simply not far enough down the tree...you have to follow things all the way back to the Garden. And this is what is unfolding for us since the Cross...it's just that Christians kind of get waylaid en route . Because everything Jesus has done for us is so fantastic , we kind of get too impressed with unwrapping the first few presents. Well the Holy Spirit is nudging the Body to open the rest now...Time is kind of short and we must look our best for the Bridegroom.