9/18/2007

Like a Bear Feed by Tourists

“Many seem to have lost confidence in [the] gospel. It is easier to tell people to come to church and live a good life, but that is not the gospel … To share Christ, we have to go beyond formulas that fit on napkins … People are searching—but they are searching for something more than fire insurance or "five steps to financial freedom." … Today, the church is like a bear fed by tourists. It's lost its natural ability … let's get that back by starting where people are, listening to them, building a relationship, telling them about Jesus, sharing with them the story of redemption, and bringing them to a bloody cross and an empty tomb.” - Ed Stetzer

Is it true? Have we lost faith in the gospel?

I often do. I concentrate on God’s solutions to the problems I perceive I have instead of His solution to the problems of my sin. I turn ever so slightly from Christ to look at my own good works. I begin to think that even thought I am saved by grace, my fellowship with God depends on my own efforts. I tend to emphasize the difference Christ has made in my life as opposed to the difference He has made in my standing before God.

I forget that I am saved only in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-14). It is in Him I stand before a Holy God (Romans 5:1-11). Like Pilgrim in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, it is at the foot of the cross where I find relief from my burdens (John 19:28-30). It is at the cross where I am drawn into fellowship with God (John 12: 27-36). It is in the humble turning to God with sorrow for sin that I am saved (Luke 18:19-14).

Christ saves me anyway. He saves me in spite of my doubts and vacillations.

Is my experience so different from others in the church? From what I can see it is not. I hope it is not to late for the heirs of the reformation, but I often wonder.


I pray that God will give us the grace to allow us to truly rest all our hopes on Christ. I pray in the knowledge that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone, to the glory of God alone, as expressed in the Scriptures alone. I truly pray “in the name of Jesus.”

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