Monday, July 24, 2006

The Gospel: God's Glory & Man's Humilitaion

*This Sermon was preached last month at the GBCB Youth Camp*

Here is where we last left off:
The question that we are now left with is, what should our response be to God’s glory in the Gospel?

The first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about this question is humility. Honestly, it should be utter humiliation and this is exactly what we see in
Ezekiel 36:22-32. In this passage God blessed the people with grace so that He would receive the glory. This is the Gospel. God does not save someone because of who they are. God saves people because of who He is.
Do you love the gospel because God has made much of you, or do you love the Gospel because it has freed you to make much of God forever? If you love the Gospel because God has made much of you then you need to humble yourself and remember that your joy should be rooted in the infinite value of God.

If you have great guilt in your life from sin your hope should not be in you, but rather your hope should be in the name of Christ. Do not get wrapped up in esteeming yourself highly and think that it is the Gospel. The whole point of the Gospel is not that we are so good that God saved us, but rather that we are so bad yet because God is so good He has saved us. At the thought of our salvation we should not say to ourselves “I must be something because Jesus died for me.” Ezekiel makes it very clear that the thought of God’s grace in light of our sin should leave us confounded and ashamed.

This leaves us with an interesting tension that is particularly highlighted in the NT. We are to remember our sins yet forget them.
Ephesians 2:12-13 tells us that we must remember our sins, but Philippians 3:12-13 tells us that we must forget our sins. The key to understanding this is found in the beginning of Philippians 3:12. Paul understands that he has not already obtained perfection, and so he remembers his sin but forgets. I think that we can find this balance if we remember enough to be ashamed by our sin and satisfied with God’s grace; but don’t remember (or dwell on) your sin to the point that you are paralyzed by it. The Gospel should humble us, not make us proud. We should be ashamed and confounded by our sin so that we will be happy and satisfied with God’s grace.

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