Wednesday, 30 December 2009

good stuff

I stayed up very late last night reading C.S. Lewis' book Mere Christianity. And... is it a good read, or is it a good read! These lines were particularly good. So good that they are high-lighted, and the page, dog-eared. So good, that they demand to be shared. So, folks, listen up!

"Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness. It therefore has nothing to say to people who do not know that they have done anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need any forgiveness. It is after you realised that there is a real Moral Law, and a Power behind the Law, and that you have broken that Law, and put yourself wrong with that Power - it is after all this, and not a moment sooner, that Christianity begins to talk! When you have realised that our position is desperate you will begin to understand what Christians are talking about."

Another way of putting it would be that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news. In fact, it is the best news. However, what makes this good news so good and so necessary is that it is put against the backdrop of very bad news. The bad news is that all have sinned. When the Bible says "all" that includes you, and me. Because we have broken God's law, we deserve punishment in hell. That is fair... because justice must be served... because God is perfectly holy. But God is merciful as well, and so He provides a way of salvation for us through His Son, Jesus Christ, who was the perfect sacrifice, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. And then He became alive again, according to the Scriptures, conquering death, so that all who trust in Him can conquer death also. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is no better news than that!

"I was dead in my transgressions and sins. But because of His great love for me, God, who is rich in mercy, made me alive with Christ even when I was dead in my sins. It is by grace that I have been saved." {Ephesians 2} Sheer grace, folks.

You know how when you pass the jewelers in mall, the diamonds that seem to shine the brightest are the ones on black velvet. Likewise: the gem of the Gospel shines ever-so-gloriously against the ugly reality of my sin.