Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bagpipes & Faith

Before I get all theological on you, I just need to say... 

I saw a man playing the bagpipes in his front yard today (the photo to the left is a google images reenactment of the scene). I was driving too fast to tell if he was wearing a kilt, but can we just pretend that he was?

I'm not saying I would purchase bagpipe music, but there is something kind of glorious about it. It makes me think of Braveheart and Scottish funerals - both glorious in their own right. 

Speaking of glorious, I just finished up writing a paper on justification by faith. I am sometimes surprised by the things I write and I like to think I'm humble enough to acknowledge that God is probably responsible for those surprising tidbits. Here are a few I thought I'd share:

"Our culture has forced man to justify himself. It demands that he let the world know why he’s good enough, capable and worthwhile enough to even give a second glance. Why wouldn’t these patterns carry over into man’s relationship with and expectations of God? If everyone else requires him to prove himself, why wouldn’t God also?" 

"Our faith in the crucified Christ and the atoning power of His blood has made a way for us to stand before the Lord and receive perfect and absolute acceptance. It’s hard to believe that this is all God would require. But He knows us so well. He knows our frailty and He loves us so much that He remedied our inability to keep the Law by abolishing its requirements."

"Where culture has imposed justification upon man, God has bestowed it. We are no longer mandated to prove ourselves. There is no code to follow, no ladder to climb, no lifestyle or mantra to lay the path toward righteousness. Just God - just faith in Him and the work of His Son, Jesus Christ. Justification by faith means I can rest in the promises of God. It doesn’t mean I kick up my feet and ride out this life, but it moves me to respond in obedience and gratefulness. I’m motivated by His gift of love and freed from my vain attempts to earn it."

"Justification by faith is mysterious. It’s something God came up with to completely rattle the mindset of man. But He knew it was the only way that we might share relationship and communion with Him."

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”
Romans 5:8-11

"That’s how much God wanted us. He took drastic measures to make a way for us and only requires our faith in return. He does not load us down with expectations. Everything He wants from us is just an outflow of His righteousness in us – our reasonable act of worship! Reasonable indeed, considering what He’s done!"

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