Saturday, July 19, 2014

Absolutely everything hangs on this...

Audio: < 2min.

The state of the promise:

The christian faith is all about the promise. At the end of the day, it's all or nothing for us. We live or die on the promises of God. That's it. We add nothing to them, and we hang everything upon them. And that is both its great comfort, and what terrifies us most about it.

Is it really enough to trust God's promise? And all of us, to one degree or another, answer that question with a 'No'. It doesn't matter how long we've been in Christ, how long we've been in the faith, the temptation to abandon faith is always there. And it affects all of us one way or another, from time to time.

... It doesn't matter if it's me, or you, or somebody else that delivers the promise, what matters is that it gets delivered consistently, routinely, to people who can't believe it. And this is exactly why, in Luther's great catechism, he wrote, "I believe that I cannot by my own reason or effort believe in my Lord Jesus Christ, or come to Him. But that He has called me, by the gospel."

Luther was saying that what I believe about my belief is what? ... that I can't believe. And so I turn to the promise that calls me again and again to trust. That is the fundamental business of the preacher and the hearer. You come ... I come ... with my unbelief. And into that unbelief, we preach Christ sufficient, Christ alone ... in spite of unbelief. It is preached to unbelief to create faith.

-- Pastor Mark Anderson

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