My biggest fear, even now, is that I will hear Jesus’ words and walk away, content to settle for less than radical obedience to Him.
- David Platt
The modern-day gospel says, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Therefore, follow these steps, and you can be saved.” Meanwhile, the biblical gospel says, “You are an enemy of God, dead in your sin, and in your present state of rebellion, you are not even able to see that you need life, much less to cause yourself to come to life. Therefore, you are radically dependent on God to do something in your life that you could never do.”
- David Platt
To everyone wanting a safe, untroubled, comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus. The danger in our lives will always increase in proportion to the depth of our relationship with Christ.
- David Platt
How can you tell when you're actually living out your faith? Is it simply the fruits of the spirit gradually becoming apparent in your daily routine or does it look more radical?
So it looks we’ve set up a conflict here between fruits and radical living. In other words: Is the Christian life just about personal holiness? Or should I be fighting crime and rescuing slaves and beating up dictators?
Let’s be clear: The American church absolutely loves the whole personal holiness thing. Almost every Christian book in your bookstore is about transformation, renewing your mind, a better you, “Gospel Centrality,” fixing your heart, tending to your emotions, and a bunch of other self-involved disciplines. Not all these are bad, but the focus is obvious.
Even missional work in America is considered a personal holiness thing. I’ve heard it preached, “In the end you’ll grow closer to God and see what He’s doing for you.” Again, not really wrong, but you see the implication.
We’ve very much disconnected God’s saving grace with His call to glorify His name. When we stick a wedge between Grace and Glory, we’ve lost the Gospel. A lot of theologians want to set up Jesus and Paul like they were saying different things, but NO, they were not. Jesus and Paul would both say Jesus is both the Gate and the Road.
I’ll put it simply, in sort of a rhyme:
The saving truth of God’s grace, the story of the cross, our redemption = LEADS TO = Empowerment for the glory of God, our sacred mission.
Most of us are in love with Jesus’ words but not so much his mission. We like meditation and transformation and revelation but not suffering with Jesus for the sake of the Gospel. We do not intuitively embrace suffering for Jesus. Therefore, you get the comfortable confines of an American church. It is absolutely insane to think the majority of Americans understand the NT church; it’s freaking crazy out there.
So to answer your question: I’m not sure what particular convictions the Holy Spirit has given you about your journey, but the fruits of the Spirit will include you actually fulfilling the Great Commission.
I’m not saying it’s 50-50 — I do believe that we must be resting in the glory of the Good News to really understand our purpose and His Story, so Prayer-Praise-Scripture is super-essential. Then as you seek for yourself all the fruits of a God-centered holiness — the love, joy, peace, purity, and all the goodness in Him — this also means you’re Going, Making Disciples, and Giving for the Gospel.
Please don’t disconnect those things, and also check your heart that you’re not merely “doing to do.” I believe God actually does care more about who you’re becoming, but out of your being will emerge the faithful doing.
Internal and External Realities – Growing Vs. Going
Today’s blog post is a nine minute podcast: About how the church has withdrawn into a place of moral “be-good” teaching instead of a Spirit-empowered, danger-filled, risk-taking missional people with a heart for the lost and hurting.
Not a new problem here: That we can be a super-spiritual transformed church at the expense of God’s Dirty Discipling Mission. There’s an obvious disconnect between Internal Prayer-Praise-Scripture and External Going-Making-Giving.
Is it any wonder that we are more discouraged, lukewarm, and stagnant than ever before?
Because he is owned by Christ, he owes Christ to the world.
- David Platt, on Apostle Paul and all disciples
Jesus was not, and never is, interested in being seen as a respectable teacher. He is the sovereign Lord. He doesn’t give options for people to consider; he gives commands for people to obey.
- David Platt
This is where we come face to face with a dangerous reality. We do have to give up everything we have to follow Jesus. … You know that in the end you are not really giving away anything at all. Instead you are gaining. Yes, you are abandoning everything you have, but you are also gaining more than you could have in any other way. … Why? Because you have found something worth losing everything else for.
This is the picture of Jesus in the gospel. He is something — someone — worth losing everything for. And if we walk away from the Jesus of the gospel, we walk away from eternal riches. The cost of no discipleship is profoundly greater for us than the cost of discipleship. For when we abandon the trinkets of this world and respond to the radical invitation of Jesus, we discover the infinite treasure of knowing and experiencing him.
- David Platt
The key is realizing—and believing—that this world is not your home. If you and I ever hope to free our lives from worldly desires, worldly thinking, worldly pleasures, worldly dreams, worldly ideals, worldly values, worldly ambitions, and worldly acclaim, then we must focus our lives on another world. Though you and I live in the United States of America now, we must fix our attention on ‘a better country—a heavenly one.’
- David Platt (via tterzek)