Monday, June 05, 2006

The Not-So-Calm Before the Storm

This will be a fast and furious week before we head out to Padre.

We leave next Monday to spend a week at The Tiki and purposefully spend time relaxing, playing, laughing, and learning who we are in Christ. The theme, blatantly stolen from Spencer over at The Ooze, is SOULARIZE.

In preparation for my teaching, I've been looking at the beginning of our relationship with Christ. What is the core of salvation? Why have we boiled it down to a simple prayer or some cognitive recognition of our personal 'state of the union'? Could there be more to it?

The bottom line is this: salvation is substitutionary. God provided a substitution in Christ (2 Cor 5:21, Isaiah 53:12) to accomplish what I could NEVER accomplish. My righteousness in Christ's righteousness, not 'self-righteousness' done through doing good things (btw...we do 'good works' out of obedience, not in order to make up for the bad things we've done. See Romans 3:10)

It's good to remember this: the lie of self-righteousness says that you must do good in order to please God. But God doesn't love me when I'm good.

He just loves me. Not because of me, but because of Christ in me. My identity is in Christ, he is my substitute, so my righteousness (right standing with God) is His. My righteousness is as filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6).

Yes, we MUST read scripture, pray, share the good news, and give. But those things are NOT what fulfills me: God fulfills me. Those things are merely the menu that leads to the meal.

Don't stop at the menu. It never satisfies.

Get to the meal.