The Planks of the Faith: Remembering for Re-Membering, Part 14

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There is an incredibly robust, yet pithy, and most-worthy-of-sustaining-our-growth-in-faith definition of what The Gospel of Grace, the whole counsel of God’s redemptive plan, really amounts to:

“I am more sinful than I could ever dare imagine, and yet I am more loved than I could ever hope for.” (Jack Miler)

As we have chewed on before many occasions at the Training Table, “living on the extremes of this Gospel truth” is what it means to be a human being: a) created “very good” (Genesis 1,2), b) fallen (by nature and habit) by way of the first humans poor choices in the Garden (Genesis 3), c) saved to serve by the atoning sacrifice of God’s Son Jesus Christ (1 Peter 5:4-11), and d) actively awaiting Jesus’ return to make all things new (Revelation 21).

Our Plank of the Faith for today brings us back to this foundational Gospel Truth and Love of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

In Creation, Christ, and Covenant… “Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you (ever, ever, ever…) or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6—parentheses added)

Human Beings are Created to Exist on Unshakable Foundations—NOT in the Unending Freefall That Sin Began… and Our Pride and Stubbornness Can Prolong.

Due to the incrementally-occurring and undaunted pace of secularization of our culture, like no other time in all of history, more people than ever exist in a perpetual emotional, spiritual, and intellectual freefall—which destroys us physically as well.

And the only two choices we have to respond to the existential and everyday freefall are to do it on our own, or do it God’s way. In God’s mercy and truth, both choices are well chronicled. Nothing that needs to be known about God’s redemptive plan has been withheld by God. The nexus of God’s perfect justice AND mercy has been met on the cross.

Please, go there today: Repent and be saved (if you haven’t done so before); or repent and give thanks and praise (if you have been reborn from above).

As Charles Dickens so aptly said, “I hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or misfortune in the world.”

DONE! “It is finished!” (John 17:4)

For all whom repent and believe by faith, Dickens’ and all of humanity’s “hope” is God’s unbreakable assurance, offer of no condemnation, and freedom to serve as light (to witness to the truth and love of God) and salt (to live incarnationally for the poor, disenfranchised, orphaned, widowed) in this dark and fast-decaying world.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, Who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27—emphasis added).

Our hearts grow more and more in faith and in conformity to Jesus Christ as we “begin, middle, and end our day” by saying to ourselves and one another, “Yes, LORD!” “Yes, LORD!” “Yes, LORD!”

Today’s Plank of the Faith: Article 20: The Justice and Mercy of God in Christ
“We believe that God—Who is perfectly merciful and also perfectly just—sent His Son to assume the nature in which the disobedience had been committed, in order to bear in it the punishment of sin by his most bitter passion and death.

So God made known His justice toward his Son, who was charged with our sin, and He poured out His goodness and mercy on us, who are guilty and worthy of damnation, giving to us His Son to die, by a most perfect love, and raising Him to life for our justification, in order that by Him we might have immortality and eternal life.” (Article 20, The Belgic Confession of Faith, 1561—emphasis added)

While “running the good race” this week, be sure to stop by the aid stations of WORSHIP and GRATITUDE to stay hydrated, nourished, submitted, and strong!


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