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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Gospel Maths

I talked on Sunday morning about "Gospel Maths" which tells us that:

Jesus + Nothing = Everything

This is such an important thing to get our heads round and to get into our experience.  Jesus is enough. Who He is and what He has achieved for us is everything we need.  

Through His atoning death on the cross there is now no condemnation for us (Romans 8:1), we can be led by His Spirit knowing life and peace (6), we can cut the legs of sin and temptation with the Spirit's sword (13), we can know adoption into God's family and Him as Father (15), we get an inheritance that can never fade, spoil or perish (17), we can know that however bad things get it's nothing compared to the good stuff we're going to receive (18), we realise that the aches and pains we suffer are difficult but not weird as we live in the "now and not yet" (23), we get to have the Holy Spirit praying for us (26) as well as Jesus Himself who's at the right hand of the Father (34), we can know that in ALL things God is working for our  good (28), we have God for us so who on earth can really be against us (31), we have the cross as the ultimate measure of God's commitment to us (32), we are not just conquerors but MORE THAN conquerors transforming bad stuff into God glorifying good stuff (37) and of course, because of Jesus, nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from His love (39).

We're tempted not to believe these truths.   We're tempted to believe that other things are necessary: money, health, nice kids, successful career, the acceptance of others, dramatic spiritual experiences, romantic relationships, food, fruitful Christian service, being "right"....we're tempted to believe that these things aren't just nice but essential.  

Of course we need Jesus.....but we're tempted to believe that in actual fact we've got to have these other things (delete as appropriate) - just look at how you react when you face the prospect of not having these.....follow the trajectory of your day dreams and nightmares......

Jesus + Nothing = Everything

And because we're inclined to forget that we've got all we need in Christ (see Romans 8) we need to continually rehearse these great truths and promises.   

We need to be reading our Bibles.   

It's not that we just "ought" to read them, "Jesus read His Bible so we should read the Bible". That kind of Sunday School moralism is death. We have to read our Bibles so that we can see Jesus.   We have  to read to see that He is precious beyond all things and that He is enough.   I have to read my Bible and I have to be under God's Word preached regularly because without it I forget and I buy the lie that says Jesus is enough for me.    And that's not true however much it feels true (and sometimes it does feel very true).   

Jesus is sufficient and I need to fight the fight of faith to believe this, knowing that as I trust God's Word, hearing it with faith, the Holy Spirit shows up in power (Galatians 3:5) and enables me to see Christ and all His glorious sufficiency (2 Cor. 4:4).  

Jesus + Nothing = Everything

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