“There must be something real of the work of Christ in the moment-by-moment life, something real of the forgiveness of specific sin brought under the blood of Christ, something real in Christ’s bearing His fruit through me through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. These things must be there. There is nothing more ugly in all the world, nothing that more turns people aside, than a dead orthodoxy.”
-Francis A. Schaeffer, Two Contents, Two Realities
The Gospel changes everything. Once a man’s eyes are opened and he realizes what a predicament he is in because of his sin, there is nothing else to do but turn to Christ. The work of the Spirit of God in regenerating a soul is a real event. It works itself out in how a man lives his life, his attitude towards sin, who he turns to in time of need, and how he views other people, his station in life, and the whole world around him. There is no compartmentalizing the Gospel. If the truth about the holiness of God, the magnitude of sin, and the amazing gift of salvation has not changed the whole man, his is a dead and ugly orthodoxy, indeed.
We can make lists of rules to follow, promise to do better, and even be quite adept at presenting ourselves as “good” in front of other people, but these things are not the real workings of redemption. The man who practices Christianity this way will at best fail in his attempts to muster up a life of obedience to God, and at worst could be fooling himself as to whether he is really saved at all.
Man has a real problem. Sin. He is lost apart from the Grace and Mercy of a real salvation. Try putting an imaginary bandage on a bleeding man. What folly! “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (I Timothy 1:15). I need a real Savior, and so do you. And that’s why the Gospel is such good news. Real, good news.
By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel
(See: 2 Corinthians 5:17, 13:5; Romans 1:16; Galatians 1:8)