Offer or demand?

Now John’s (the Baptist) Gospel was the Gospel of a Demand: thou shalt do this, and thou shalt do that. It can bring no more than what Herrmann calls “a troubled piety,” a straining to fulfill overhanging demands. Its type is that of the set jaw, of the clinched fist, and the strained soul, and its motto is, We will fight it out along this line if it takes till death.

The gospel of Jesus is not the Gospel of a Demand but the Gospel of an Offer. Christ offers life to men: “He that drinketh of the waters that I shall give him shall never thirst,” for “they shall become in him a well.” Here is not an agonizing to live, but an acceptance of life—abundant and full. Just here is the essential difference between other systems and the gospel of Christ. The one struggles upward in order that it may issue in self-salvation; the other accepts an offer and it issues in self-sacrifice…

Of course, at the center of that offer is a demand—for repentance, for self-surrender, for following—but once the offer is accepted, the demand dances its way into a delight and is gone.

–E. Stanley Jones

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Published in: on 01/30/2012 at 8:19  Leave a Comment  
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