Both love and truth are vital

A man dressed as a city gentleman walks across a tightrope in London's financial district

Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it.

God’s saving love in Christ, however,
is marked by both radical truthfulness
about who we are and yet also radical,
unconditional commitment to us.

The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God’s mercy and grace.

–Timothy Keller

The Divine Romance

Bride

“And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.”
(Isaiah 62:5)

Every time God chooses an image for himself, he is saying something about us. Do you know what the bride looks like to the bridegroom as she walks down the aisle? She wears the most beautiful garments and jewels, and when he lays his eyes on her, he is absolutely delighted in her. And he wants to give her the world. How dare Jesus Christ use a metaphor like this, evoking this powerful human experience? Could it be that he loves his own like that? That he delights in you like that? Yes, he does. How different would your life be if you lived in moment-by-moment existential awareness of that?

–Timothy Keller
The Wedding Party

Image: James Nesbit

Foretaste of the future

jesus37

Jesus’ miracles are not just
a challenge to our minds,
but a promise to our hearts,
that the world we all want is coming.

–Timothy Keller

Pulsating Dance of Joy

Each of the divine persons centers upon the others. None demands that the others revolve around him. Each voluntarily circles the other two, pouring love, delight, and adoration into them. Each person of the Trinity loves, adores, defers to, and rejoices in the others. That creates a dynamic, pulsating dance of joy and love.

–Timothy Keller

The main problem

The main problem in the Christian life
is we have not thought out the deep
implications of the gospel.

–Timothy Keller

Published in: on 02/07/2012 at 5:26  Leave a Comment  
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The solution to each problem

We never “get beyond the gospel” in our Christian life to something more “advanced.” The gospel is not the first “step” in a “stairway” of truths, rather, it is more like the “hub” in a “wheel” of truth. The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s of Christianity, but it is the A to Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we all make progress in the kingdom.

We are not justified by the gospel and then sanctified by obedience but the gospel is the way we grow (Gal. 3:1-3) and are renewed (Col 1:6). It is the solution to each problem, the key to each closed door, the power through every barrier (Rom 1:16-17).

It is very common in the church to think as follows: “The gospel is for non-Christians. One needs it to be saved. But once saved, you grow through hard work and obedience.” But Colossians 1:6 shows that this is a mistake. Both confession and “hard work” that is not arising from and “in line” with the gospel will not sanctify you—it will strangle you. All our problems come from a failure to apply the gospel. Thus when Paul left the Ephesians he committed them “to the word of his grace, which can build you up” (Acts 20:32).

The main problem, then, in the Christian life
is that we have not thought out
the deep implications of the gospel,
we have not “used” the gospel in and on
all parts of our life.

Richard Lovelace says that most people’s problems are just a failure to be oriented to the gospel—a failure to grasp and believe it through and through. Luther says (on Gal. 2:14), “The truth of the Gospel is the principle article of all Christian doctrine… Most necessary is it that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.” The gospel is not easily comprehended. Paul says that the gospel only does its renewing work in us as we understand it in all its truth. All of us, to some degree live around the truth of the gospel but do not “get” it. So the key to continual and deeper spiritual renewal and revival is the continual re-discovery of the gospel. A stage of renewal is always the discovery of a new implication or application of the gospel—seeing more of its truth. This is true for either an individual or a church.

–Timothy Keller

More than you dared to believe

One way to put the Gospel
in a nutshell is this.
You are more wicked
than you ever dared believe
and yet, you are more loved
and accepted in Jesus Christ
than you ever dared hope.

–Timothy Keller

Published in: on 05/10/2011 at 12:50  Leave a Comment  
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