Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pay Attention to How you Hear.

Luke 8:16-18 (ESV)
"No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. [17] For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. [18] Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away."
“The one who has not, even what he things that he has will be taken away.” Its tough. Jesus is specking to the jews here, who think they have salvation. They are children of Abraham, the hay have been there and don that as far as everything goes, been circumcised, lead an outwardly decent life and so think that salvation is theirs. No need for Christ, no need for forgiveness. They were born into it so to speak.
New converts are never like this. They are excited about the faith. Read an article the other day on Cage stage Calvinism, that stage where they are so excited about the faith they embarrass other Calvinists. I can’t see getting all that excited about Calvinism, but I see other people doing that. Someone said this is true of Lutheranism too. I hope to remain in that stage then. The excitement that comes along when you are first exposed to the freedom of the gospel. I’ve been accused of taking that too far. No I really don’t think so. My biggest fear is I don’t take it far enough. Celebrating the freedom a person has in Christ, it is lighting the lamp and putting it on the table. Don’t tell me to stash it under the bed. Go stash yourself there.
Pay attention to how you hear, Jesus says. Faith comes from hearing, from hearing what Jesus has to tell you, your sins are forgiven. He paid for them on the cross. There is nothing you can do about it. His cross is the reason you get heaven, his body there broken, his blood there shed for you. That same body and blood he offers you Sunday in and Sunday out for the forgiveness of sins. Pay attention to how you hear. Sure we can talk of Pharisees who think it is a birth right, who take it for granted, who go on their way and think they have nothing to worry about because they live a decent middle class life, with decent middle class values, and never rock the boat. But then how many of us are that way?
How often do we think Christianity is about those middle class values? How often do we think salvation is ours because we have been good boys and girls? It happens. God doesn’t reward you with salvation because your skirt covers your knees, or you take the trash out on a regular basis. You are saved because you are a sinner that Jesus loves. Yes you, a sinner. You with your middle class values, are a sinner and a truly horrible one at that, perhaps the biggest indicator being you can’t find joy in your salvation enough to celebrate your Christian freedom.

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