Monday, December 10, 2012

Santa Claus=Bad News, Gospel=Good News

The declaration of Santa Claus goes a little something like this: Get your act together because whether you are naughty or nice determines the gift you receive, whether that be a good gift or a lump of coal.

The declaration of Jesus Christ goes a little something like this: You all alike have been naughty, and the reward you justly deserve is far worse than a lump of coal, it is death. On top of that, you can't possibly fix yourself or reverse your outcome. BUT, I lived the life you should have lived, and earned the reward or gift that you failed to obtain so that all who turn from their own act can receive me, and receive the ultimate gift, life in God. Whereas you deserve punishment for your track record, you can receive mercy, forgiveness, grace, and life in Jesus Christ.

My fear is that most of us functionally believe a Christianity that is more comparable to the Santa Claus declaration. If our good outweighs our bad, then we get a reward. This is not reality. This is not the gospel. This is, as John Piper puts it, actually very bad news. If you are banking on your own moral track record as your assurance, you can never be sure. You will constantly be wondering if you did enough, or if you are good enough. Simply put, you will never be good enough, and you will never do enough. All of us are sinners who are broken and distorted. But, there is one who did everything you couldn't do, and now freely offers himself to you. That is the good news of Jesus. Receive and rest in Jesus.

A little video from one of my favorite preachers of all time, John Piper:

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