Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Beyond forgiveness...

I'm reading, Velvet Elvis, by Rob Bell - a dangerous book if you want to keep on living for Jesus as you've always lived for Jesus. He continually points out the problems with the "religious" views and practices so prevalent in the American church today. We have made a religion out of a relationship. (I'm not saying this as well as he does.)

So I'm reading along today and I find this paragraph that I just have to share with someone. You, if you're still reading this post, are one of the someones God wanted to give this truth to.

So here goes. From Velvet Elvis...

"The point of the cross isn't forgiveness. Forgiveness leads to something much bigger: restoration. God isn't just interested in the covering over of our sins; God wants to make us into the people we were originally created to be. It is not just the removal of what's being held against us; it is God pulling us into the people he originally had in mind when he made us. This restoration is why Jesus always orients his message around becoming the kind of people who are generous and loving and compassionate. The goal here isn't simply to not sin. Our purpose is to increase the shalom [Bell descibed shalom earlier as the presence of the goodness of God in all of life] in this world, which is why approaches to the Christian faith that deal solely with not sinning always fail. They aim at the wrong thing. It is not about what you don't do. The point is becoming more and more the kind of people God had in mind when we were first created." (p. 108)

So there you have it. Live for God. Become, by His power, who He wants you to be. Free from the guilt and the power of sin. Free to live wholeheartedly for Him. Filled up with Him.
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