Sunday, March 21, 2010

Do We Understand What It Means To Accept Christ?

The Sunday Sound-Bite...

Gospel Driven Disciples introduces a new component: The Sunday Sound-Bite. These "selections" will be from various men of God commenting on various topics with the goal of provoking a deeper appreciation of our Lord Jesus Christ and to facilitate obedience to the admonition given in II Peter 3:18 – “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Savior Jesus Christ.”

This  selection is from the John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN. John is challenging God's to recognize the problem with Christians in Evangelicalism.



Concerning salvation: I think God only gives us what we can handle at the time. First the lost sinner must see his need to be saved (conviction) God will then cause him to turn to Christ (repent) and be born again. God then develops a deeper love and understanding of who He is as we move forward in our Christian life?

John Piper seems to be saying that a sinner must come to Christ with a complete understanding of the full majesty of God that most so called mature Christian don't even have.

Gregg said...

Thanks for your comment this morning.

First, it is hard to take a clip from a message and not take it out of context. I would like to have heard the entire message and may need to go and dig it up. If I took him out of context and misrepresented him, I am sorry and ask for forgiveness.

Second, I don't think he means that we have to have a full orbed and fully developed theology of God to receive Christ. I think he is warning us about the motivation for both presenting Christ and receiving Christ.

The fault lies with the gospel presentation. Most of the time Christ and the gospel is peddled as a "panacea to cure all ills." We motivate people to come to Christ (many times unwittingly & unknowingly) for the wrong reason. When we fail to demonstrate the awful judgement and condemnation that an individual is under as an enemy of God, and we fail to scritpturally demonstrate the need for biblical repentance because the individual has offended, sinned against, and is at enmity with God and we attempt to "woo" them (no matter how innocently or well meaning) to Christ for a better life, happiness, and oh yes forgiveness of sins (notice sins plural - lying, cheating, stealing, etc.) and not sin - sin singular - sin for violating the righteous standards of a holy God, then Piper is saying it just might be that this individual has "received" another Jesus or gospel and thereby could be lost.

Piper nor myself would say that one has to have a full blown theology course in order to accept Christ. The gospel is simple but I have seen, heard, and am aware of the "pitch" and presentation dumbed down to the point of there is no definite reason to "receive" Christ accept to go to heaven.

Going to heaven is not the motivation to "receive" Christ - going to heaven is a wonderful by-product, but the motivation to repent and to receive Christ is to have both our sins and sin of rebelling against God satisfied in Christ.

The reason that we have little impact in our communities, churches, and such, the reason that we have such lack of spiritual growth, dynamics, etc. is that many - not all, and more than likely not yours - churches are filled with people who made a decision for their benefit or ego-centric desires rather than repent and trust fully in the atoning work of Christ.

Even Paul said, in II Corinthians 13:5 that a man should examine, test the evidence in his life that "convicts" him of being a Christian. Piper and myself are grieved over the mangled peddlings of the gospel that result in a "decision" that does not convey the full truth of the gospel.

I hope this helps. I love your input and respect you tremendously. If I need correction or better insight, please do not hesitate to help me.

Many people who "make a decision" have done just that later, many of these truly come to Christ as God saves them by His marvelous grace.

In His Grip for His Glory,



It seems to me that Piper is admonishing the Church for of presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ led by the Holy Spirit. When the Gospel is delivered with anointing, the Holy Spirit will convict the sinner, and will humble the sinner, and will cause the sinner to know that the Almighty God stands ready to receive him with open arms because of the sacrifice Christ made at the cross. It is a moment of splendor and deep spiritual transformation. Piper seems to be saying there is a great lack of anointed presenting of the Gospel. It is the Christian who presents in in his own way, usually side stepping the anointed power of the Gospel and presenting God as a glorified candy machine to give whatever the person needs.

Lord give me discernment and allow me to wait for the anointing of the Holy Spirit so that you can do the work and manifest the power of the Gospel by truly transforming the heart of the sinner.

Thanks for the insightful film clip. Very thought provoking.