Sunday, November 16, 2014

Nothing But Christ Crucified

When you've hit rock-bottom, and are saved into His grace, you really get it. The Apostle Paul was a religiously zealous and learned man before he met Christ on the road to Damascus. But he was a wicked murderer and persecutor of Christians. God had let him hit rock-bottom so he could more powerfully grasp the extent of His great mercy and forgiveness. When Paul was saved, he truly knew what it meant to be born again. And, with humility, he died to self and resolved to know nothing but Christ crucified (1 Cor 2:2). By going in the power of the Holy Spirit, he ultimately became the world's greatest missionary and church planter.

Tommie Scott was a drug-dealer and Crips gang member who earned the nickname, "Hit Man," on the streets of LA. When he heard the gospel in prison and accepted it, his unprecedented transformation was much like that of Paul. Tommie realized how truly amazing God's grace is, when he was saved from a rock-bottom past steeped deeply in sin. Like Paul, he had destroyed the lives of many others. But he had been forgiven through the blood of Christ. And because of this, he couldn't stop sharing the life-changing good news everywhere he went—in prison, at bus stops, on the street, with his girlfriend and kids. He wasn't trained in evangelism or schooled in theology. But when he first believed in prison, he read the Bible through two times in three months. He posted a Proverb every day on the prison wall for all to see. He brought 40 other inmates to Christ. The Word of God is living and active and it lives in Tommie Scott. To this day, he preaches the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit with humility and conviction. See his testimony.

Our churches need to get back to the basics. We need to stop strategizing about how to outreach and start sharing the gospel. We need to stop marketing our faith and start living it. We need to stop peddling religious goods and services and start making disciples. We need to stop finessing and tweaking the Christian message to make it more culturally appealing in a world that has rejected Christ and start teaching the truth plainly (2 Cor 4:2). We need to stop trying to control things and start trusting, and participating, in God's promise that He will build His Church (Matt 16:18). We need to stop trying to get ahead of the cultural curve, and start living counter-cultural lives as foreigners in the world. We need to stop giving lip-service to "loving neighbor" and actually do it by sharing Christ with them.

I have had some rock-bottoms in my life. I know what life is like without God. Now it's time to let God turn our rock-bottoms into a new song of praise for the One who redeems! So then, with humility, let's resolve to know nothing but Christ crucified and let His Kingdom come.