January 13, 2021
by Pastor Don Willeman
Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.
Over the past hundred years or so Christians in the West have tended to look at the Christian life as steps in a process. Like a manufacturing process, Christians are “made” step-by-step, so it goes.
Now, there are some aspects of this paradigm that can be helpful, as it recognizes the fact that living the Christian life is indeed a process. It is a “walk” that involves living our lives day-by-day before the face of God. However, it fails in at least one critical point. It usually places believing the gospel as merely the first step in the process.
So, for example, it goes something like this…
The first step is to believe the gospel.
The second step is to understand the basics of the Christian life.
The third step is to follow Jesus as a disciple.
The fourth step is to… etc., etc.
Now, here’s the problem. This way of thinking puts faith in the good news of Jesus—His life and work for me—as merely the first in a series of things I must do. That’s not how the Bible speaks of it. Believing the gospel is an ongoing aspect of living the Christian life.
Believing in Jesus’s life, death and resurrection for me informs and, indeed, transforms every moment of my life as Christian. The gospel is the interpretive grid and power for everything.
As Zambian pastor Conrad Mbewe puts it:
“Christians never graduate from the gospel.” ~Conrad Mbewe, pastor in Lusaka, Zambia
The moment we get beyond the gospel, at that moment we get beyond Jesus Himself. And a Christianity without Christ saving and sanctifying me is no Christianity at all.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
~ 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 ESV