Dug Down Deep
I am just finishing reading this book by Joshua Harris. It speaks about the need to understand doctrine. To study the Bible for yourself. To live it out in your life.
Some things I highlighted in the book:
Doctrine isn’t dry and boring. It isn’t just for arguing. It’s for knowing God and living life to the fullest.
If we don’t feel the need for atonement, it’s probably because we assume God has the same nonchalant attitude toward evil that we do. But he doesn’t. God has a total, unremitting hatred for sin and injustice. His response to sin is extreme righteous anger.
You and I have no idea how connected and consequential our sin is. We see most of our sins as insignificant-a small match dropping on the grass or at worst a tiny brush fire. God sees what the small flames lead to. He sees the forest fire that devours the countryside and ravages homes and takes lives.
Dead bones brought to life. That’s a picture of how God aves people. We have no life in ourselves. No human desire or effort can impart life. How an we live? Only by the bidding of God. Only by the power of the mighty Word of God breathing life into dead people. Jonah 2:9 says, “Salvation belongs to the LORD!”
Remaining sin explains why even in the church and among Christians, we let each other down and experience relational strife. None of us has arrived. We’re all still being sanctified. We all have blind spots and ways we can grow. We all need each other’s mercy and patience.
Other people just adopt the standards and practices of the Christians around them. This can give the appearance of holiness and growth, but it’s superficial and can lead to bigger problems later. They can get sidetracked in their faith because they never took the time to cultivate personal convictions about Christian obedience. They never took the time to search God’s Word for themselves. At some point, following a rule without real reference to God becomes an unwanted burden, and they start to chafe under the restriction. Obedience becomes joyless and wearying.
What we call God reveals how we think about him. And how we think about him shapes how we relate to him. and how we relate to him determines how we interpret his work in us and his purpose for us.
Mission has to be the overflow of a love for God that aches to see others experiencing his grace, love, and compassion for people who are lost and destined for hell.
The advance of God’s kingdom takes time. And contact. The yeast does nothing sitting in a bowl removed from and unmixed with the dough. People of God’s kingdom accomplish nothing when we’re separated and have no contact with the world around us.
…when we were back on the old earth, we really had no idea how unmerited that grace really is. We called it grace, but we didn’t really think it was totally grace. We thought we’d added just a tad of something good . That we had earned just a bit. We’ll realize to our shame that to differing degrees we trusted in our intellect, our morality, the rightness of our doctrine, and our religious performance when all along it was completely grace.
I think its a very worthwhile read. I was encouraged to take the Bible and study it. To discover for myself what the Word says rather than just living as those around me. The book is well-written and worth your time.
Next up: Radical by David Platt