Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Faith for the Future = Faith for Today

...the promises of future grace are the keys to Christ-like Christian living. ...By future I do not merely mean the grace of heaven and the age to come. I mean the grace that begins now, this very second, and sustains your life to the end of this paragraph. By grace I do not merely mean the pardon of God in passing over your sins, but also the power and beauty of God to keep you from sinning. By faith I do not merely mean the confidence that Jesus died for your sins, but also the confidence that God will "also with him freely give us all things" (Romans 8:32). Faith is primarily a future-oriented "assurance of things hoped for" (Hebrews 11:1). Its essence is the deep satisfaction with all that God promises to be for us in Jesus--beginning now!
--John Piper, Future Grace

This is another theme I've been pondering for several months now that Piper fleshes out beautifully, more completely than I did or could. It began when I started reading Adventures in Missing the Point (which I never did finish) and considered McLaren and Campolo's claims that Christianity is not solely about being saved from hell. I recognized in their assertions the mindset of much of conservative evangelicalism: to mix my metaphors, the world is going to hell in a handbasket, so jump off the sinking ship and paddle like mad to get as far away as possible until Jesus takes you home.

In that and in Nichole Nordeman's song "Live," I recognized that there has to be something more. Faith in Christ is for NOW--it is for abundant life on earth! It is not just about "fire insurance," about biding time and knowing that someday you'll go to heaven. It is following Christ passionately and living a cross-centered life here and now! It is turning your world upside-down and living not for yourself, but according to the values of God's Kingdom TODAY!

So I love seeing Piper develop this idea in such a Biblically-saturated way, and I am excited about where this book will go. "Faith in future grace" is not just believing that one day you will go to heaven and not hell becaues of Christ's sacrifice--though that is a beautiful, glorious truth! It is believing that the God who forgave your sins has the power and can be trusted to sustain you each moment--to set you free from sin more and more each day--to provide everything you need until you get to heaven!

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Hi Amy. Thanks for visiting my blog. The fact that you quoted Piper on the first post I read of yours immediately endears me to you! I am a huge Piper fan. Anyway, what is Faith Raiders?