It’s Monday Grace!
(Every so often I feel that it is important to repeat some of the foundational posts of this blog so that people will understand what we talk about. For the next few weeks, you will have an opportunity to read posts from several years ago. I am traveling, and this allows me to focus on family. Thanks for your understanding!)
Although it is interesting to talk about narcissism and grace and legalism and church and how they all connect, I would never want to become distracted from the main thing. I once heard a missionary say, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” That was very nice and catchy, but he believed that the main thing was missions. A preacher might say that the main thing is staying true to the word. An evangelist might say that the main thing is telling your neighbors, co-workers, and family about salvation. A denominational worker might suggest that the main thing is the work of the denomination. Every person’s little corner becomes the main corner. But none of them are the main thing.
You see, the main thing is Jesus! Not lessons about Him. Not theology to understand Him. Not the service you do for Him. Not even what He has done for us. He is Himself the main thing. He is the only true focus of the Christian faith.
In Jesus is everything. He is one with the Father and the Spirit in a way you and I will never understand. So much are they One, that we find difficulty any time we try to separate them. In Jesus we see the Father; and the Spirit serves only to lead us to and connect us with Jesus. Creation, redemption, glorification—all are in Him.
In Jesus is our peace, our righteousness, our strength, our wisdom, our goodness, our hope, our joy, our salvation. There is no salvation apart from Him, no matter how good you think you are. There is no hope apart from Him, no matter how religious you are. The problem with narcissism is that the person finds it very difficult to admit need and submit to the Savior. The problem with legalism is that the legalist admits his need and seeks to compensate for it in his own performance. The church has no message for the world apart from Jesus. Even the message of grace must be centered on Jesus in order to offer truth and hope.
I am absolutely, eternally, completely dependent on Jesus. He is my Life. The rest of my earthly life will be spent growing in the acceptance of His goodness, power, and love. It’s all about Him.