Monday, October 15, 2007

What does the gospel promise?

We had dinner last night with some friends, including a couple who don't share our faith. At one point, I mentioned something I read in Yancey's Reaching for the Invisible God: the good news that I'm already forgiven and that I will one day be made perfect.

This caught the ear of the non-Christian husband, who asked me to explain about being made perfect, and for a brief second I wished I'd been reviewing my Scriptures more frequently. I came up immediately with Philippians 1:6, the one about how the one who began working in "you" (which I take to include me) will complete it. As I was talking, verses from Romans 8 came to mind -- those ones that talk about how those he foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the image of his son, i.e., predestined to become like Jesus (how's that for good news?) and how God will use everything to accomplish that goal. I explained about how I want to be a better person, kinder, more patient, courageous, tolerant, gentle, etc., and how there is this huge gap, but God has promised....

The Christian husband reinforced this, mentioning that whatever God starts, he's obviously going to complete (an intuitively appealing concept), and pretty soon offered to lend a copy of Wright's Simply Christian... which was accepted.

I was recounting this to the younger teen, and I remembered a passage from 1 Thessalonians 5 -- may your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus; he who calls you is faithful and he will do it. Yes!

Oddly enough, contrary to what I sometimes hear about, there is no guarantee that God will give us tons of money, a big house, or a fancy car. But all that stuff, versus becoming the kind of person that God wants me to be? No contest!

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