The Gospel's Goal
The way that I apply grace in every aspect of life, including the way that I try to pastor, has been changed by the truths that are embedded in my new book. As I think back to my early ministry days, deep down I believed that the role of a pastor was to get people to do what they don’t want to do. Let me tell you, that is a horrible job.
And it is not what I believe anymore. Instead, I believe that the way the gospel works in all of Scripture is it teaches us that our primary goal, whether we are pastors or parents or Sunday school teachers, is to enable God’s people to love him more. And when our hearts are full of love for Christ we cannot be more safe or more strong.
And when our hearts are full of love for Christ we cannot be more safe or more strong.
There was a time in my youngest daughter’s life when she was in her teens and my job involved a lot of traveling. As I was gone a lot, I wanted to keep connecting with her in life. And my wife was saying, "We need to keep pouring into this last child in our lives as well."
So my pattern was to get up early in the morning whenever my daughter was going off to school—no matter if she had to get up for early activities or not—and I would fix her breakfast. And as I was simply making cereal—just pouring milk over cereal—I would think, Even as I am pouring milk into this cereal bowl, what is my obligation as the father of this Christian young woman? I would think, Just as I am filling up this bowl with milk, my job is to fill up my daughter’s heart with love for Christ.
Why? Because at eighteen you and I know that there are trials and temptations ahead, but if her heart is full of love for Christ she cannot be more safe or more strong. She cannot be more safe or more strong than when Christ is her first and prime and fullest love.
This is a wonderful task to think about as a parent, as a pastor, as a Sunday school teacher. My job in teaching the Scriptures and helping people understand what God requires of them and what he has done for them, is to fill up their hearts with love for Christ. If their hearts are full of love for Christ, they are fueled for the Christian life. They will do precisely what they love to do the most. And if what they love above all is the Savior, they will love to walk with him and have the strength to do so.
That’s the goal.
Paul makes it clear in Romans 6, those who are truly in Christ will not want to keep on sinning.
The beauty and the goodness of who he is is reflected not only in the grace of God but in the law of God.
t’s not gracious to reveal to God’s people the safe path that the law is without it also being a reflection of God’s character and care.