Commentary on "Releasing Into Ministry"
Day 3: Monday, May 28, 2012 - Risking for Success
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” Romans 10:16
So how can Paul say that the word has gone out? What has been heard? The word from the stars is about God’s great justice, faithfulness, and wisdom, and when we are able to listen to them, we feel our painfully intense need for Him. We’ll want to hear from Him personally, to know His grace intimately. All the works of God have this end: to point us to Him so that we will seek His grace. We need the “testimony” of the Lord to convert our souls and rejoice our hearts (Psalms 19:7,8). We need words that show grace and truth together. When we seek Him, He will speak to us, and show His greatest act of grace, the Gospel.
When Jesus was teaching a very hostile crowd ready to stone Him (John 10:37,38), He knew that His words are enough for some of the listeners. In His mercy, He pointed them to His works which testified that He was one with the Father. He told His disciples,
“Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” John 14:11
John Piper comments:
“Jesus is saying here, 'If my verbal testimony is leaving doubts in your mind about who I am, look at my works. Let the works join with my words and lead you to faith.’” (John Piper, April 22, 2012).
Those stars are also the works of Jesus Christ, just as much as were His miracles 2000 years ago. Next time you look up at the sky, remember that those sparkling works testify of Him, and your vast need for Him. Without Him, the stars’ message to us is one of terror and death. They speak of laws that can only grind us to powder. With Him, they are faithful beacons of hope. Let us hear their silent words that beckon us to the Cross of Christ to find His grace.
In all the evangelistic efforts to find seeker-friendly messages to fill up the pews, we can miss the most fundamental needs of the lost. Through Nature, God has placed in our hearts the knowledge that we are condemned by both Nature and God, and we are without excuse. Any evangelism that promises getting right with God through cooperation with moral or natural law is another variation of karma, and a false gospel. The true seeker is tired of striving and making excuses, and feels in his tired bones that law cannot bring life (Gal. 3:21). The real gospel is for the losers in Nature’s lottery, for the condemned, the broken, and the defective. Those that are whole have no need of a Physician.
Spurgeon understood very well how our study of nature can lead us to seek mercy:
“Science has a foundation, and so has religion; let them unite their foundations, and the basis will be broader, and they will be two compartments of one great fabric reared to the glory of God. Let the one be the outer and the other the inner court. In the one, let all look, and admire and adore; and in the other, let those who have faith kneel, and pray, and praise. Let the one be the sanctuary where human learning may present its richest incense as an offering to God, and the other the holiest of all, separated from it by a veil now rent in twain, and in which, on a blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, we pour out the love of a reconciled heart, and hear the oracles of the living God." CH Spurgeon, Treasury of David
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