Monday, February 05, 2007

The Cross - What's "in" it for you?

I still intend, when time allows, to post some more on Asperger's. In the mean time, however, I wanted to share a small part in the book "Velvet Elvis" by Rob Bell.
This book challenges me...- a good challenge. I love this quote and thought if I wasn't going to post anything new, I'd at least give you a taste of what I'm reading in the absence of writing!

"To say that salvation is holistic is to acknowledge that there are many dimensions to living in harmony with God. In one sense, salvation is a legal transaction. Humans are guilty because of our sin, and God is the judge who has to deal with our sin because He is holy and any act of sin goes against His core nature. He has to deal with it. Enter Jesus, who dies on the cross in our place. Jesus gets what we deserve; we get what Jesus deserved.
For Jesus, however, salvation is far more. It includes this understanding, but it is far more comprehensive - it is a way of life. ....

When we understand salvation from a legal-transaction perspective, then the point of the cross becomes what it has done for us. There is the once-and-for-all work of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and saying, "It is finished." Nothing more to be offered and nothing more to be sacrificed. All has been forgiven. But let's also use a slightly different phrase: the work of the cross in us. ....There is the ongoing need to return to the cross to be reminded of our brokeness and dependence on God. There is the healing we need from the cross every single day.

Which leads to forgiveness. The point of the cross isn't forgiveness. Forgiveness leads to something much bigger; restoration. God isn't just interested in the covering over of our sins; God wants to make us into the people we were originally created to be. It is not just the removal of what's being held against us; it is God pulling us into the poeple He originally had in mind when He made us. ...The goal here isn't simply to not sin. Our purpose is to increase the shalom in this world, which is why approaches to the Christian faith that deal solely with not sinning always fail. They aim at the wrong thing. It is not about what you don't do. The point is becoming more and more the kind of people God had in mind when we were first created.

It is one thing to be forgiven; it is another to become more and more and more and more the person God made you to be."


Are there any areas in your life in which you have just settled for "not sinning"?

Is there unwholeness in you that you don't let Him at because you unconsciously relegated Him to handling the 'sin' issue, and with that out of the way, you told yourself the rest was on your own plate to deal with?

Do you ever have a hard time letting God be sovereign over all of you - not just your salvation?

Rob Bell ends the section with this powerful quote:

"It is one thing to be saved.... It is another to be healed. It is possible to be saved and miserable. It is possible to be saved and not be a healthy, whole, life-giving person. It is possible for the cross to have done something for a person but not in them."

- One thing I am thankful for and dependent on this week is that the cross continues to deliver ...not just a covering of my guilt, but a changing of me.


DJT said...

Thank you for letting God change you. I see him in you and it encourages me to continue to allow him to transform me.

I love the challenges in Velvet Elvis. I have been quoting that book a lot myself.

As I mentioned to you and Jason, I felt much more intelligent when I found out you two were reading this book too. Of course, I should be ashamed that I am looking for validation and to feel better about myself.

Danna said...

WOW! After discussing this book with Doug while he was reading it and now this, I really have got to read this one!

The part that hit me the most was the part about the point of the cross is not forgiveness, but restoration. That's the whole point of the Bible~restoration, reconciliation. THERE'S A PLAN!! I LOVE IT!!

And I love you!!

Neva said...

Oh, Heather,
What a great post!!
I haven't read the book yet but can see that I need to. Loved the post.
Our prayers have been with you and Jason for quite some time and they continue on your behalf.

Peace and prayers

Tammy said...

I read Doug's blog first and then yours...what a great God we have and what a thread of thought. My oldest son, David, just recommended "Velvet Elvis" to me yesterday and today I am reading what God has already done through that book...hmmm...guess I'd better pay attention. And yes Danna "There is a plan!" I love you all!!!!