Moderate Believers?

by Jerry Senn

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

C S Lewis

Paul’s words about the gospel often need careful attention: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith. As it is “written, the righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16, 17).

I’m afraid the church of our generation has allowed this “good news” to become merely “old news.” Once it excited us to experience freedom from past sins and being in a meaningful relationship with God. May we never, ever, allow this exciting truth slip into a mundane moderation—old news.

Paul  later speaks of the impact the good news should have on daily life. “I appeal to you…by the mercies of God (good news) to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (rational service)…be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable, and perfect“ (Romans 12:1-2). “Being changed from the inside out,” is the idea of this radical, daily, experience.

In fact, Paul’s letters were intended to encourage brethren then and now never to take the blessing of forgiveness for granted, nor to take a moderate—“laid back”—view of it. Make it “new every morning” (Lam 2:22, 23).

For example, to young Timothy, he wrote, “And the special gift…you received…keep ablaze” (2 Timothy 1:6, MSG). The ESV translates it, “fan into flame the gift of God.” The power for this “blaze” is the “good news”—Jesus loves us right now as he did from the cross.

“But even men or women of faith may at times be idle or even dry or even lazy. In a dry period we may give in to fear, boredom, or even temporary doubt. The fire hasn’t gone out, but it needs some immediate attention.”

At such times we must recall how God extended his amazing to us, and desires our sincere expressions of thanks and praise. (Romans 5:6-8).

God loves to be longed for, he longs to be sought,
For he sought us himself with such longing and love,
He died for desire of us, marvelous thought!
And he longs for us to be with him above!

W M Glow