Faith is a meal, you need to eat the whole thing

The Prince George Citizen - - Religion - PAS­TOR TIM SCHOUTEN Prince George Cana­dian Re­formed Church

In some ways the Gospel (good news) of Je­sus Christ is like a meal that you or­der at a fast-food res­tau­rant. Have you ever gone through a drive-thru, or­dered a meal, opened up your bag and looked inside to dis­cover that they only gave you the fries? No burger. You look at your watch and think, “Do I have time to go back in there and get it?” Per­haps you didn’t and so you set­tled for a bad deal and a growl­ing stom­ach.

When it comes to the Gospel we need to make sure that we are eat­ing (and serv­ing) the full meal deal. You need all your nu­tri­tion, not just some of it. Of course, fast-food meals aren’t very nu­tri­tious, but you get the point.

When peo­ple think about the Gospel they nor­mally think of the cross. You see crosses on churches all over the place, and that’s def­i­nitely ap­pro­pri­ate. The cross is a sym­bol of the for­give­ness of our sins through the death of Je­sus Christ.

The cross, how­ever, is only the first part of a big­ger pack­age.

The point of the cross and of the for­give­ness of our sins, in the first place, is that we would re­ceive a new heart.

This is a metaphor for be­com­ing a new spir­i­tual per­son, es­pe­cially with re­spect to our at­ti­tude to­wards God and what he wants of us.

Je­sus said it this way: “Un­less one is born again he can­not see the king­dom of God.”

The sec­ond, very re­lated, pur­pose of the cross is that we also would be re­stored to a good re­la­tion­ship with our Cre­ator. Je­sus died on the cross to for­give our sins so that the bar­ri­ers of our sin and sin-na­ture are re­moved. When we con­fess our wrongs and put our faith in Je­sus Christ we are then wel­comed into God’s fam­ily as his chil­dren.

Aren’t you kind of get­ting cheaped out if your Gospel only in­cludes the cross, but doesn’t in­clude a new heart and liv­ing re­la­tion­ship with God? Or, vice versa, if your Gospel is about some vague no­tion of God’s love, but doesn’t deal with your ac­tual sins and ten­den­cies?

Preach­ers need to preach the full-meal deal. You need to eat the full-meal deal.

It’s re­ally a won­der­fully tasty meal, and I sus­pect that more peo­ple would en­joy it if only they would be will­ing to eat it.

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