Sunday, January 13, 2013

Advent Archive: Acts 20

There are very few people in the world who actually think they are bad people. This idea of “I am pretty good” is at its roots the pride and arrogant flaw of human nature. Even when we are confronted with our shortcomings and sins, often, instead of repenting and reconciling, we seek to excuse and rationalize. We inherently think that at some level we are good and that those around us should constantly view us as such. Unfortunately, this pride subsequently decimates a God-centered, gospel-based value system. The premise that we have when excusing or rationalizing our shortcomings is that we are excessively valuable and therefore that value must not be tarnished in any way. However, God does not see us as worthy by our own goodness. This is the point of the gospel  - that we are worthless, but He Who was infinitely valuable became our “propitiation” (big word that most simply put means “switched places”) and consumed the due wrath of God that was being pointed at us. This is why in Acts 20:24, Paul says, “neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course.” In essence, “My life is not valuable, my goal is valuable. If accomplishing my goal (exalting Christ, through spreading the Gospel, to build the Kingdom) costs me my life, I have lost nothing valuable and have gained that which is of infinite value.”  I pray that we become people with a proper value system. Who see Christ as infinitely worthy, and do not count our lives or reputations or our own names as the most valuable thing.
 Food For Thought: What does the gospel say about our natural state? How can the gospel be good news then?