Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Abandonment of God

John 3:16-17 (New International Version)

“16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[
a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Footnotes:
John 3:16 Or his only begotten Son

After yesterday’s post I found that Oswald Chambers’ thoughts on the simplicity of the gospel even more reassuring. At a time when the message of the Cross seems to get so muddled, so entangled with political agendas, secularization, strategy, “contextualization,’ and self aggrandizement, I admire men like him who have stood firmly on the truth and simplicity of the Cross in the overcrowded marketplace of ideas.

His thoughts, both morning and evening, and some closing thoughts from Bob Dylan follow:

The Abandonment of God

“God so loved the world that He gave”… (John 3:16)

“Salvation is not merely deliverance from sin, nor the experience of personal holiness; the salvation of God is deliverance out of self entirely into union with Himself. My experimental knowledge of salvation will be along the lines of sin and of personal holiness; but salvation means that the Spirit of God has brought me in touch with God’s personality, and I am thrilled with something infinitely greater than myself, I am caught up into the abandonment of God.”

“To say that we are called to preach holiness or sanctification, is to get into a side eddy. We are called to proclaim Jesus Christ. The fact that He saves from sin and makes us holy is part of the effect of the wonderful abandonment of God.”

“Abandonment never produces the consciousness of its own effort, because the whole of life is taken up with the One to Whom we abandon. Beware of talking about abandonment if you know nothing about it, and you will never know anything about it until you have realized that John 3:16 means that God gave Himself absolutely. In our abandonment we give ourselves over to God just as God gave Himself for us, without any calculation. The consequence of abandonment never enters into our outlook because our life is taken up with Him.”

“In listening to some evangelical addresses the practical conclusion one is driven to is that we have to be great sinners before we can be saved; and the majority of men are not great sinners.
The rich young man was an upright, sterling, religious man; it would be absurd to talk to him about sin, he was not in the place we he could understand what it meant. There are hundreds of clean-living, upright men who are not convicted of sin, I mean sin in the light of the commandments Jesus mentioned. We need to revise the place we put conviction of sin in and the place the Spirit of God puts it in. There is no mention of sin in the apprehension of Saul of Tarsus, yet no one understood sin more fundamentally than the Apostle Paul, if we reverse God’s order and refuse to put the recognition of who Jesus is first, we present a lame type of Christianity which excludes forever the kind of man represented by this rich young ruler. The most staggering thing about Jesus Christ is that He makes human destiny depend not on goodness or badness, not on things done or not done, but on who we say He is.”

The power of the gospel, the message of the cross, lies in this simplicity. We must abandon ourselves to Jesus Christ. This radically cuts against the grain of where society is heading, calling those who embrace it to surrender the heart and therein find true peace and reconciliation with God. It’s not a political manifesto, nor is it a strategy document. This simple power is what sets it at odds with the goals, the means, and the ends of the established order of things. Everything, every strategy, every political agenda, every motive must be given over in surrender to God. As Bob Dylan put it years ago, the Christian ideal is to become the “property of Jesus,” fools for God’s sake:

Go ahead and talk about him because he makes you doubt,
Because he has denied himself the things that you can’t live without.
Laugh at him behind his back just like the others do,
Remind him of what he used to be when he comes walkin’ through.

He’s the property of Jesus
Resent him to the bone
You got something better
You’ve got a heart of stone

Stop your conversation when he passes on the street,
Hope he falls upon himself, oh, won’t that be sweet.
Because he can’t be exploited by superstition anymore,
Because he can’t be bribed or bought by the things that you adore

He’s the property of Jesus
Resent him to the bone
You got something better
You’ve got a heart of stone

When the whip that’s keeping you in line doesn’t make him jump,
Say he’s hard of hearin’, say that he’s a chump.
Say he’s outta’ step with reality as you try to test his nerve,
Because he doesn’t pay no tribute to the king that you serve

He’s the property of Jesus
Resent him to the bone
You got something better
You’ve got a heart of stone

Say that he’s a loser ‘cause he got no common sense,
Because he don’t increase his wealth at someone else’s expense.
Because he's not afraid of trying, 'cause he don't look at you and smile,
'Cause he doesn't tell you jokes or fairy tales, say he's got no style.

He’s the property of Jesus
Resent him to the bone
You got something better
You’ve got a heart of stone

4 comments:

Josue said...

"Salvation is not merely deliverance from sin, nor the experience of personal holiness; the salvation of God is deliverance out of self entirely into union with Himself."

I agree 100%. We are so self-focused! Heaven is where WE will have a perfect existence. Salavation is where WE get delivered... However, a healthy Christian focus should be, in my humble opinion,in Jesus, the cross, his life, death and ressurrection.

Michael said...

[Pray] is what you eat and to say your [Prayers] is to make a [hail marry] [hail storm] [number one] or a [our father] [they staff] [number two] what is a Word but the name of a person, place or thing and no matter how you brake it up water is water dust is dust so the dust we walk on and the we wash with need only God to make Flesh there is no more that is it [SOUL] the inside underneath or unseen portion of. [SPIRIT] water that carries any other properties. Now that you see what they did to the ward and the word is God and God is this ward [Bacterium] the only thing that can take water and dust and make Flesh just a small [Bacteria] that multiplies 10 times over at 98.6 and when it fall to the water and everything was just right it Fermented and from that Ferment did God put air and in that air so did the mist of Gods spirit rise and come back to the dust and bring Life to everything for his small movement in the dust did make a void and fill it with love and Spirit.posted by Michael

Michael said...

[Pray] is what you eat and to say your [Prayers] is to make a [hail marry] [hail storm] [number one] or a [our father] [they staff] [number two] what is a Word but the name of a person, place or thing and no matter how you brake it up water is water dust is dust so the dust we walk on and the we wash with need only God to make Flesh there is no more that is it [SOUL] the inside underneath or unseen portion of. [SPIRIT] water that carries any other properties. Now that you see what they did to the ward and the word is God and God is this ward [Bacterium] the only thing that can take water and dust and make Flesh just a small [Bacteria] that multiplies 10 times over at 98.6 and when it fall to the water and everything was just right it Fermented and from that Ferment did God put air and in that air so did the mist of Gods spirit rise and come back to the dust and bring Life to everything for his small movement in the dust did make a void and fill it with love and Spirit.posted by Michael

Michael said...

[Pray] is what you eat and to say your [Prayers] is to make a [hail marry] [hail storm] [number one] or a [our father] [they staff] [number two] what is a Word but the name of a person, place or thing and no matter how you brake it up water is water dust is dust so the dust we walk on and the we wash with need only God to make Flesh there is no more that is it [SOUL] the inside underneath or unseen portion of. [SPIRIT] water that carries any other properties. Now that you see what they did to the ward and the word is God and God is this ward [Bacterium] the only thing that can take water and dust and make Flesh just a small [Bacteria] that multiplies 10 times over at 98.6 and when it fall to the water and everything was just right it Fermented and from that Ferment did God put air and in that air so did the mist of Gods spirit rise and come back to the dust and bring Life to everything for his small movement in the dust did make a void and fill it with love and Spirit.posted by Michael