Message from Rev. Moore – November 2018

In his best-selling book, The Reason for God, Tim Keller, former pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan, shares a story of a woman in his congregation who was learning how the grace extended to us through Christ’s work on the cross can actually be more challenging than religion. He writes:

“Some years ago I met with a woman who began coming to church at Redeemer and had never before heard a distinction drawn between the gospel and religion [i.e. the distinction between grace and what is often a works-based righteousness]. She had always heard that God accepts us only if we are good enough. She said that the new message was scary. I asked why it was scary and she replied: If I was saved by my good works then there would be a limit to what God could ask of me or put me through. I would be like a taxpayer with “rights”—I would have done my duty and now I would deserve a certain quality of life. But if I am a sinner saved by grace—then there’s nothing he cannot ask of me.”

This distinction is not only helpful, but it’s biblical: gospel (Christ’s righteousness) and religion (self-righteousness). The gospel not only saves us, but it puts demands on us. The great Reformer, Martin Luther, experienced this gospel-driven demand from God. What was this demand? Luther said this:

“Take me, for example. I opposed indulgences and all papists, but never by force. I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word: otherwise I did nothing. And then, while I slept (cf. Mark 4:26-29) or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends, Philip and Amsdorf; the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that never a prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it. I did nothing: the Word did everything. Had I desired to foment trouble…. I could have started such a little game at Worms that even the emperor wouldn’t have been safe. But what would it have been? Mere fools play. I did nothing: I let the Word do it’s work.”

The gospel-driven demand from God is the same for us as it was for Luther: preach and teach God’s Word. We are to preach and teach it to our family, friends, coworkers, anyone with whom we come in contact. When we do this, we too are Reformers in our generation!

God Bless and thanks,
Pastor Carl