The verdict before the performance

By Dave Henning / October 5, 2014

“They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.”- romans 2:15

“We’re in to stay because we’re in him to stay.”- Janet Morris

As Charles and Janet Morris conclude Chapter 4 of Missing Jesus, they note that, apart from Jesus, our struggle to justify our place on this planet never ends.  Justification, they add, is a universal issue.  When an accusing finger points in our direction, we “defend ourselves as if our life depended on it.”  Even Christians tend to operate with a cause and effect mentality.  Charles and Janet state it’s simply human nature to think in terms of karma.

The good news of justification by faith changes everything, as Timothy Keller writes in The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness:

“Do you realize that it is only in the gospel of Jesus Christ that you get the verdict before the performance ? . . . All this means that everyday you are in the courtroom, everyday you are on trial.  That is the problem.  But Paul is saying that in Christianity the verdict leads to the performance.  It is not the performance that leads to the verdict.  Because he (Jesus) loves and accepts us.”

Today’s question: In the period following your ministry downsizing or vocation loss, how have you placed performance before the verdict?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The great dilemma”

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Dave Henning

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