“Look the gospel has to be good news for the stuck too. Or else it’s not good news.”- Jared C. Wilson
In Chapter 7 (“The Nine Irrefutable Laws of Followship”) of The Imperfect Disciple, Jared Wilson opens with an observation about his church ministry. Pastor Wilson states he rapidly realized one thing about his parishioners. It took some of them all the faith they could muster that week just to get through the church doors. They came on Sunday mornings because they knew they needed Christ’s strength.
As a result, Jared asks, “If any of us have what it takes, why are we going to church in the first place?” Thus, no matter how stuck we feel, we need the confidence that Jesus won’t leave us behind, flailing in the quicksand.
Therefore, the latest and greatest self-help books offer no solution, even though we crave their advice. Often they occupy space on church bookshelves. In other words, neither a positive or negative approach to the Law works. “Dos” and “don’ts” both create a burden. Jared explains:
“”Dos and don’ts accomplish nothing resembling biblical Christianity when they are detached from the done (emphasis Jared’s) of the gospel. The gospel gives us oxygen and space to breathe.”
In conclusion, Pastor Wilson underscores, God certainly cares about our “obedience unto holiness.” Most importantly, God wants us to see that behavioral obedience must flow from a heart full of grace. Otherwise, it’s worthless and pointless. Thus, the gospel provides power for obedience. And grace teaches us how to repent and obey. Also, St. Paul describes the gospel as distinct from, but not antithetical to, the law. However, Jared cautions, “any time you add a ‘but’ to grace, you disgrace grace.”
The primary problem with many approaches to Christian discipleship, Jared contends, rests in their foundation of doing something different rather than becoming different. Hence, in the next few blogs, Jared offers his Nine Irrefutable Laws of Followship. Pastor Wilson bases these “Laws” on the “fruit” of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. For walking in the Spirit defines the kind of living that honors God best. Tomorrow Jared covers the first three.
Today’s question: How do you understand the gospel as good news for the stuck? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Love others sacrificially and boldly”