Christianity is spelled done

By Dave Henning / August 4, 2023

“The key to that right relationship [with God] is His righteousness. . . .  Religion is spelled do — it’s all about what you do for God.  Christianity is spelled done — it’s all about what Christ accomplished on the cross for you.”- Mark Batterson

As Mark Batterson moves on in Chapter 15 of Please Sorry Thanks, he stresses that we were made by God and for God.  Above all, as God’s workmanship, the theology of thanks stops and starts there.  Furthermore, Pastor Batterson states, we seek shalom; the byproduct of God filling our hearts.  Therefore, shalom is the:

  • restoration of all things to their original intent.
  • the Garden of Eden before the Fall.
  • dimension of reality that the Bible calls heaven.
  • person of Christ.

In addition, Mark notes, shalom, at its core, is relational harmony.  And shalom consists of four dimensions.  Mark covers the first two dimensions today.

1.  Right relationship with God.  While we get the idea of glorifying God, we find the idea of enjoying God harder to grasp. John Piper referred to this as Christian hedonism, the conviction that God’s ultimate goal = our deepest desire. As Piper wrote in Desiring God, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

However, Mark cautions, idolatry issues result when our vertical relationship with God is out of whack. As a result, we seek lesser gods and settle for fifteen minutes of fame.  In fact, these idols cause complications across all four quadrants of shalom.

2.  Right relationship with self.  Most significantly, in this quadrant idolatry issues turn into identity issues.  In addition, Pastor Batterson offers a theory of identity that might seem counterintuitive.  Yet, the theory rings true.  Mark posits that the more you have going for you, the more potential exists for identity issues.

Because you discover it’s easier to find your identity is something outside of your relationship with God.  And that goes for spiritual gifts as well.  So make sure you use your spiritual gifts for God’s glory, not yours.

Today’s question: Do you agree with Mark’s contrast of religion and Christianity?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Shalom in motion – the Trinity”

About the author

Dave Henning

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