Growing Old in Two Days

I saw my friend and Bible Teacher MF at Church on Sunday and it seemed that it had been a long time since I had seen him. Then I remembered, to my utter surprise, that I had spoken to him just three day before on Thursday evening. In fact, I had also listened to  his lecture on the Priestly office of Christ. I think the reason for this anomaly is because between Thursday and Sunday, my mind had aged quite causing it losing track of passage of time.

Interestingly, the cause for my mind losing track of time is a by lecture of Michael Horton at the SJD conference. He introduced a new Truth into my mind. This new Truth disturbed some of the old Truths. Then there were some paradigm shifts, causing much change in my mind and its way of perceiving life. This is what I call ‘ageing’ of the mind. Such ageing happens when one suddenly begins looking a life though a different lens. This quick change in perceptions of life that came over on Saturday, caused an illusion of time moving quickly between Thursday and Sunday.

The Truth that Michael Horton’s lecture, which caused some havoc to some well rooted ideas, is the Truth of  the ALL Sufficiency of the Gospel of Christ to win over the Kingdom of God for the Glory of God. This new Truth usurped an old truth in my mind that believed that the Christian HAD to WORK to build the Kingdom of God for the Glory of God. The new disturbing Truth says that the GOSPEL WILL conquer the world for the Glory of God. In other words, it is Christ’s Gospel that builds the Kingdom of God, not the Christian. Of course, Christ does His work through Christians. But the key point to be noted is that Faith on this  (disturbing) Truth of the ALL sufficiency of the Gospel of Christ makes the Christian look up at the Gospel to accomplish the Kingdom building, instead of looking up to ones own works.

A Christian is not supposed to build the Kingdom of God through his works, because a Christian doing so  ends up building his own little kingdom instead of building the kingdom of God. The problem with the Church of this time is that it focuses so much on ‘programs’ to build the Kingdom of God. Someone may object, what is wrong with the Church focusing on programs? After all, we need programs to care for the poor and oppressed, right? Hmmmm… Yes, but not quite. The Church should focus on the Gospel and the work of Christ through the Gospel in the life of a Christian ‘freeing’ him to fulfill the Law – to love God and love Neighbor. This free Redeemed Christian will go and love his Neighbor and become a reflection of Christ to his neighbor and thus the Neighbor will have a chance to see Christ and be drawn by His Glory. Thus the Kingdom of God is built through the ‘Gospel-created Neighbour-loving Christian’. The Church instead of getting this Gospel right, is focusing on techniques and programs consequently the Christian is Christless and loveless. No wonder popular culture views Evangelical Christians as a bunch detached bigots.

Through all of this my personal take-away was that my focus needed to move away from what I can do for the Kingdom of God towards what Christ can do in me to make me Christ-like and help me fulfill the ‘law of love’. When I saw my friend M on Sunday, my mind did not as it originally did, perceive him through the lens – ‘Oh-if-only-I-was-as-knowledgeable-as-M,-I-could-really-be-a-builder-of-the-Kingdom-of-God’. Instead, my mind just wondered at God, for all that the Gospel of the Crucified Lord is doing through M. And was grateful to God for what the Gospel of Christ was doing in me. Michael Horton’s message helped me see the world through the ‘Gospel-winning-the-Kingdom-through-me’ lens instead of the ‘me-winning-the-kingdom-through-the-Gospel’ lens. Boy, did I grow old in two days!

Author: Emmanuel R Paulpeter

I am a writer, spiritual director, life coach and a Church Planter who love all things pop culture, theology and spirituality.

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