Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Growing in Grace Together - Andrew Farley - The Naked Gospel - Part 2
This week I continue my conversation with Andrew Farley, author of The Naked Gospel. Sometimes the words of Jesus are difficult to understand, especially when compared to the New Covenant concepts given by the Apostle Paul. Andrew talks about putting the cross at the center of our understanding of the words of Jesus. As Mike and I have talked about several times, even recently, on the Growing in Grace podcast, often Jesus was raising the standard of the law, saying things such as, "be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," "cut out your eye if it causes you to sin," "your righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees," etc.
And so in this week's discussion of The Naked Gospel, Andrew talks about how we can either water down Jesus' words and take them to mean that He was simply trying to get us to "do our best" at the things He said, or we can take His words literally and understand the larger point, that the law was pointing out our faults, and through Jesus' very own words we find that we can't do what He was saying to do - therefore setting us up to receive the gospel freely, and not by what we do or don't do.
All of this, then, leads up to chucking aside our own efforts and instead we find a new and living way. It's not "Moses 2.0," as Andrew calls it (an upgraded version of Moses, or the Law), but rather a life in which Moses is gone and we're actually inhabited by the Spirit of Jesus Christ Himself. A life in which we're in union with Him - united with Him in His death, in His burial and in His resurrection. We're not copying or imitating Christ. We're not trying to be like Him. Rather we're living from His very life that indwells us.
You'll be greatly encouraged this week as Andrew once again clearly describes the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, and the difference between the old way and the new and living way.