Avoiding Gospel Confusion: A Literary Help

19:50


Anyway, I read this excerpt from Bo Giertz's Hammer of God this evening, and thought that it helpfully explained a point I was trying to make in my chapel sermon this week. (For those who weren't there, I was preaching on Getting the Gospel Right, and mentioned how sometimes stock expressions that have been used to tell people how to respond to the Gospel have taken on lives of their own, so much so that they eclipse the Gospel itself).

"But sir, if you do not give your heart to Jesus, you cannot be saved."- The young pastor

"You are right, my boy. And it is just as true that, if you think you are saved because you give Jesus your heart, you will not be saved. You see, my boy," he continued reassuringly, as he continued to look at the young pastor's face, in which uncertainty and resentment were shown in a struggle for the upper hand, "it is one thing to choose Jesus as one's Lord and Savior, to give him one's heart and commit oneself to him, and that he now accepts one into his little flock;
it is a very different thing to believe on him as a Redeemer of sinners, of whom one is chief. One does not choose a Redeemer for oneself, you understand, nor give one's heart to him. The heart is a rusty old can on a junk heap. A fine birthday gift, indeed! But a wonderful Lord passes by, and has mercy on the wretched tin can, sticks his walking cane through it, and rescues it from the junk pile and takes it home with him. That is how it is" -The Rector
Bo Giertz, The Hammer of God, p. 123

The Gospel is not about what we can do for God, what we can offer. It's all about God rescuing the ruined. Anyway, this has made me want to read The Hammer of God even more. Recently I can't seem to stop tripping over glowing recommendations of this book (and anything else by Bo Giertz for that matter).

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The Tenets of the Apostolic Church


The Unity of the Godhead, and Trinity of the Persons therein.

The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent.

The virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection, ascension, and abiding intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; His second coming, and millennial reign upon earth.

Justification and Sanctification of the believer through the finished work of Christ.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers, with signs following.

The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the body of Christ.

The Sacraments of Baptism by immersion and of the Lord's Supper.

The Divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures.

Church government by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, elders and deacons.

The possibility of falling from grace.

The obligatory nature of tithes and offerings.