Paul said that where sin abounds grace abounds all the more. John tells us that the law was given by Moses but, grace and truth came from Jesus Christ. And Paul again says that you are not under law you are under grace. And still, the church as a whole and, especially its leaders and shepherds are hung up on this thought... I teach the gospel but.... Can I share this? When you teach the gospel but.... whatever the but may be, you cease to preach and teach the gospel. That quite frankly is why the church is in the state it is in today. What is that state you ask? Thirty-eight thousand denominations, battles over heterodoxy and orthodoxy, marginalized and scorned by most of society, failing to promote significant social change and, most importantly, impotent to produce real transformation in people or society. This is quite a serious indictment but ever so true. Get up, look in the mirror and tell me that this is not true. Thought so!
I read an interesting book a few years back; it was called The Nature of Revival, compiled, edited and abridged by Clare George Weakley Jr. It contains the diaries of John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitfield that chronicle the great revival that took place in England in the 1700,s under the preaching of George Whitefield. What caused that great revival? ...The preaching of George Whitefield. What did he preach? ...The gospel of grace! With no buts!
It is the love of God, and only the love of God, that transforms us spiritually. The love of God is best understood in the gospel of grace and, the life and mission of Jesus of Nazareth the Christ. The gospel does not contain one but! For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever shall believe on him..... that if you shall confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you shall.... no buts at all. Furthermore, it is faith in the love of God.... apprehending this love by our steadfast trust in God and his mercy grace and love that ignites our transformation process. Unfortunately, all to often may I say almost always.... it is quenched by a big but. No I did not say by a big butt! The butt with the but can be a big butt or a little butt but the but that is always big.... overwhelmingly big is the gospel but.
What caused the revival to die out you ask? People asking the question .... how then shall we live? And, tying it to salvation with a but. God’s love is a radical love and it is projected and transmitted by a radical grace. We will never see a great sustainable encompassing revival until we rid ourselves of the gospel but mentality. Let God be God, us be us, and the gospel given without buts! Until we do we will not see transformation in ourselves or society.