Life can subject us to adversity—the bad news. Christ is able to subject even adversity to his gracious will—the good news. God destines the Gospel message and the disciple’s life to exist in perfect tension, his word inspiring our life. The obedience we render as his messengers automatically impacts our life, with service and faith merging into an indivisible bond.
The best part of Christianity remains its last part, when the Master comes down from Heaven with a Mighty Shout and a Shattering Command, trumpets blasting and angels scattering to gather all the dead and all the changed living.
Until then...the best part of the Christian life is his message incarnated in us. He didn’t make his message great so we could be small; or his message triumphant that we would be conquered. He didn’t make his Gospel pure Gold, than leave us slag heaps from the refinement.
He didn’t make his message FIRE but believers CLINKERS! He didn’t empower his message as Spiritual Renewal projects to leave us Podunks! Jesus didn’t come full of truth and grace to have us living a lie in disgrace.
Indeed, he won’t have us proclaiming his message without actualizing it. Or teaching grace that leaves us spiritually impoverished. He won’t create brilliant teaching but leave his converted disciples unimaginative, unprepossessing saints.
True: Jesus never pours his sacred oil into unclean vessels. Equally true, he always pours precious refined olive oil, not crude oil, into clean vessels. End Part IV