I played a little bit of GTA3 - (though at the moment I'm kind of
bemused about the content of the game as a Christian.. more on that
another time though..) and went on to read a chapter of John Virgo's
'God's Lavish Grace'.
As a staff team at Christ Church Liverpool, we've been reading this
book over the last few weeks - and as is often the case - I've fallen
behind - and at the moment I'm far, far behind.
So, I thought "Well, if I read a chapter a night for the next week -
I'll catch up nicely!" - so that's what I'm aiming to do.
Personally, as a Christian man, I would openly confess to knowing
about God's grace.
There is nothing that I can do that will draw me away from God.
There is nothing that I can do that will make God draw away from me.
There is nothing that I can do that will make God draw closer to me
or me to Him.
I know all those facts. I know all the doctrinal theory of it.
I've read Romans 5 (please, if you don't know it - check it out - you
can read it over at www.biblegateway.com) - I know the deal.
It's only because of Jesus that I can approach God.
But bravo Mr. Virgo, I've never heard it put like this - and it's the
reason for my late night post:
"Now Christ is your righteousness. Just as when you were in Adam,
your endeavours to live the holy life did not take you out of Adam
and so left you as a sinner, so now you are in Christ and your sinful
actions do not take you out of Christ but leave you still righteous
in his sight. It is by virtue of your relationship with Jesus that
you are thoroughly accepted. Your own personal failings do not take
you out of him and therefore his righteousness still stands to your
The scandal of the gospel is that God is willing to justify the
ungodly. "But to one who does not work, but believes in Him who
justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as
righteousness" (Romans 4:5)"
- Chapter 3, Page 39, God's Lavish Grace, John Virgo
So in the same way that you can't stop being a sinful person without
Christ, you can't approach God without Jesus - the Christian person
cannot make God unapproachable through their action.
So, the person without Jesus - like the Jews in the Old Testament (I
was reading about them in Deuteronomy 29 at staff meeting this
morning) - is constantly trying to keep God's standards - the
covenant commandments - but then realises that because they can't
stop sinning, they just can't keep them!
There is no way that anyone can keep God's standard! No-one can
perfectly do what God asks them to!
God says that the righteous, the sinless, will enter the kingdom of
God. So who can enter then?!
Well, the answer is no-one... alone. No-one can enter the kingdom of
God alone. No-one can know God alone.
No-one... without Jesus.
By being in relationship with Jesus - the Christian person is like an
hour glass flicked over!
The Christian saved by Christ - cannot do anything to make God
unapproachable! Jesus does it all on my behalf! Jesus perfectly meets
The Lord's expectations - I can't add to his perfect attainment of
I can't somehow become more perfect in God's sight! You're
either perfect or your not - how could you be more perfect?!
So, obviously, I can't add to Christ's perfection, He has done it
But the best part, is that equally, I can't take away from Christ's
perfect interceding either..