THE END OF THE MAN CENTERED GOSPEL
Psa. 43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God.
If you were to pay careful attention to a lot of what is preached in the pulpits of our world today, if you were honest, you would have to admit it is not the same message preached by the apostles. Of course scriptures are mentioned and referred to, but not many are expounding line upon line on the scripture. What much of it is are empowerment slogans and formulas that will make you live “a better life now”. Actually we are being taught that because God loves us He will give us whatever we want. The problem with that is that we want wrong things. This God does really love us and does want to give us His best. In reality, His best is actually Him. He wants to give us more of Himself. He is what our hearts really need, not more of this present life, more of Him. John Piper spoke powerfully of this in his book God’s Passion for His Glory. Check out this excerpt.
“The love of God for sinners is not his making much of them, but his graciously freeing and empowering them to enjoy making much of him. As Edwards says, “God is their good.” Therefore if God would do us good, he must direct us to his worth, not ours. The truth that God’s glory and our joy in God are one radically undermines modern views of self-centered love. God-centered centered grace nullifies the gospel of self-esteem. Today, people typically feel loved if you make much of them and help them feel valued. The bottom line in their happiness is that they are made much of. Edwards observes, with stunning modern relevance, “True saints have their minds, in the first place, inexpressibly pleased and delighted with . . . the things of God. But the dependence of the affections of hypocrites is in a contrary order: they first rejoice . . . that they are made so much of by God; and then on that ground, he seems in a sort, lovely to them.” In other words, in his view, the bottom line of happiness is that we are granted to see the infinite beauty of God and make much of him forever. Human beings do, in fact, have more value than the birds. But that is not the bottom line of our happiness. It simply means that we were created to magnify God’s glory by enjoying him in a way birds never can.”
The amazing thing about the grace of God is that it actually has a dramatic effect on what we love. We always thought that just having success in marriage, business, ministry, or whatever in this life would be all we could ever want. When we come under the influence of the grace of God, that changes. Strangely, we become like David. God Himself becomes our exceeding joy. So rather than tooling our message to be more acceptable from a secular viewpoint, let’s return to the ancient message of the Bible. Let’s actually preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to them that believe.