I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “lesser” things that easily drift into priorities for many who claim to love the Gospel. I’m thinking of people who claim the Gospel is the priority for them getting caught up in Facebook arguments about political issues or a host of other things. We all have things that can easily turn us from our priorities (remember there’s warning in Hebrews 2:1-4 to not drift from our priorities). I really appreciated the wisdom unpacked by Ray Ortlund in his sermon from 3/12/16 entitled “Boldly Free” from Galatians 2:11-14. (You might remember that has to do with Peter and Paul disagreeing about Gospel application to a situation). Here’s what Ray says in 16:10-17:35 marks…
We’re seeing how the Apostle Paul thought about everything. When Paul was working through the issues of life, for him it wasn’t simply the question of right vs. wrong, or of wise vs. foolish, or of effective vs. inefficient and so forth. Those are all legitimate questions, they all have their place. But, Paul was simply thinking in a deeper way, in a different way. Here’s how Paul was thinking moment by moment: here I am poised at this decision, I’m at a fork in the road, I’m going to go one way or the other. How can this decision I’m going to make right now, whatever it’s about, align most clearly with the Gospel? What difference does justification by faith alone make in my life right now with this decision I am facing. So, Paul didn’t simply ask himself “What’s the right thing to do?” He certainly didn’t ask himself, “What’s the popular thing to do?” The real question for all Gospel people always is this: “what course of action is in the closest alignment with the grace of God and the purpose of the cross?” (Emphasis mine)
Get it? The question at the end here is the calibration for our decision about a situation: “what course of action is in the closest alignment with the grace of God and the purpose of the cross?” I hope you start thinking about your life, especially if you’re a believer, in this way. The world desperately needs a people set apart to this kind of reality. Will you showcase the grace of God and the purpose of the cross in your actions? Listen to Ray’s sermon for more insight into this.
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