The Reason for God

Timothy Keller

Epilogue: Where do we go from here?

  • If you are ready to explore what it means to put your faith in Christ, where do you go from here?
  • Examining Your Motives
    • Motives are nearly always mixed.
    • We must recognize that virtually all of us begin our journey toward God because we want something from him.
    • But we must come to grips with the fact that we OWE Him everything just because of what He has done for us already.
    • So it’s not “What do I do to get what I want?” but “What do I do to get Him?”
      • We will never succeed if we don’t make this final transition.
  • Counting the Cost
    • A Christian is “Christ’s One”, someone who has switched his or her most fundamental allegiance to Jesus.
      • Indeed, as the early Church confessed Christos Kurios, Jesus is Lord.
    • See the long quote from Bono about Jesus and His Lordship leading to his death (page 229).
    • This claim by Christ forced the all-or-nothing choice.
    • Christians are people who let the reality of Jesus change everything about who they are, how they see, and how they live.
  • Taking Inventory
    • If you still have reservations, a good idea is to take inventory to find the basis of your hesitation.
      • Content Issues – Are there parts of the Christian message that you don’t understand or agree with?
      • Coherence Issues – Are there doubt and objections to the Christian faith that you cannot resolve.
      • Cost Issues – Do you believe that a move to full Christian faith will cost you something dear?
    • While this is an important and valuable exercise, it is best not to do it alone
      • Spend some time in a Christian church in worship and fellowship with its members.
      • Hear how others have come to grips with their doubts and concerns.
      • One pastor suggested: “What if God hasn’t given us a watertight argument, but rather a watertight person?”
    • Are you returning to a faith you abandoned? Or are you finding it anew?
      • It doesn’t matter!!!
      • To Connect or Reconnect requires the same two things.
  • Making the Move (Keller says you must do “two things and a third”)
    • The first thing you must do is repent
      • The repentance that really changes your heart and your relationship with God begins when you recognize that your main sin, the sin underlying all the others, is your own self-salvation project.
      • So repentance is confessing the things besides God himself that you have been relying on for your hope, significance, and security.
    • The second thing you must do is believe in Christ.
      • Birth, atoning death, life giving resurrection.
      • Remember, it is not the strength of your faith that saves you, it is the OBJECT of faith.
      • Strong faith in a weak branch is useless.
      • This means that you do NOT have to eliminate all doubts and fears to take hold of Christ.
  • Committing to Community (the “third” thing – more a way of doing the others).
    • Becoming a Christian has always had both an individual and a corporate aspect.
      • But people of the West often underestimate the power of families, community and culture (as opposed to the popular concept of the sovereignty of the individual). [Or they place ALL power in them as in the intense group identity politics of our current age.]
    • We must personally approach God in prayer and publicly identify with him through the Church.
  • The Trauma of Grace
    • But those who enter a relationship with God inevitably look back and recognize that God’s grace had sought them out, breaking them open to new realities.
    • It was NEVER by works!
    Reason for God

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