The Reason for God
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!