On Living, Really Living

“Living means decisions. Living means writing your every word and action and thought and drool spot down in forever. It means writing your story within the Story. It means being terrible at it. It means failing and knowing that, somehow, all of our messes will still contribute, that the creative God has merely given Himself a greater challenge – drawing glory from our clumsy botching of the past. We are like factory workers in a slapstick comedy, standing at our positions beside the too-fast conveyor belt that flings the future and all of our possible actions at us. Corn syrup and food coloring everywhere (along with cheese and ceramic figurines).

Do your best. Live. Create. Fail.
How many thieves can we fit on this cross?How many of us can be dead in Lazarus’s tomb?
Is there room for more dry bones in this valley? Because I could lie down.
I can complain in a wilderness.
Or maybe deny Christ three times?
Resent the righteous?
Shoo away some children?
Fail to grow figs?
Panic in a storm?
Forget God’s law?
Pursue my lusts?
Sell out my Maker?
Hang myself in a field?
So glad I could help.

And from it all, from the compost of our efforts, God brings glory – a world of ripe grain in the wind.

By His grace, we are the water made wine. We are the dust made flesh made dust made flesh again. We are the whores made brides and the thieves made saints and the killers made apostles. We are the dead made living.

We are His cross.”

– N.D. Wilson, Death by Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2013), 166-67.

Salvation by Grace

“God in His sovereign good pleasure from eternity elected certain persons in Christ to everlasting life. By nature the elect, like all other men, are totally depraved sinners who cannot save themselves. In order to save the elect God sent His Son into the world to purchase redemption for them by His precious blood and perfect obedience. By the atonement Christ merited for the elect the Holy Spirit, who effectually regenerates them and works the gift of saving faith in their hearts. That God’s chosen, whom Christ has redeemed and to whom the Holy Spirit has applied redemption, should perish is entirely out of the question. Those are the five points of Calvinism. Together they constitute one doctrine – that of salvation by sovereign grace.”

– R. B. Kuiper, For Whom did Christ Die? (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1982), 70.

“We cannot say that the gospel is the power of God and have very little fruitfulness!”

“We cannot say that the gospel is the power of God and have very little fruitfulness! We cannot say that the tomb is empty and we don’t expect anything to happen! We cannot say the Holy Spirit is the power of God to appoint and anoint the church for the work of Jesus and just sit in our study and read the footnotes and be glad with fruitlessness! We can’t!”

– Mark Driscoll in The Spirit-Filled Missional Ministry of Jesus