The GBA VII
I've chosen two nominees for the GBA VII (for those of you not yet in the know, that stands for "Gospel Blogger Award"), which is of course my rather feeble attempt to recognize the best Gospel blogpost of the past two weeks. I look for posts that features the essentials of the Gospel message. What are these essentials, you may ask? Well, in the interest of brevity, how about this:
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. . . .That's 1 Cor 15: 3-4. Of course much more might be said, and in fact Paul goes on from there at some length. But you get the picture.
The runner up for the GBA VII is Bill Streger, for his post entitled Focusing on the Cross. I'm grateful to Bill for this post, because it simply gets the focus right, which happens to be a much-needed service these days. Money quote:
And now for the winner. It was a close contest this time around, but I'm giving the edge to my old friend Phil Dillon of Another Man's Meat, for his recent post, Crouching at the Door. Phil begins his post with a discussion of the apprehension of Denis Rader, the infamous BTK murderer. And here's the thing: Phil recognizes something that many of us simply fail (or refuse) to see. That is, that there is no great difference between Denis Rader and ourselves. Now here's the money quote:
As I've been studying, I've been convicted of the state of the Church at large, especially here in America. We boast in our numbers, in our budgets, in our staffs, in our worship services, in our technology, in our discipleship... in countless things. But do we boast about Christ above all... no, make that instead of all else.
Gospel truths. Thanks, Phil.
I know, even in the midst of confusion, in trying to understand how and why such evil can overtake any of us, that there is a clear message for me. There is nothing in my genes that makes me better than Dennis Rader. The same propensity that caused his heart to wander from the good and embrace the evil, passed down through the ages, resides in me. My only escape lies not in guarding my eye, but in guarding my heart, trusting the age old message of Gods grace demonstrated by Jesus. When temptation, sin, and evil crouch at my door I must not harden my heart and give in to the impulse of evil. I must cling to Him who saved, and will by His grace, continue to save me.